General · Israel · Lifestyle · Tel Aviv · Tourism · Travel guide

Tel Aviv Beach Life

Let me know if I’m repeating myself but is there anything nicer than an extra-large-long summer? After being away in Belgium and Europe for a month and a half, seeing August semi-summer becoming September’s autumn with matching heaviness and melancholy, I have now returned to sunny Tel Aviv. What a pleasure it is to bike around town seeing these young and tanned smiley faces. Being back in this lively town where there’s movement outside and places are open late. Reuniting with my beloved city feels so good. We just had our Holidays season: Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippour and Sukkot and a lot of days off. Perfect timing. My other favorite season after May/June here: September/October. The outdoor temperature is perfect now, around 30°C during daytime and with a nice cool breeze at night. Blue skies. The sea is crystal clear and feels like the perfect cleansing. For a morning swim, an afternoon dive or a sunset moment, this is the time where I go to and enjoy the beach. Not every European or foreigner is made for beach life. We’re not used to this, we did not grow up with this. It’s a different concept. For us, beach means vacation, far away places, exotic locations that you only do once or twice a year. A thing to long for when it’s cold and dark and grey. Not your habit, not your daily activity. While here, it’s part of daily life. It’s what locals do in weekends. It just adds up to the quality of life living by the Mediterranean…

Collages

2013-09-29

Nick Drake’s Saturday Sun

Architecture · History · Lifestyle · Photography · Restaurants · Tel Aviv

Tel-a-visitor

Sometimes I want to write about Tel Aviv. Sometimes I just want to show it to you. Christina Marien is a big fan of Tel Aviv , a loyal visitor, a returning customer. Luckily she always has her camera with her. Proud to introduce her as our guest photographer for this post. Here are some random TLV pictures. Thanks Christina.

IMG_6009_CM

Lilienblum Street

IMG_5914_CM

Brasserie  Top class French food open 24/7 –  Ibn Gvirol Street

IMG_4542_CM

Coffee & Snacks on Rothschild corner Maze

IMG_4512_CM

Coffee & Snacks on Rothschild corner Herzl (oldest kiosk)

IMG_4382_CM

A common sight, wedding photos on Rothschild Boulevard

IMG_4351_CMIMG_2168_CM

Delicatessen Yehuda Halevy Street 79/81

IMG_4141_CM

Sunset happens everyday

IMG_3493_CM

Another common sight in Tel Aviv: hot guys

IMG_2112_CM

Fresh fruit juice on Shenkin Street

IMG_1849_CM

Israel has the best watermelons in the world

IMG_1791_CMIMG_1787_CM

Habima Theater

IMG_1761_CM

Joselito

IMG_1721_CM

Famous Dizengoff Square Fountain by Yaakov Agam

IMG_1559_CM

Tel-O-Fun

History · Lifestyle · Tel Aviv

Jewish Holidays Indian Summer

What better than to start your summer when most summers are over? I’m not a beach person really; I mostly hate the sand everywhere. But at this time of the year I love it. The big heat and humidity of July August is gone. And so are the many loud tourists. Finally it’s calm, I’m back and the city is mine again. I feel my feet in the white sand, I swim in the clear sea and spend hours just enjoying the weather until after sunset. When does one have time to spend days at the beach? Never. Or during the Jewish holidays. You almost have no choice. Nobody’s working anyways.

This month we celebrate Rosh Hashana (Jewish New Year 5773), Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) and Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles). Each holiday has its history, meaning and traditions; and families have their own rituals around them. Rosh Hashana is the New Year and starts at sunset (like all Jewish Holidays) with a big traditional family diner. One of its main symbols is the dipping of apples in honey. To have a sweet year. On Rosh Hashana God inscribes each person’s fate for the coming year into a book called the Book of Life and waits until ten days later, at Yom Kippur depending on wether the sinner repents or not, to “seal” the verdict. During those Days of Awe, a Jewish person tries to amend his or her behavior and seek forgiveness for wrongs done against God (bein adam leMakom) and against other human beings (bein adam lechavero). Leonard Cohen’s song “Who by fire” is inspired by this prayer from the liturgy of the Day of Atonement:

On Rosh Hashanah it is inscribed
And on Yom Kippur it is sealed
How many shall die and how many shall be born
Who shall live and who shall die
Who at the measure of days and who before
Who by fire and who by water
Who by the sword and who by wild beasts
Who by hunger and who by thirst
Who by earthquake and who by plague
Who by strangling and who by stoning
Who shall have rest and who shall go wandering
Who will be tranquil and who shall be harassed
Who shall be at ease and who shall be afflicted
Who shall become poor and who shall become rich
Who shall be brought low and who shall be raised high.

We start Yom Kippur with a big dinner before commencing a 25-hour fast. I consider myself a secular Jew but this tradition is one I keep. I go to synagogue and I pray; in my own way. I question myself, I look back at the past year. Have I been a good person? A better woman? What do I expect and wish myself and my beloved family and friends for the coming year? Oh what am I lying, I ask myself those questions every day. Anyways; Yom Kippur is the day Jews ask for forgiveness. A day to repent. The end of the fast is sounded by the Shofar, a ram horn blown by the rabbi in synagogue. And then we go and eat again. What touches me is that Tel Aviv, a city that is not known for its silence nor religious practice, feels sacred on Yom Kippur. Just this holy silence for a day. And as soon as it’s over, Tel Aviv ignites again in its dynamics. This video by a colleague from StreetIsrael shows the power and impact of Yom Kippur on daily life.

During Sukkot Jews build a Sukkah (booth) where meals are eaten and the Mitzva is to host people in it. Sukkot refers to the temporary dwellings that we are commanded to live in during this holiday. Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah (“Rejoicing with/of the Torah”) mean the end of Sukkot and mark the conclusion of the annual cycle of public Torah readings and the beginning of a new cycle.

Chag Sameach & Shana Tova dear readers…

Wishing card from the Israeli website Nostalgia Online archive

 

Fashion · General · Lifestyle

Fell in love at the Seaside

Last weekend it was time to get my bikini out and go to the Belgian coast! The weather was so nice I even dared to take a little swim! And trust me, for Belgian standards, this is quite unusual. Can’t wait to go back! Of course there was also time for some clubbing! And although we are not a fashion blog i do wanna share my outfit for the night! Do you like it? Do you recognize the pants? 😉 (Just to be clear, i was wearing shoes when we left the apartment).

Hoping to catch some more sunny snapshots soon!

Sien Josephine

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers: