Tel Aviv Diary - February 1, 2010 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel Aviv Diary - February 1-5, 2010 Karen Alkalay-Gut

February 3, 2009 With Liz Magnes The Bowery Poetry Club 308 Bowery (Between Houston and Bleecker) 212-614-0505

February 1, 2010

"You're so naive," some friends of mine told me last time I was in the City and tried to defend Israel. And they are right. Sometimes I don't have all the facts and sometimes I want to believe in something so much I ignore facts, but I still think I've got more information than someone who doesn't live in Israel, or someone who doesn't have contact with a general population there.

February 2, 2010

Because I'm working on a computer smaller than my fingernails, I tend to skip over even the most important details of my life as a Tel Avivian. Most of the time it doesn't matter, but suddenly I realized I have not put into writing the deep mourning I've felt for the loss of Avraham Sutzkever. When his daughter told me last month that he was not doing well at all, a number of twinges went through me. After all, although we'd spoken on the phone and I promised to visit him, I always put off the obeisance I meant to pay him as the greatest Yiddish poet I'd ever read. And he was in his nineties then. And he was a partisan like my aunt and probably had stories of her to tell me. And such a nice, kind, intelligent person! So it's not surprising that my guilt at not having visited him would come out in my ignoring the great loss last week at his death. May his works at last get the credit they so richly deserve.

February 3, 2010

I love the Bowery Poetry Club and the Cornelia Street Cafe. They are great places to perform in an intimate setting. We saw a recital last week at the Cornelia Street Cafe and met the wonderful owner Robin Hirsch. Tonight we performed at the Bowery Poetry Club where Bob Holman made us feel at home, Eliel, and Nick the sound man just made a perfect environment for us. (Piano sucked, though. Somebody has got to donate a good piano to them). And we HAVE to have a place like that for poetry in Tel Aviv. We'll put the show on Youtube shortly.

February 4, 2010

Of the wonders of New York, and the generousity of its residents, I will never have enough time or space to speak. And I have no doubt that I will miss this city from the momeny I leave it. We have been wined and dined and entertained and challenged every moment we are here. And tomorrow we leave for Israel with great joy. Because there is so much to do there - so much that needs to be done and so much that can be done. The need for dialogue, for the inculcation of more humanitarian values to supplement the values of defense, the need for charity - i promise that i will do my best to work toward fulfilling these needs.

But I have one more day to shop and see people and admire the breadth of the art here.

Just a little more Jane Austen, just a bit more Man Ray, a smidgen of the Indian art in the Tamarind Gallery, a little more soba, a dinner at the Yacht Club and so on....

February 5, 2010

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