Tonight in Tel Aviv I had an uplifting experience. I have to share it right away, so I will start with dessert as usual, and will go in the reverse chronological order for today.
We went to a concert featuring Mati Caspi accompanied by the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra. It wasn’t Mati Caspi per say, but the experience of attending a concert in Tel Aviv. This crowd was nothing like the crowds we had seen in Israel before. This crowd was sophisticated, good-looking, and well-dressed. The only spoken language was Hebrew. Everyone was clearly well educated, Jewish and Israeli!
The concert was sold out but when the music started and the doors closed, there were still many empty seats left. This being Israel, where people are habitually late, the latecomers were allowed in. In the meanwhile, everyone already seated and not happy with their seats, moved up. But latecomers kept coming in. And here, musical chairs started. There was a constant movement of people displacing others or being displaced. This perpetual motion lasted well into the concert until everyone finally settled (some on the floor).
And as Mati Caspi was singing, the audience was singing along. At times, he just stopped singing, and the audience carried the tune as a well-rehearsed choir. While dancing in the Galilee connected me with the land, being part of this audience connected me with the people. This group of spectators most certainly shared my DNA, I was part of them, these were my people.
And now, backing up: on the way to the concert we stopped at an exhibit proceeding an art auction and were greeted by an attractive and elegant middle-aged hostess. She was so warm and non-pretentious, I felt I was in her living room. She was shocked to hear we managed to get tickets as the concert had been sold out. As it turned out, she was also going and was prepared to become emotional upon hearing the lyrics and to cry the length of the concert.
Earlier in the evening, we hit art galleries on and around Gordon Street. Art here was as overpriced as it is in the States (I don’t understand how they can manage to sell at these prices!?). Down by the entrance to one of the typical Tel Avivian Bauhaus apartment buildings, we spotted an old man setting up plastic plates and filling them with cat food. Cats came running, each to their plates. He told us he feeds cats twice a day, every day, about 25 of them.
Gordon street is a typical Tel Aviv street. It is lovely, lively and very green. I used to hate these typical Tel Aviv houses. They seemed old and utterly outdated. Now, they became vintage, and in the twilight the peeling paint was becoming invisible. Surrounded by flowering bushes, ground floors given to art galleries, boutiques, and restaurants, they seem to be going through a renaissance.
Tomorrow, we are going to delve deeper into the heart of Tel Aviv and explore her different neighborhoods.