Rightchik loves Tel Aviv....
My good friend Rightchik is in Israel right now...here is her post from Tel Aviv...
I have now been in Israel only a few days, specifically Tel Aviv and I love it. I could happily move here. I wish I were Jewish so I could. Okay, maybe not move here because the taxes are crushing but there is a lot to love about the Jewish homeland.
Unlike the rest of the Middle East it is not a garbage dump. Now I haven't travelled extensively in this region of the world but I have certainly traveled it more than most and Israel obviously takes great pride in their natural environment. The roadsides are not garbage filled and there are no carcasses of dead livestock anywhere to be found which is common in other countries in this region. Recycling is very important here and there are many public places to recycle. There are also numerous public garbage receptacles which are actively used and emptied frequently.
The people are truly friendly and are happy to help out by giving you directions or helping out a confused tourist. Unlike my visits elsewhere in the Middle East where if someone gave you information or directed you to a particular point of interest or took your picture (with your camera), Israelis do not expect baksheesh. In other words, they are helpful for the sake of being helpful and not helpful because they expect to be paid. Staff at all restaurants, bars, stores and tourists spots are truly friendly. Really friendly and proud of their home and like good hosts want to show it off.
Drivers are mindful of the rules of the road and the city is not a cacophony of horns honking. It is safe to cross the roads, drivers will not speed up, they will actually stop. I think there are almost as many scooters and bicycles on the road as there are cars. Construction disruption is efficient and minimal and pedestrian crossings are at very frequent intervals.
There is also a wonderful polite casualness to the city. I have only seen 1 man walk around in a business suit and I suspect that the freeing of men's necks have made people here very congenial!
I love the architecture of the city. The modern buildings are incredibly interesting with many angles and unexpected setbacks within the facades. If you have got to do density, the Israelis certainly know how to make the skyline unique and not just some wall of glass and concrete. Ontario is really pushing the urban intensification philosophy, especially in my neighbourhood in Ottawa and I would really like to see every developer come to this city to see how to do intensification.
The Eretz Israel Museum is a beautiful complex composed many national museums that showcase the pride of not only the Israeli nation but Jewish people. From history to science to art, this museum is a must see and is comparable to the Smithsonian museums and galleries.
The walk to Jaffa! It was glorious to walk to Jaffa from Tel Aviv along the broad and expansive walk along the Mediterranean. The entire coastline of Tel Aviv is beach after beach interspersed with playgrounds, outdoor gyms and beach side restaurants.
Every so often I have stumbled across memorials on the sites where terrorists have attacked. I love the spirit of the people here who don't cower to these bully tactics but rather carry on in spite of the attacks. This indomitable spirit of the people here is admirable. They are made of strong stuff.
I am delighted to be here and I encourage everyone to visit this wonderful oasis!