Saturday, January 20, 2007

Neighbourhood foray 3 - Florentine

Thanks to H for this shot of a shack in Florentine. It's only a matter of time before the entire neighbourhood is cleaned up and becomes less colourful.

Bugsy’s, Florentine, Shabbat morning 10’ish. A dame in the corner is chain smoking and chatting with the ginger-haired waiter who looks as though he’s been waiting all night. Pushing breakfasts and coffee behind the bar is a guy with a full beard wearing a tartan trilby. We check out the joint. 50’s upholstered seats, a view of Washington Boulevard and on the wall a photo of gangland boss Benjamin ‘Bugsy’ Siegel looking pretty beaten up and apparently in the act of being arrested. The Jewish anti-hero theme blends with the cappuccino and fringey morning-after vibe. Two butch chicks stroll in and perch beside the bar. My eye shifts to a papier maché sculpture of an S&M scene involving whips and black underwear. It’s cold outside and weird in.

Some guy with a strange white hat placed backwards is taking four dogs for a walk. Florentine is the seat of counter-culture, Tel Aviv's Village/Soho, a mess of small factories and workshops, anarchist squats, furniture designers, clubs and pubs and some of the most interesting graffiti in the city.

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