Tuesday, March 6, 2007

From White City to Big City



Off to London for a family celebration the day after tomorrow which means that for a week or so I'll be in a completely different environment. The plants on the rooftop will be watered but you'll have to survive without me.

Already experiencing the feeling of being ineluctably sucked towards the airport terminal and being spat out at the other end. Will the cell phone work abroad? How come El Al closed down the pre-flight check-in on Arlozorov! How many pairs of socks...

After reading that Israel was again rated by people in 27 countries as having the most negative influence in the world (together, ah the irony, with Iran) ttp://www.globescan.com/news_archives/bbccntryview/ I wonder if we'll be attacked by an angry mob when the plane touches down at Heathrow.

In case we are I'll leave you with a (touched up) image of 'Bauhaus' architecture one of the buildings that made up what was later called the 'White City'. I just finished reading 'When I Lived in Modern Times' by Linda Grant, set mostly in Tel Aviv as the Irgun and the Lehi were using increasingly violent methods against the British and the Mandate forces cracked down on the local population. Despite all this Tel Aviv was already a cake-scoffing party town. In 1947, the thousands of International Style buildings in Tel Aviv were still white (although already showing signs of wear and tear) and Grant writes affectingly about them and the people who lived in them - Holocaust survivors, underemployed yekke intellectuals, radical socialists. Then, these buildings represented the ideal of a thrusting new egalitarian modernism, a practical utopia that would shine its light on the region. Today, they're a romantic piece of real estate in the Tel Aviv bubble. The rooftop sits above one of them (built in 1939) and it will still be there when I get back.

1 comment:

James said...

I wonder if we'll be attacked by an angry mob when the plane touches down at Heathrow

Don't worry, for now, there are still enough of us who know who our real friends are in the world.

(Of course, I'm American, with a British passport, living in England.)