Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Tel Aviv - its evolution

Tel Aviv has the amazing ability to re-invent itself. It is the first modern Jewish city, founded in 1909 on sand dunes next to the old city of Jaffa. It is a bubble in a region of constant conflict, as unless you read the news you wouldn't know that there were missiles falling near Sderot. Tel Aviv was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003, as it has the world's largest concentration of Modernist-style buildings (Bauhaus).

Walking the streets you feel like you are walking though a european city in the height of summer. There are tree lined avenues, cafe's filled with people, and designer stores everywhere. There are differences of course: the lovely beaches a few minutes walk from the shopping district, the crazy traffic and drivers who like their horn a little too much, and of course the language!

Did you know that Rothschild Boulevard is such a lovely wide road because it is actually a filled-in river bed (a wadi), so no one wanted to build their houses on it? It was called Rothschild Blvd because the founders of Tel Aviv hoped Rothschild himself would donate some money for the city. Apparently he was more interested in developing the rural settings, so he never paid a penny to have the best street in Tel Aviv named after him. Anyway, watch the movie for other interesting facts about this vibrant city.