Tel Aviv Diary November 24 - 28, 2005 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel Aviv Diary - November 24 - 28, 2005 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

November 24, 2005

Those of you in Tel Aviv who love Bauhaus and have something better to do with their money than give it to the municipality to waste may be interested in the following announcement:

There is a public debate this coming MONDAY NOVEMBER 28TH AT THE MANN AUDITORIUM: those who care about the plan by Mayor Huldai and a group of sponsors from America to ignore the signed commitment to UNESCO and re-design the emblem of Bauhaus Tel Aviv in a new and raucous way will be there in large numbers, we hope.
After the token "debate", the Municipal Committee intends to meet and decide in favour of this plan. The excuse is the myth about acoustics and the need for renovation. There is no doubt that the building needs renovation but the acoustics could be improved without ruining the original design and at a fraction of the cost of the grand project which is being promoted by the current city engineer, Danny Kaiser, who leaves his post in January in order to direct this new project privately!
Please tell your friends and come to the gathering at the Mann Auditorium on Monday at 4 p.m. Anyone who wishes to speak must register beforehand, between 3-4 p.m

I must add that until I saw what Mishmish is going through with the municipality I always thought there was some kind of rationale even in its most bizarre plans. The fact that they are getting rid of some of the city's most unique sites (like the famous Gordon pool that I visited on the second day I was ever in Tel Aviv in 1965, a unique salt water pool with a unique clientele)while leaving the most stupid eyesores (like kikar atarim -that cement white elephant store complex that blocks the sea and stinks of pee and disuse) seemed to me to have some hidden rationale. But now I see it is just incompetence and resident indifference. They do whatever comes to hand that no one important interferes with.

November 25, 2005

At our belated Thanksgiving dinner (none of my working friends could bear having it on thursday after work, a friend told me about her dinner at a plastic surgeon's where they served turkey with augmented breasts.

We were actually talking about the concept of thanksgiving in its translation to an Israeli environment. "The Indians were the bad guys?" someone asked me. And I explained that the Indians were the good guys, at first, but when they saw that the pilgrims were a threat to them, they became the bad guys. And the more i explained the more i found myself projecting some elements of the local stories, the total confusion in my mind of victimized and victimizer... Thanksgiving was never like this to me in the States.

Novermber 26, 2005

Although the photographs still need to be downloaded, i'm pretty sure that today's meeting with Jaffa's Arab-Jewish Association was pretty photogenic. We walked around the Arab neighborhoods of Jaffa, and learned from Abed Abu Cadder - our guide and teacher - much more about the local history than we'd imagined. I'll add pictures and comments soon.

In the mean time, to add another Tel Aviv protest to the list, there is a petition going around asking that the name of the museum not be changed from Tel Aviv Museum to the name of a donor who is giving a whole bunch of money on the condition that the museum be named after him. It's in hebrew so far, but you can sign anyway if you agree.

Tel Aviv Museum Petition.

I did.

It didn't work before but now it does. So sign.

November 27, 2005

Here are some of the pictures Ezi took in Jaffa. Even though it is true that every about it is picturesque, we didn't focus on the beauty so much as the humanity of it. The writing on the wall, for example, proclaims "congratulations on your engagement";

the orthodox scout sign took my fancy because it is trilingual; etc.

These doors and the lions protecting the doors say something about the concept of inclusion and exclusion, of the privacy of Arab family life, the protection of the women, and the sense of not being able to get inside the culture.

Credit Ezra Gut if you use these for anything. more soon.

November 29, 2005

by popular demand, more of Ezi's pictures of Jaffa.

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