Antwerp · Music · Tel Aviv · Uncategorized

Play that funky music white boy

When you grow up in a musical family you’re not aware of how unconventional your life is. With a concert promoter father who’s also an amateur blues performer and stage animal I thought I’d seen something. Until my little brother became a soulbrother and joined the stage.

Last week, Nathan, better known as N8n, gave a special performance at the coolest spot in Tel Aviv called Rothschild 12. Every time he comes visit me in Tel Aviv, we set up a gig. And when Antwerp and Tel Aviv join forces, our blog celebrates.

We put a band together via email and text messages thanks to drummer and socialite Ori Raz: Shlomi Maya – keyboard, Nitzan Berger – Guitar and Avishai (Avsha) Back – Bass. N8n landed in the afternoon so we went straight to the venue to meet the band and do soundcheck. A few hours later the boys rocked the place! The venue was packed with lots of beautiful people, Belgians, Internationals and Israelis.

N8n started with some alternative versions of his own songs from the first record in order to warm up the crowd. Then the cover songs came in, the audience stood up to twist and shout. Later on I was invited on stage to do one of my personal favorite songs of all times: ‘Sympathy’ by Rare Bird. That doesn’t happen very often. I mostly stand on the side and admire the men of my family doing it on stage. I love their music but if I play and/or sing it’s mostly another type of songs. Sad songs. So this time we combined best of both worlds and after a lovely introduction I managed to reach the stage and play my song, accompanied by N8n. And then it was time to bring on the patron of the family, the well known Boogie Boy. He took over the mic, the piano and the audience for some classic Ray Charles and B.B. King tunes. And that would be a typical Ambach family music night, only shared with an amazing crowd.

Thanks to all the lovely people who came out and joined the good vibes.

video credit Sharon Erde

For more info about N8n and Boogie Boy: www.n8nmusic.com –  www.boogieboy.be

Art · Crafting · DIY · History · Uncategorized

Got my Singer workin’

Some people got their mojo workin’. I got my Singer workin’. Until now I had a very nice Singer sewing machine ‘borrowed’ from my boyfriends’ mom (it was his grandmother’s). I practiced a lot and made some fun stuff (pouches, pants, aprons, bags etc.) I thought that was a ‘retro’ machine (it has a pedal and works on electricity), until I found out there is an even older machine coming my way.

My belated grandmother was a professional sewer. I had heard the stories, how she would sew uniforms for the kids of the village where she was hiding during the Holocaust and that she had sewn a secret pocket in her bra to put a few diamonds so she could buy food during the war. My father mostly remembered playing “Tram” with it where he would be the conductor. Kids remember the sounds, smells and move of their mothers sewing and threading for a long time and it evokes a lot of nostalgia.

My grandmother, Daisy Ouziel (1915-1985), died from Alzheimer when I was only a kid. I always heard how much I look like her, talk like her, move like her, dance like her. How I bite my lip like her, etc etc. So apparently I’ve also inherited the sewing passion. My uncle took  the machine with him when he moved to Australia with his family. In 2010 he died, sadly. After discussing it with the family, we all came to the conclusion it would make sense to ship the Singer sewing machine to me in Israel.  How beautiful is it to close the cycle, to have this machine here in Tel Aviv in my home. There was a lot of work to do to repair it and get the wheel back to spin, but here it is finally. I got my Singer workin’.

Art · beauty · History · Lifestyle · Tel Aviv · Uncategorized

Random aesthetics in Tel Aviv

Renovated building & old water tower (Nahmani Street)

Renovated apartment building (Ahad Ha’am Street)

Habima Theater (Rothschild Boulevard)

Bauhaus Center (Dizengoff Street)

View from “Bet Ha’ir” – former city hall (Bialik Street circle)

Special event hosted by TLV mayor at the former city hall (Bialik Street circle)

“Bet Ha’ir” – former city hall (Bialik Street circle)

the Felicia Blumenthal Music Center (Bialik Street circle)

Nachum Gutman Fountain (Bialik Street circle)

Gruzenberg Street

beauty · Lifestyle · Tel Aviv

Foxy Ladies

Isn’t “girlyness” a crucial part of being a girl? From the little girl playing with Barbie dolls and wearing your mom’s make-up and high heels until the woman you become. Society has a full range of girly duties for us: shopping, manicure, pedicure, facials, waxing, make up, creams, what else? I always thought this “girlyness” wasn’t questionable for a girl. If you are a girl, you have to like it all. Until I started wondering, what if I’m not like that? Am I the only one? Is it ok? Does it make me less of a girl? No way! It took me a long time to find out I even had the right to question all these given facts, until it became too obvious: I do not like this. After following my girlfriends for so many times, while feeling bored and empty, I realized this is just not for me, this is not who I am. I have no patience and no money for any of the above activities. So I’m a natural woman. Make up and colored nail polish just don’t fit me. Waxing hurts. Shopping is boring. I’d rather improvize, find my own solutions, DIY, use old stuff, buy quickly or create with my old clothes. As long as it’s faster, cheaper and doesn’t hurt. So I finally accepted my “girlyness” could be defined in many other ways. Hence, my new slogan: “Define who you are by who you want to be and not by society and conventionality”. But for all the girly girls, there are beauty salons. Foxy is a super cool beauty salon in Tel Aviv and it recently launched its own gift store with a super cool Friday afternoon party with free drinks and music. The shop sells the top brands in beauty products for face and hands, self-designed shirts and many more gifts for the ladies.

Foxy Salon, 85 Yehuda Halevi St. 03-5662050 or visit Foxy’s Facebook page

Food · Tel Aviv

Delicatessen


My ambition in this blog is not necessarily to share every TLV hotspot, neither to be the coolest chick in town. But when it comes to aesthetics, taste and lifestyle, it’s my duty to share. Especially keeping in mind the motivation behind my posts: show you how and why Tel Aviv is such a great city, as opposed to what most prejudiced minds might think. Most of you who haven’t been here wouldn’t believe this is daily life. So here it is, another proof of how hip, hot and happening this city is. It’s called “Delicatessen” and it’s the latest food concept and more by the R2M cooperation. They already have top restaurants (Brasserie, Coffee Bar), hip bars (Rothschild 12), the Bakery, an exclusive catering business and the boutique hotel “Hotel Montefiore”. Every spot they open always excels in style, design, music and smell. These places are here to stay, which is not an evidence here. “Delicatessen”, combines food and wine, groceries and bakery, breakfast and lunch, wine and spirits and all this with the R2M quality label. Enjoy an Italian cafe on the street terrace, buy some Spanish meat and Dutch cheese in the ‘deli’, eat an Israeli shakshuka in the sun; it’s all part of the experience. Enjoy…

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More info: http://delitlv.co.il/

Art · Crafting · Design · Tel Aviv · Uncategorized

Life on Mars

Welcome to Life on Mars. My creative world. During my last visit in Antwerp I went to the Hobbysalon. What a wonderful world of hobbies: cooking, knitting, sewing, scrap-booking and even some weird freaky hobbies involving witches and miniatures. So besides being overwhelmed I tried to focus on what I’d like to do with all this material. Here’s something I bought:

And here’s the result; what I made with it, the “life on Mars colored pouches collection”

or in details:

And now I just need to sell them and make room for the arrival of a very special sewing machine from Australia, to be continued….

Art · Design · Fashion · Lifestyle · Music · Tel Aviv · Uncategorized

F . A . D . T . L . V .

Israel’s second city and cultural and commercial capital, Tel Aviv was named “The Mediterranean Capital of Cool” by the New York Times. It’s a city that makes you feel alive. It’s constantly changing, moving, developing itself. Only a 100 years old (which is young for a city) and still, so much to be done. Luckily we have a lot of entrepreneurs here bringing in the things a city needs to sustain its adjective “hip”. The hippest thing in Tel Aviv lately is called F.A.D. It is a 30-day curated pop-up shop of limited edition fashion, art and design.FAD2 fadd15 fadd14 fadd13 fadd8 fadd9

Created by Design Space* and Shoplifters**, this creative space is a multidisciplinary art project featuring all sorts of creative fields. A refined 1000 sqm space dedicated to Design / Contemporary Art / Fashion / Books / Music / Technology / Lectures and much more. From clothing to Art and Design, from flower shop to coffee shop, looking for products from israeli creatives, while browsing the library of magazine and art books. All aesthetic grounds are covered, from classics, to creations by young israeli designers, these girls are are precise collection fed by emotions and creativity. The space is hosting 40 industrial designers, and  18 contemporary artists – from Israel and abroad.

There will be special events including an exclusive private Wallpaper evening. In short: if you’re hip and you’re in Tel Aviv, you’ll visit F.A.D. Whether you shop till you drop, get inspired, do your nails, read a book, drink, eat, “mingle” or just be amazed and look around. Thank you girls – Nitsan, Anat, Gilat, Salome and Emmy.

Come visit: F.A.D. –  Elfassy street 15 – Everyday: 11h-21h, Friday: 10h-18h

Photography Solal Fakiel. High production.

*about Design Space: Design Space was established in 2010 to encourage artistic innovation and provide a platform for progressive art of all media, featuring both emerging and established artists’ work. The Gallery is presenting various fields of design, ranging from furniture and industrial products to diverse art exhibitions of newcomer artists and designers. Through collaborations with various creative sectors, Design Space produces projects and initiatives, extending its vision internationally.
As a gallery, design space organizes solo, collective, and group exhibitions, alongside presenting special projects and events conceived by outside curators.

**about Shoplifters: Unique conceptual Fashion Events – Aesthetic chaos

my photos:

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Music · Tel Aviv

Live on Mars

I moved to Tel Aviv in 2007 and I guess one of the main purposes of this blog is to tell you why I’m still here. For sure back then, I didn’t really know what to expect, as always when you dive into the scary unknown. I came in January 2007 to “check it out”. I had an apartment to arrange and told myself I’d stay if I’d find work in my industry: the music industry. Certainly not a country with a big international live music scene then. So in my first year I worked as a music supervisor for tv, films and commercials with a genius music man called Koby Ben Atar. Then, in 2008, Paul McCartney announced he would perform in Tel Aviv and it was obvious I’d find my way to be part of that. The show drew 57,000 fans to the Hayarkon Park and was the beginning of a new wave of big concerts.  In 2009 Leonard Cohen announced his concert at the Ramat Gan Stadium and of course I joined forces there too. It was an unforgettable evening for the artist, the crew and 47,000 people in the audience (but wait, my history with him is not over).  And this is how it keeps going: I work as a freelance local promoter/production under Live on Mars. Doing shows like: Rihanna, Tom Jones, Julio Iglesias, the Pet Shop Boys, Harlem Globetrotters, Elton John, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Justin Bieber, Metallica, Rod Stewart….

As these are outdoor shows and mostly happen in the summertime, in winter there are other things to do. Going on tour for example. In 2010 I had the honor to be asked by Leonard Cohen to be part of his crew and join a 5 month world tour.

You can watch the archive and photos here:  http://leonardcohen.tumblr.com/archive

So, my business is called “Live on Mars”. Why? Because as most of you know, they call me Mars since I’m a kid. For my creative world I use “Life on Mars”, but more about that later. What do I do? Many things; between organizing shows, events and production work. It mostly involves international visits where my side activity is to show these people around; through culture, food, hospitality and entertainment I have the chance to share with them this amazing city. Of course I say this because most of them arrive with a lot of prejudice. Besides the usual security questions they sometimes even ask me if we ride camels, if we have internet and stuff. So it’s an honor for me to be their first impression and to make it a positive impression. I feel safe in this city. Safer than anywhere else in the world. And so does every guest I’ve ever had, both for professional and private visits. All these visitors give me a great opportunity to view, review, discover and rediscover life in Tel Aviv. Stay tuned for more…

Uncategorized

Shabbat Shalom

While most of Europe is freezing in these horrible winter temperatures, we had a day of Spring today. Today is Saturday and Saturday is Shabbat; the 7th day of the Jewish week and the Jewish day of rest. On Shabbat, Jews recall the Biblical Creation account in Genesis in which God created the Heavens and the Earth in six days and rests on the seventh. That’s why weekends here in Israel are Fridays and Saturdays. So today, everybody just went out. Walking around the streets of Tel Aviv, there’s always so much to discover and to photograph. In days when blogs attract attention mostly by photos and less by words, I’ll just post this picture of Rothschild Boulevard hoping you’ll understand the sunny day and happy vibe in town.

Saturday also means free time for creations to me. Before reaching the textile and the yarn, I decided to make some Lokshenkügel. Say what? Kugel is a yiddish word and its definition is: “an Ashkenazi Jewish pudding or casserole, similar to a pie, most commonly made from egg noodles or potatoes, though at times made of zucchini, apples, spinach, broccoli, cranberry, or sweet potato. It is usually served as a side dish on Shabbat and”. Didn’t know that but hey, fits my shabbes. It’s not a very common dish and not for everyday but once in a while you can really crave for it. I like the pasta tasting sweet. My recipe is a combination of others: first of all, cook about half a kilo of pasta, not necessarily egg noodles, but small ones. In a bowl, mix 4 eggs, +- 250 grams of sour cream (some people add cottage and/or cream cheese too), 1 cup of sugar (I combine brown and white), 4 tablespoons of melted butter, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Once the pastas are cooked (max. 5 minutes) and drained, add them to the bowl and stir. Meanwhile prepare the topping, and here’s when you can use your fantasy: I used Kellogg’s Special K, oatmeal, walnuts, some melted butter and a tablespoon of cinnamon. Then just put it in the oven for maximum an hour, on 180°C. Let it cool for 10 minutes when done and mmmmmm…

And now to the crafty part, I’ve just finished this beautiful worsted cotton raspberry scarf for a friend and I’m about to start a new one on demand – the color is called graphite. So maybe I should go do my sewing class homework? Not now. I’ll quickly finish this little pouch for someone first. And why do I always see something to clean, something to rearrange, something to do? Will I ever be able to relax in my own house on Shabbat?

Focus on

Focus on: Idan Raichel

Israeli “Singer of the world”

A country has its own musical styles, trends and roots. You would think Israel (also known as “Ingathering of the Exiles”) would offer a lot of interesting world music export products as it is a melting pot of cultural diversity – from Ashkenazi Eastern European Jews till Sephardim or Mizrahim from the Maghreb and surroundings. One of the secrets of making successful music is digging deep in your own and your surrounding roots. As much as Israel is a musical country, with a lot of talent and plenty of musicians; unfortunately, too many local artists these days are busy sounding ‘like’ others instead of creating original and authentic music. Only very few Israeli artists have had international careers – no, the Eurovision contest doesn’t count. One brilliant man called Idan Raichel (12/09/1977) has successfully combined all his influences, his talents and his fascinations into something unique and managed to break down all musical boundaries with his musical project: “The Idan Raichel Project”.

I’ve known Idan since 1998 right after his military service in the army’s rock band. He was then active as a counselor at Hadassim (a boarding school for immigrants, mainly from Ethiopia) and a successful keyboardist with Israeli popular singers. In 2002, from his home studio in the basement of his parents house in Kfar Saba near Tel Aviv, his experiments fusing Israeli pop music with Middle Eastern, African, Indian and other global sounds resulted in what would become the biggest-selling record project in Israeli history and propel Idan to a role as a major figure in the international global music scene. The songs are sung by guest singers and by Idan himself. This project has changed the face of Israeli popular music through a message of love & tolerance and original sounds coupled with sophisticated production techniques.

In 2006, after many number-one hits and a spectacular live show throughout the country, the project got signed to a world music label and embarked on an international adventure. Firstly known in circles of Jewish, Ehtiopian and Israeli communities, the Idan Raichel Project now regularly sells out concerts in large performance venues. Wherever they perform, the Idan Raichel Project unifies the audience into a celebration of what is unique about the cultures of the world, as well as that in which we are all alike.

“This one-man Middle East peace accord makes music that is an ambitious celebration of multicultural diversity. The ethnic elements are cleverly rewired with modern grooves to create an ambient journey that thrillingly bridget the traditional and the modern.” – The Times (London, UK)

Idan Raichel will be performing an acoustic set at the Centre Culturel d’Uccle on February 16th at 20h30.
Website: www.idanraichelproject.com/en
Videos: http://youtu.be/kmW2yAYhMmM (“Mim’amakim” meaning “From the depths)
Videos: http://youtu.be/CtpCGfRRToo(“Im telech” meaning “If you go”)

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