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Three Perfect Days: Tel Aviv

Jerusalem may have the gravitas, but Tel Aviv has the fun. This Mediterranean city—a.k.a. The Bubble—is remaking itself as a hub of progressive art, ambitious cuisine, high-end shopping and matkot by the sea.

Author Joe Keohane Photography Ronen Goldman

Jaffa’s Kedumim Square

Picture 14 of 14

The inside scoop from those in the know

Etgar Keret, filmmaker and fiction writer
“The first things I look at in a city are its children and dogs. Children and animals will always tell you where a place’s secrets are. In Meir Park you can meet such children and dogs, as well as elderly people, all taking a break.”

Michal Ansky, owner of Port Market/Tel Aviv Farmers Market
“Neve Tzedek, Tel Aviv’s Soho, is packed with designer stores, jewelry studios and small, chic places like Nina Café. Be sure to catch a show by the Batsheva Dance Company at the Suzanne Dellal Centre.”

Ron Huldai, mayor of Tel Aviv
“We recently completed a makeover of the Habima National Theatre. One of the nicest surprises was the square in front, designed by local artist Dani Karavan. It’s become a hangout for parents and kids, who love to play among all the beautiful flowers.”


Learning Hebrew, one lost cat at a time

Guy Sharett, a journalist turned linguist, has a unique method of teaching on his StreetWise Hebrew tours. He leads his charges through the bohemian Florentine neighborhood, noticing things: lost-cat fliers, graffiti, a 1930s manhole cover. He translates their words from Hebrew, and then delves into deeper meanings: the political signifiers in the graffiti, the cultural implications of a pet owner’s cry for help. The hope, for Sharett, is that people will come away with not only a grasp of Hebrew, but also a sense of the city that has wrested this ancient language into the modern age.

Sharett also runs tours of Florentine’s world-class street art scene. The heart of this community is The Workshop, a few blocks of squat commercial buildings that have been transformed into a vibrant canvas by local painters, some of whom have won broad acclaim. While he photographs a cartoon octopus that has appeared overnight, it becomes clear that his particular teaching method isn’t just good for engaging students; it keeps him sharp as well. “The walls keep changing,” he says. “I have to be on my toes.”

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