Tel Aviv Diary March 8-12, 2016 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel Aviv Diary - March 8-12, 2016 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

March 8, 2016

Because of Biden's visit, I thought Tel Aviv would be all jammed up, so I took a bus to meet Evan in the Little Prince Cafe on King George Street. Both of us agreed that the bus is an amazing adventure in Israel - the conversations, the quarrels, the encounters... well you have to be in the mood for that kind of thing. On the way there I was in the mood. I had a gym class and a dental appointment behind me, but i wasn't too tired to appreciate the extended dialogue of the nasty bus driver and the snooty matron; the grammar school kids who don't know where to get off and discuss it for an hour, fearing to try the patience of the driver; the Russian woman with a thousand shopping bags around her who spends the whole trip warning people not to run into her bags. It was entertaining. On the way home it was all soldiers (both sexes) and bored and boring women. I was one of them. Interesting how many women soldiers were officers, and with what sophistication - I was bored but impressed.

i didn't know about the terrorist attacks in Jaffa when I was wandering around. i didn't know about the attack in Petach Tikva or Jerusalem. When I heard Biden was here I thought maybe there would be some kind of reaction, but I didn't think it would be so close to home and so wide reaching.

I seem to have caught a real chill in the city. I took the predictions of a heat wave seriously and didn't dress warmly. by the time i got to the cafe i was cold, so i bought a ten shekel t-shirt in the Bezalel Market and put it on over my shirt. It was helpful but apparently didn't do the trick. i took to bed with a quilt and a heating pad. have to be better by tomorrow.

March 9, 2016

There was only one reason to go to our exhibit in Jerusalem this evening - the way the grandchildren related to the photographs. the drive there and back was so bad that the three year old told me she would not be travelling with us again. And my friends who had promised to come seem to have forgotten.

March 10, 2016

Back to bed with a quilt and a heating pad. i've cancelled everything for the day because the weekend is so promising. Well almost everything. Shopping, exercising, talking on the phone, cooking lunch and cleaning up doesn't count. After that I'll be doing belated accounts.

Did I tell you about the work Haifa University has done on the photographs of Israel by Bandi Gut and David Mossensohn in 1925?

This is a shortened version. The whole site is here

Slowly slowly we are building a website that's just a bit more sophisticated than this one. it might take me forever but the skeleton is up.

March 11, 2016

This morning I read Benny Ziffer's last column - his regret, his shame, his apologies for going too far as infante terrible and I was filled with sympathy. He went much too far in his promotion of sexual freedom for artists, even at the expense of others, and as someone who has been victim of this kind of behavior among writers, I could not condone it in any way. But as a human being, Benny Ziffer deserves forgiveness.

I don't know how my friends swung it, but we got to see an exhibit of some of the art collected by "HaAretz" in the past few years. The curator explained some of the amazing works to us, many of them 'site specific,' some of them created for the space of the gallery, others recreated for this place. I felt like I was in a treasure house, a vault. A vault whose value was created in the minds of the theorists. A vault whose value can be reproduced and made meaningful only when it is visible to the world. I know I would like to implement some of the ideas i saw.

And then our wonderful group had coffee at a great joint called "a-la-rampa."

March 12, 2016

So I've been looking for a guide to Tel Aviv graffiti. I would like to do this for my birthday party. Does anyone have any ideas? There's not much time left.

I'm also looking for a way to get into a conversation class in Arabic. I'm hoping to get back to my original teacher later and start translating with her but i'm too busy with translations from Hebrew now.

Tel Aviv is already laughing about the last terrorist incident - the terrorist who was stopped from stabbing the street musician when the guy hit the terrorist over the head with his guitar. Now musicians are being considered a weapon. So the policeman on television halts the suspect with "Stop or I'll strum."

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