Header Photo Credit

*The stunning photo in the header of my blog is all thanks to Ron Shoshani. Visit his facebook page for more of his amazing photographs of Tel Aviv!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Israeli Writer Etgar Keret to Live in Tiny Capsule

PhotoCredit: Thehairpin

It has been designed and decided.
Famous Israeli writer, Etgar Keret is going to live in a tiny white capsule art installation that doubles as a house in Warsaw. They're calling it Keret house.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Tel Aviv in the Top 10 Again!

PhotoCredit: Via TimeOutTelAviv English Edition, by Ronsho

Tel Aviv has been making it into the Top Ten of so many lists, it's no surprise that Forbes blogger Beth Greenfield awarded it the #2 City in the World for "Most Celebrated Sunsets".

Monday, July 25, 2011

Tel Aviv Tent City is Bigger News than Amy Weinhouse

Photo Credit: AP/Oded Balilty
The tent city protests in Tel Aviv have become international news within the past two weeks as residents from all over the city have left their apartments and moved themselves and their tents to camp out on Rothchild Boulevard in protest of unbearably high rent prices.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Tel Aviv Adopts The Worst Advertisement Ever

Holy Cow, Tel Aviv bus stations are plastered with the worst adverts ever. I don't know how long these ads have been out in America/the rest of the world, but they've some how made it to Israel and they make me ill.


Oh, hi there. I'm a cow. That's right, Nestle and Kelloggs chose me to represent WOMAN.
That's because all women are cows- naturally fat and ugly and smelly.

But, look cows! There's hope! - with Nestle Skinny Cow , you can trick nature by eating something totally unnatural that makes you look like you're dying.

You can be skinny!

And if you wear eye-lash extensions on your cow eyes and lipstick on your cow lips then people might actually mistake you for an attractive woman.

So attractive, in fact, that I feel confident enough to sprawl myself over this pink banner without any clothes on and lay my hoof gently upon my hairy butt.

How did these Nestle Skinny Cow ads make it to Israel?!

Gag me.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Tel Aviv Rent Sparks Tent City

PhotoCredit: Ben Hartman, Jpost
Tel Aviv rent has been exploding for years now - some say its even through the roof  - and Tel Avivians have come together to put their foot down.  Over the weekend of  July 15th and 16th, hundreds of citizens, most of them young students and couples, erected a tent-city in the center of Rothchild Boulevard to protest the rising housing costs.

Whether or not the choice to set up camp on Rothchild was part of the original plan, it created a poignant contrast as Rothchild Boulevard  is one of the most central, renovated and affluent streets in Tel Aviv.

PhotoCredit: Motti Kimchi, Haaretz.com
The protest proved to be a great success with protesters uniting in pleasant uprising accompanied by performances from pop singer Efrat Gosh and Hemi Rudner. By Sunday evening, the protests had spread to Beersheva and Jerusalem where rent is also rising steeply and no roof is in place to provide any sort of rent-control.

Protests are expected to continue to spread to Haifa, Netanya and other cities even after Netanyahu lamely addressed the demonstrators, acknowledging the truth of the general housing issue in Israel real estate and asking protesters to come to Jerusalem to help him pass real estate reforms. (Since apparently he is too helpless to do anything on his own).

ArtCredit: Victor Enrich
The truth of the housing situation is obvious. We all feel it, especially in Tel Aviv. Even those who make a good paycheck typically find that approximately 50% of it goes to their landlord and city living taxes.  Students who are doing their best to find the cheapest Tel Aviv accommodation can barely get by.

Ynet interviewed Tal, a 25 year old student who said:

"Housing is a basic right, but there is currently no supervision over housing prices… This is the business of each and every one of us."
And Dafni Leef spoke with The Jerusalem Post on Saturday evening saying that she started the movement by opening a Facebook page because:
 “I didn’t see any reason to continue spending more than half of my paycheck on rent each month."
I've personally been moving south ever since I came to Tel Aviv, teetering out of the center of the city where prices shot up, to the southern slums where prices are considered to be reasonable. But after our landlord upped our rent this year by over 15%, I'm starting to think that I might be better off in a tent.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

How Tel Aviv Women Stay So Thin!

Photo Credit: ג'קי יעקב 

Tel Aviv has been labled one of the top cities with the most beautiful people by travel magazines and travel blogs everywhere.  Beaches are filled with beautiful bikini-clad women and nightclubs and cafes brim with trim girls. When it comes to good looks, Tel Avivians just seem to "have it". They are tan 75% of the year, they live life mainly outdoors, and they are known for being fashion-conscious and fashion-forward.

But  how do Tel Avivians maintain their svelte figure!?

While I'm still trying to figure out how Tel Aviv is overflowing with so many gorgeous people, I think I've done my best to whittle down a list of the top 4 reasons Tel Aviv Women stay so thin! So here we go:

Fresh Produce
PhotoCredit: Smitten Kitchen
Israel has some of the most affordable and tastiest local fruits and vegetables. Fresh produce stands abound as do larger open-air markets. The Carmel market in the center of Tel Aviv is the most popular, but the Tikvah market is a close second.  Fresh juice stands are littered throughout the city with seasonal fruit switching up their shake menus. People know when the local vegetables are in season because nearly all is locally grown and produced. And this means that the Israeli salad- whether it be fruit salad or vegetable salad or a mix- is a staple in the Israeli Mediterranean diet.

Walking/Biking Culture
PhotoCredit: Hibino
Unlike Jerusalem, Tel Aviv is pretty flat making it a fantastic city to walk or bike. Combine that with the terrible traffic and high gas prices, and all Tel Avivians seem to have strong incentive to choose waking or biking over driving.  What's more, the Tel Aviv municipality has introduced a brand new rent-a-bike system this past May and it's already seen tons of success. This means people are moving around most of the time in the city, if not out of the city on a hike or walk through nature ( another practice deeply ingrained in Israeli culture).

Coffee and Cigarettes
Photo Credit: Maariv
Yes, it's true. Just like the French, the Israelis love their coffee and cigarettes. Their coffee, by the way, is absolutely fantastic- so I definitely give them that one. But, they love their cigarettes so much, that even after a law was passed banning smoking in bars, the people are still smoking everywhere: indoors and out. Why this smoke-affair exists is a topic for another time, but as we all know, coffee and cigarettes have long been known to help people control their weight and as terribly unhealthy both can be- it can't be overlooked. And no, I am not condoning cigarette smoke as an effective or practical weight-loss method in any way!

Year-Round Beach Season
PhotoCredit: Walla
Right now it's early July and Tel Aviv beach season is at its peak, but in Tel Aviv, the beach is always the place to be. In fact, The Environmental Protection Ministry rated Tel Aviv and Herzliya beaches the best in all of Israel. Now this not only means that nearly year-round it's hot-hot-hot- a factor that typically suppresses the apatite- but it also means that the Tel Avivian is in bikini-season year-round. And with such a youthful population, its no surprise that beach-goers do their best to look their best.  That's not to say that Tel Avivians never indulge in junk food. One look at the multitude of falafel stands and ice-cream shopswill put that myth to rest. It simply means that Tel Avivians are aware of eating healthy and staying fit.