a different side of Israel

Tag: Tel Aviv (page 2 of 17)

Depeche Mode Rock Group Wows Israeli Fans

Depeche Mode Israel 2009British rock group Depeche Mode, composed of lead vocalist Dave Gahan, guitarist, and song writer Martin Gore, plus keyboard genius Andrew Fletcher finally played their gig in Ramat Gan International Stadium Sunday night before more than 50,000 adoring fans. The rock group, which has racked up more than 50 hit singles and have had NO. 1 selling albums in the UK, USA, and many other countries, arrived for a concert that should have come off more than two years earlier, but was cancelled at the last minute due to political fall out in the aftermath of the 2006 Lebanese War.

The Gahan, Gore and Fletcher are the three surviving members of the original group that formed in the early 1980’s and were one of the hottest music groups of their time.

Israeli fans had already arrived at the stadium hours before the gig came off to “stake out” a place close to the stage where the trio and a number of accompanying musicians would be playing. Although the majority of the fans were young, a number of older ones from the group’s prime performing years were there too, evidently wanting to recapture a number of years that had sort of “slipped away” from them.

After some preliminary events, the real show kicked off at 9 p.m. when the Depeche Mode show actually began. The group didn’t disappoint their fans as they immediately began to pound out some of their most well known hits such as In Chains, Wrong, and Walking in my Shoes. Other well known Depeche Mode songs included Peace (in which they invited their audience to sing along) Lie to Me, Personal Jesus (perhaps in honor of the Pope’s visit to Israel) and finally their classic: Waiting for the Night.

The audience really got emotionally into the number, Peace, especially the last chorus:

Peace will come to me
Just wait and see
Peace will come to me
It’s meant to be
Peace will come to me
Just wait and see
Peace will come to me
It’s inevitability!

Some young women got so worked up during the performance that they tried to imitate the “dress code” of the group, even by taking off their tops and being bare breasted.

Those who made it over to the Galina Restaurant and Bar at the Tel Aviv Port afterwards (for a Depeche Mode after-party) got a special treat when the trio showed up to participate in the festivities and to celebrate Dave Gahan’s 47th birthday – those lucky to be near enough to interact with them that is.

It’s hard to say who were impressed the most during the evening: the Depeche Mode band or the fans. But it’s certain that Dave and the gang will be back again before long: and for sure, their adoring fans will be waiting to rock the night away with them.

Fresh Paint in Israel

I was at this last FreshPaint show in Tel Aviv and it was great. 33,000 visitors came in a span of 5 days to see the latest in young Israeli art:

A huge success for Fresh Paint 2!

Over 33,000 people visited Fresh Paint 2 art fair, in just 5 days!
A large audience enjoyed the creative work of more than one hundred artists and purchased artworks. We thank all our visitors for your support!

Fresh Paint art fair ended, but Fresh Paint’s group exhibition is still on!

Interested in young Israeli art? Would like to see more from the fair’s artists?
Fresh Paint art fair is currently presenting a group show of Fresh paint’s artists, named “Mani’s Haunted House” in Beit Mani Leumi (“Mani’s House”) art space.
Curators: Yifat Gurion Ofer and Matan Daube.

Sunday to Thursday 10 a.m to 8 p.m, Friday 10 a.m to 1 p.m, through May 7, 2009.
Beit Mani Leumi, Bank Leumi Headquarters
36 Yehuda Halevi Street

Funds raised through Fresh Paint 2’s community projects

• 900 postcards were sold at The Secret Postcard project. 160,000 NIS were raised for scholarships for youth from underprivileged backgrounds, who excel in the arts, for studies in the Tel Aviv Museum of Art’s Education Center’s program.
• Income from the Curator’s Choice Gallery will fund the activity of the art therapy program at the nationwide children’s homes of the charity Yeladim – Fair Chance for Children.
• Thousands of Shekels were raised for the Nalaga’at Deaf-Blind Theater Company in Jaffa port, Tel Aviv. The Special Edition Project continues at the Nalaga’at center.

Purchasing Artworks

It is still possible to purchase artworks by Fresh Paint’s independent artists. If you are interested in further details regarding an artist or an artwork please contact:

Fresh Paint 3 will be held on March 2010. Details will follow.

Strolling along the Tel Aviv Boardwalk

For those who are not aware, Tel Aviv now has a smaller version of Atlantic City’s famous Boardwalk. Located at what is still known as the Tel Aviv Port, this actual boardwalk contains a number of attractions, including popular restaurants and pubs, boutiques, and more recently a mobile unit for the Channel 24 music TV station.

The place has been exceptionally busy during the current Passover holiday, with people of all ages enjoying the Spring weather to come out to enjoy themselves, have a meal, or just hang out in front of the station booth and watch the people inside performing, as well as enjoying the live music. Those who have small kids can let them play in the large sand box on the sea side of the station, and even get an added treat by getting to see themselves on TV. A number of musical and other entertainment acts have also been performing on an outside stage, also courtesy of Channel 24.

Those who want to experience a rickshaw ride can do so with those red shirted guys whose shirts are stenciled with the words “Ask Me” boldly printed in English. Kids with bikes and skate boards also can have a blast in a section that seems specially designed for them to do various exercises on – as long as the place isn’t too crowded.

Even fishermen seem to like the place and you’ll find several of them throwing their lines out from either the boardwalk railing or from the old port jetty that is still in place from the times the place was an actual port. It might be interesting to add that what used to be old decaying warehouses for the port have now been turned into all kinds of businesses including shops, restaurants and even offices.

Parking is usually not a problem (depending on when you decide to show up) and plenty of free parking is available in the large Reading parking lot, only about a ten minute walk away. The Yarkon River, which runs by the eastern part of the port, has been made into a river walk, and worth a leisurely stroll.

The Port is in fact becoming so popular that for many things, it is even more of an “in place” than the promenade along the Tel Aviv beachfront. The rejuvenation of what was once a very seedy area, and frequented by not so pleasant people, has now become a Mecca for leisure time activities and even has a football pitch and large grassy area for various gatherings.

So, whatever strikes your fancy, there’s plenty to do at the Tel Aviv Port.

Party time on Tel Aviv’s 100th

Tel Aviv 100 CelebrationsIf you were anywhere near Tel Aviv this weekend, you must have seen some of the goings on as part of the city’s 100’th birthday bash. And the “non-stop city” is certainly offering a delightful array of events to celebrate this historic event. For a city that literally rose out of the sand dunes in the early part of the 20th Century, Tel Aviv, or “Hill of Spring” can be counted along with some of the grooviest fun cities of the world as being a Mecca for excellent restaurants, pubs and disco-bars, beach front activities, as well as numerous musical and cultural events.

And for those looking for such activities, what is also known as “the city that never sleeps” is also rated as having one of the highest amounts of prostitution as well.

Tel Aviv got its biggest boost as a fun and cultural center during the mayoral administration of Shlomo Lahat, who promoted the city’s cultural aspects and helped dedicated two of the city’s most well known cultural centers, the 1,500 seat Performing Arts Center, also known as the New Opera House on Shaul Hamelech Boulevard as well as the Susan Dalal Center for Dance and Theatre in the old Shabazzi neighborhood; which is a part of the old historic section of central Tel Aviv.

Tel Aviv has hosted 70 different festivals and special events during the past year which sold more then 1,300,000 theatre tickets – just an indication of the cultural life of this fast-paced city.

Tel Aviv 100Those who haven’t yet participated in some of the city’s birthday celebration events will still have plenty of opportunities to do so. The entire month of May is slated for a number of events including a special salute to the city’s founders. A 42 km marathon will be held on April 24th and special celebrations are being planned to celebrate Israel’s 61st Independence Day at Rabin Square, along with plenty of fireworks. And for those who like water sports, an international windsurfing championship – the RS:X Class European Championship, will be held in the waters off the city’s beachfront.

And for all you pub people, there will be plenty of G & G (Goldstar and Guinness) as well as the appropriate music and good company to go along with wetting your thirst. There will also be a Gay Pride parade on June 12, as well as a special Mediterranean festival, the Blue Festival, on June 17-18, complete with film screenings and live music at the newly renovated Old Port.

Enjoy the party 🙂

Happy International Women’s Day

Sunday, March 8, is the International Women’s Day.

Marina Maximillian Blumin, a young singer who caught the national spotlight during her appearance in “Kochav Nolad” (the Israeli version of “American Idol”), will perform this Saturday in the Comfort club in Tel Aviv. Entrance is free for women!

Russian ska band “Los Caparos” will accompany her, and R&B singer Ayala Eingadesht will also perform during the evening.

Here’s Marina performing Somewhere Over the Rainbow on Israel’s Channel 2:

One Thousand and One Nights

980 days and nights have passed since Gilad Shalit was captured by Hamas militants.

Later this month, on Sunday, March the 22nd, we shall all mark the 1,001st day of Gilad’s captivity. On this day, the Aharai! (“Follow me!”) organization is holding a simultaneous march in 4 Israeli cities: Acco, Tel Aviv, Be’er Sheva, and Jerusalem.

The march in Tel Aviv is planned to begin in the Central Train Station (Savidor Station) and will continue to Rabin Square.


Hitler’s Parking Dilemma

A satirical video clip that supposedly depicts Hitler being enraged over the parking problems in Tel Aviv is gaining wide momentum, as well as several complaints by Holocaust survivors.

The makers of the clip took a scene from the 2004 movie “Downfall” and invented new subtitles in Hebrew. In fact, there are over 20 different versions of this clip, each depicting a different satirical scenario.

Someone translated the “Hitler’s looking for parking” subtitles to English, and this is the result:

Her Morning Elegance

Oren Lavie is a 33 y/o Israeli musician, director, and actor. He grew up in Ramat-Aviv, the green suburban neighborhood in north Tel-Aviv.

At the age of 16 he enacted the role of King Saul in the cult musical “David”, as part of the “Chich’s Neighbors” ensemble. (“Chich” is the nickname associated with former Tel-Aviv mayor Shlomo Lahat.)

Since 2001 he’s been spending most of his time abroad, in New York and Berlin.

In 2008 his song “A Dance ‘Round the Memory Tree” has made it into the “Narnia 2” movie soundtrack (properly titled “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian”).

This is his newest video clip, called “Her Morning Elegance”.

Hello President Obama

It starts at 18:30 Israel time. The inauguration ceremony. If you live in Israel and don’t have a TV set (or still at work), you can watch the whole event LIVE here at the Channel 10 website.

According to Ha’Aretz, the Israeli branch of the DNC (the Democratic Party) is holding a festive dinner in “Zulis” this evening. The Zulis pub is located at 5 Rivlin Street, Jerusalem. All American citizens in Israel are invited.

The American Embassy and the City of Tel Aviv are sponsoring a musical event at the “Club Hed” music club. The venue is owned by the “Hed Musical College”, located at 3 Y.L. Perets Street in South Tel Aviv. At 20:30 the Ethiopian dance troupe “Bal’Chan” will open the evening, followed by the “Hed Big Bang Orchestra” playing American Jazz. Roy Yang and friends will sing along. 100 Shekels is what it all costs, and tickets are available at 1-800-38-30-30.

Photo taken by marcn via Flickr

Photo taken by marcn via Flickr

Klone Yourself in Tel Aviv

I’ve been seeing it all over town. A brownish alien-like creature, with green eyes, a long snout, and sharp teeth. Sometimes it’s just a head; sometimes the head is connected to a larger body — which may be male, female, human, or animal. I find it in different locations, in different postures, but there’s always a signature at the bottom of the graffiti. It reads “Klone“.

If you’ve been to Tel Aviv in the past year, you’ve probably seen this creature, even if you can’t recall it at the moment. It blends with the urban landscape like a shadow that barely escapes our conscious mind.

Photo by Whistling in the Dark via Flickr

Photos by Whistling in the Dark via Flickr

Who is Klone? What is he trying to say through these grotesque-style creatures?

The Face of KloneAccording to Wiki-TLV, Klone is a 25 year-old artist who currently works in Tel Aviv, and came to Israel from Ukraine at the age of 11. The City Mouse magazine interviewed the guy over a year ago. In that interview, he revealed he has a love / hate relationship with the city. Personally, I think this state of emotion echoes well in his graffiti works.

Other prominent street artists Klone often collaborates with include Know Hope and Zero Cents.

For a collection of his works, check out this Flickr gallery. It’s interesting to note how his creatures have apparently morphed with time, from the cute white imps, to the more somber wolf-human buffoons.

Tel Aviv’s Obsessed with Sushi

As the thunders of war echo from the South, residents of Tel Aviv continue their daily routine.

Two unrelated anecdotes:

  1. I happened to hear a 90 y/o woman speaks a week ago. She currently lives in Tel Aviv, and still volunteers in the Civil Guard. She had experienced the horrors of war in Poland back in 1939, and then lived to see all of Israel’s wars throughout its 60 years of existence. During this fascinating story of hers, she was telling us how she had escaped with her family to Tel Aviv during the War of Independence in 1948. They had been coming from some other town (I don’t recall which one) and when they arrived at Tel Aviv, they were surprised to see people singing and dancing in coffee shops. “Don’t you know there’s a war going on?”, they has asked people around them. Well, apparently not much has changed in this context in the past 60 years. Dear Tel Aviv residents, you’re in good company.
  2. Israeli far-right-wing politician Avigdor Lieberman was caught saying last week Do to Hamas what the US did to Japan. I believe he was talking about a nuclear holocaust, but let’s not forget yet another serious effect the American involvement in Japan has caused. I’m talking about Sushi of course. Thanks to America’s warm embrace of the Japanese cuisine, this seaweed/rice/salmon delicacy has spread the world. As a resident of Tel-Aviv myself, there isn’t a single day that goes by without my mailbox being infiltrated by a colorful throwaway that notifies me of — yet another — Sushi restaurant that opens in town.

Tel Aviv Might Close Only Adolescence Clinic

This morning I read a small news report in a local magazine that I think should get much more attention.

The magazine piece tells of an Adolescence Clinic in Tel Aviv that serves youth in the ages of 12 to 18, for free, without informing their parents (if the teens so desire). As a teen, you don’t need to bring any letter of reference (from your family doctor, your school counselor, or your parents) in order to receive treatment and care. Since most teenagers are very envy of their privacy and their personal space, this promise of anonymity is very crucial in encouraging them to seek counseling and professional advice.

The clinic is located in the Strauss House, 14 Balfour Street, Tel Aviv. It deals with eating disorders, sexual development, teen pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases, and psychological disorders. The clinic belongs to the Municipality of Tel Aviv – Jaffa.

Most teens who arrive at the clinic, seeking help, reside in the southern parts of the city, in poor neighborhoods.

Well, at first glance I thought how wonderful it is to hear that such a clinic even exists in Tel Aviv. But then the report says that the 2009 budget put forth by the City Council doesn’t include any funding of the Adolescence Clinic. This abrupt stop in funding means the clinic would have to be closed.

If you’re a Tel Aviv resident, feel free to write your representatives in city hall and tell them how you feel about it.


Adults who seek professional counseling but can’t afford it, can try their luck at the clinic for the care of children, teens, and families. It’s located at 16 Ha’Harba’A Street, in Tel Aviv, and it offers free or subsidized counseling for children, couples, and families — including cutting-edge treatments such as Biofeedback and CBT. The clinic belongs to the Ministry of Health, and there might be a long waiting list, depending on your problems and the treatment you seek.

Reality Tuesday

This coming Tuesday the hit reality show Big Brother will end its first Israeli season in a climatic live broadcast. Who will be crowned winner? Yossi Booblil? Shefra? Leon?

If you’re an addict of the show, like hundreds of thousands in Israel, then this question probably bothers you all day long and throughout the night as well.

But if you think that the “reality show culture” has gone too far, and is taking the place of quality content, then it’s about time you take a stand.

Instead of glaring at the TV screen this coming Tuesday, come out and express your disapproval of the reality monster. A demonstration will be held at the square outside of the Tel Aviv Museum of Arts, during the final episode. Many known actors and musicians are planned to speak in this unique gathering, and the event is likely to drawn very large crowds.

3 Things You Didn’t Know About Rabin Square

  1. For the past 2 years, every Tuesday evening, a bunch of young folks stand outside city hall and offer Free Hugs.
  2. Once every month or so, several astronomy enthusiasts place their professional telescopes in the center of the Square and allow any passerby to have a free glimpse at the Moon’s craters.
  3. The loony Scientologists erected an encampment inside the Square this past weekend. Their yellow ‘n black tents appeared Thursday afternoon, and were gone by Saturday evening. In the middle, they offered free consultation to some poor souls. What’s up with that?

Pillow Fight tonight at Rabin Square

If you need to blow off some pressure, tonight’s the night…

The time: Today, at 8pm sharp.
The place: Rabin Square, the heart of Tel Aviv.
The mission: Mass pillow fight.

… Briefing complete. Entering stealth mode. Gathering fluffy things…

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