Sunday, May 5, 2013

Metamorphosis


Florentin is in metamorphosis. Ramshackle constructions are rapidly giving way  to new building projects that are springing up everywhere. Here the stylish, Bauhaus inspired residential project designed by Ilan Pivco rises above Florentin's  makeshift sheds. 



The street artists are still running wild for now but, as the building cranes approach, like endangered species may soon have to find richer hunting grounds.



These industrial alleyways populated by metal shops, carpenters, students and artists won't be here for much longer.



But two young architects bought an old store, in a street much like the one above, renovated it, designed it to collect as much light as possible and have transformed it into a flat and studio. Their 
block is slated for demolition but meanwhile...





Spotted in a design studio we visited on' Open Houses' weekend. Tel Aviv separates itself from the rest of the country: a scenario that many would say has already taken place.  





Back to Florentin for some more street art....







A detail of  ceiling in Neve Shechter , a recently opened religious/cultural centre. The wall paintings were part of the original Templar design. Later the building was  called Cafe Lawrence and was used as a cinema for  British soldiers.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Some new pics



Tel Aviv's not Paris but sometimes it can be romantic.    




Street artist Rami Hameiri's studio on Hayarkon.




An eye grabbing creation of his a few steps up the road with one of the new hotels that are springing up on the sea front in the background. Probably won't be long before Rami's place will be swallowed up by a new building too.


Dalia's Hats on Nahalat Binyamin. From another time but still open for business.



In the winter the beach expands.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Recent images


Graffiti, Yehuda Halevy corner Allenby. Click and you'll see that the part of his blanket is painted over newspaper  



Some images snapped, mainly by phone, in the past few weeks. 




David Ben Gurion reading the Declaration of Independence, a detail from a mosaic created by Nahum Gutman  the quintessential Tel Aviv artist. It comes from the mosaic sculpture below that has recently been placed between office buildings at the very beginning of Rothschild Boulevard.  A few yards away, work is progressing (slowly) on a massive underground parking lot. When it's finished it will be covered and turned into a piazza.     



Here's the entire piece, which as a sculpture is, well, ugly. Which is why Tel Avivians never really took to it. For years it was situated on Bialik Street (for my money, the prettiest street in Tel Aviv). If you click on the link above you'll see a photo of it on Bialik. A few years ago Bialik was renovated and the municipality exploited the occasion to replace Gutman's mosaic with a round pond with water lilies that is much more popular. The sculpture was placed in storage to be reassembled years later (without  fanfare) in its new location. 



A corner of the Central Bus Station. 

A false hunt for an exhibition on a Saturday evening took us to Tel Aviv's  Central Bus Station . This gargantuan monstrosity, which took over twenty years to build, and contains  a thousand shops and restaurants, was for a few years the biggest bus station in the world (!).  Nowadays is now surrounded by neighbourhoods that are now populated  almost entirely by migrant workers . A few steps away from Jewish-Arab Tel Aviv -Yaffo  you  enter a third world more reminiscent of  Cairo or Delhi. The big poster on the top left advertising Western Union carries a message in  which the first two words are Walang Palya. 



An attempt to cheer the place up 


A sculpture by Ofra Zimbalista climbing up the wall of Beit Haomanim (Artists House) in north Tel Aviv 





At 10 Mazeh Steet an old eclectic style building from the 1920s (complete with tower and turrets. colonnades and romantic balconies) which stood forlorn and deserted for years, has been rescued  and integrated  into a new residential building. 

One thing I didn't come across in the past few weeks is thousands of election campaign posters defacing walls and peeling off noticeboards in the rain. The elections weren't very inspiring but at least most of the campaigning is now done on the Net.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Acco


On New Year's Eve we took the train up to Acco (Acre) to wander around the old city and eat some fish., Despite being steeped in history and rich in architectural treasures, Acco has never taken off a major tourist resort. And there lies its sleepy, run down charm.





In the moat, part of the impressive Crusader fortifications, someone found a useful way to utilize wasted space. 



A courtyard  




Acco, in today's Israel is best known for its humous humous joints and its annual alternative theatre festival but it's also a  treat to wander through its authentic shuk whose wares are aimed at local tastes.


The  Khan  El Omdan  (Khan of the Columns) was once an important trading post but has become so run down that  entry is limited to the entrance where a man sits selling fresh pomegranate juice. The Khan is crying out for preservation (and a business plan).


Here and there, traces of a vanished magnificence.



Hamudi's spice and coffee shop in the shuq. Business has been slow since the war in Gaza. A lot of cancellations, he told us over a Turkish coffee on the house.