Tel Aviv of today is not the same town I remember from my earlier days. It jumped ahead leaps and bounds into the 21st century. The sleepy provincial town is on its way to become a modern metropolis. Not there yet, but on its way.
The airport I arrived in 35 years ago was a banana-republic, tropical island-like. Today’s airport could comfortably serve any Western capital. The lines of newly arrived tourists were enormous! It’s good to see tourists are still coming here despite all Israel-bashing.
By the time we got out of the mobbed airport, braved the Tel-aviv-bound traffic, and settled in our hotel, it was early evening. We had just enough time to check out the new pedestrian mall converted from an old train station, once upon a time serving the Jaffa -Jerusalem route. It is appropriately called Hatachana, The Station.
Century-old buildings have been fixed up and turned into boutiques and restaurants. The area has got a lot of potential but needs some sprucing up in the form of flowers and street art.
Fashion has largely improved in Tel Aviv but has not entirely arrived. People still lean toward casual or flashy rather than avant-garde or elegant.
It was getting dark and we walked to the hotel through Neve Tzedek – a very old and ran down neighborhood presently in the process of gentrification. Some streets were frozen circa 1888, others were modern and set amidst gardens redolent with honey suckle. This area definitely warrants a second visit in the daytime.
The dinner was with the group in a Moroccan restaurant in Jaffa. Jaffa is also barely
recognizable, with chic new apartment houses and fancy restaurants.
Definitely also warrants a repeat visit in the daytime.
David Intercontinental is modern with open views of the Mediterranean, the city, and an old mosque right by the entrance.