Tel Aviv takes a bit of getting used to. The first time I visited the city, I was an impressionable sixteen year old. It was my first trip to Israel, and prior to visiting Tel Aviv, all I’d seen of the country were the cobbled streets of its spiritual centres (Jerusalem, Sfat and Tiberias), the verdant plains of the Galilee, the dusty plains of the Negev and the inside of our student accommodation. Because I was on a school trip, all our excursions were supervised. (Side note: My “rebellious” side ultimately took hold and one evening I “escaped” from the student complex, making a mad dash for the neighbouring kibbutz convenience store. I was ceremoniously busted and forced to sit outside the programme director’s office whilst she gave me a good, old-fashioned talking to. In fact, a certain individual reading this, might recall that failed mission . . .)
So when I finally hit Tel Aviv, I was completely overwhelmed by the buzz, the urban energy, the 24/7-ness. I was on my own. No supervision. No teachers. Just a seventy year old relative who was rather perturbed when I didn’t make it home till the wee hours of the morning. The city took hold and I’ve loved it ever since.
Tel Aviv is Israel’s urban, cosmopolitan heart. Blessed with kilometres of beautiful Mediterranean beaches, it’s also the world’s first Bauhaus city and has a cafe culture to rival 1920’s Paris and Berlin. It is a thoroughly modern metropolis.
I recently produced a photo-journalistic feature on the city, (read it HERE), for Australian design publication Habitus. It’s a first person account of my recent visit and weaves a story through the city’s most fascinating neighbourhoods. Before I sign off, I must make mention of my photographic partner on the piece – the super talented Ephraim Muller, who contributed some beautiful images to the layout.
Now that I’m in Sydney, Tel Aviv is sadly not quite a 4 1/2 hour flight away, but I really hope it’s not too long before I’m back again, sitting in a neighbourhood cafe with my wonderful and entrepreneurial Tel Avivian cousin and friends.