Tel Aviv is the 3rd most diverse city in the world, with 95 different languages spoken. Even so, it’s sort of like any other big city — a melting pot. But, it’s older sister, Jaffa, is ripe with diversity and culture that is unparalleled, and it is truly a beautiful thing.
At 4 am, I was woken-up by the call for prayers from a nearby mosque. To me, it wasn’t a call for prayers so much as it was a reminder of the coexistence that lives within Israel every day. It’s not perfect, but it can be inspiring and hopeful. That is the mood I am in as I get up.
In that spirit, I decided I’d get breakfast at a legendary bakery that has been operational since 1879, and is a proud Arab-Israeli institution where Jews and Arabs work side by side. It’s Called Abulafia and over the years it has grown to include two locations.
1. 6 Mifratz Shlomo St. – Tel Aviv
2. 7 Yefet St. – Jaffa
After devouring my cheese Bourekas I headed to the newly converted Neve Tzedek Railway Station.
The Tel Aviv Municipality decided it would turn this old railway station into a culturally diverse entertainment and and shopping center area. It’s called “HaTachana” (The Station).
The complex includes a DIVERSE choice of restaurants, cafes, boutiques (all local produce), a spa, galleries and so much more… You’ve gotta check it out!
From there, it was time for a nice iced coffee… In Israel (and anywhere really!), there is no better place than Aroma!
Keep in mind, Starbucks failed to impress Israelis, and only lasted a few months! But the Israeli chain, Aroma, can be found all over.
There is a reason Aroma is so popular — the coffee is incredibly good, and the food, mmmm, you have to try it for yourself! Luckily, Aroma now operates in Canada, US, Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Romania.
Check out this link to find the one closest to you!
Over the last few days, as I’ve traveled the country, I started noticing another fun fact about Israel:
Did you know that over 750,000 cars in Israel are company cars! Keep in mind, this is a country with a population of 7 million! Somewhat irrelevant, I know, but it goes to show how vibrant business is in Israel.
Anyways, it was time for a late lunch… Shawarma it is!
Like hot people and the sound of honking, Shawarma shops are all over the place! As are tourists eating Shawarma…
I decided I would check out the Eurovision night @ Evita — a well known Gay bar in Tel Aviv. Sunday night is a very popular night at this bar.
Apparently Israelis are into the Eurovision, more than I expected. What happens on Sunday night @ Evita? Well, there is a “troop” that practices the most popular Eurovison songs and performs!
It was nice to see hundreds of people out enjoying their Sunday night… and it reminded me that Tel Aviv is a city that doesn’t really need much sleep!
Here again I was reminded that Tel Aviv is a DIVERSE, tolerant and liberal society. The club was filled with gay people, straight people, males, females, Jews, Arabs, Christians, Israelis, and tourists from all over the world who were there for one reason and one reason only — to have FUN!
Yet another awesome night in Tel Aviv! Good night!
Speaking of fun, check out the little video montage we put together from last week’s pride celebration