July 22, 2006

Viva Tel Aviv

I am writing from the comfort of my home, safe and sound in Brooklyn.

Graffiti in Jaffa

I spent the last 5 days of my holiday in Israel in Tel Aviv with my buddy Ephraim, who lives within walking distance of many great restaurants, caf├ęs, boutiques, beaches and clubs. Even though the city is about 60 miles from Haifa, where most of the rocket action was taking place, Ephraim told me that the mood was tense, quieter than normal, especially on Saturday night when we hopped from one empty lounge to the next.

Still, there was plenty to do and see, even during a time of war. We took a day to walk to Jaffa, the ancient port city next to Tel Aviv.

Jewish Robot sits and stairs in Jaffa

I ate like a carnivorous king in Israel, and had some of my best meals in Tel Aviv. My favorite restaurant was aptly named Meatos. I think they feed the cows other cows just to give them that double meaty flavor.

Vegetarians are not welcome at Meatos

All sorts of cool creatures came out at night, like big fruit bats and giant cockroaches that put their Brooklyn counterparts to shame. There were also these tank-like Egyptian desert roaches, about the size of a quarter dollar, that scurried around on the sidewalks. If you flipped them onto their backs they had a difficult time rolling back on their feet.

The bugs come out at night

I liked the graffiti art all around Tel Aviv. There was the usual "Meat is Murder" that was also prevalent in Jerusalem. But there were some other, more cryptic messages penned on practically every block, usually in permanent marker. "KNOW HOPE" was a popular tag, about as ubiquitous as de la Vega's chalk art in Manhattan. And there was also the "Imagine Someone's Watching" series, often accompanied by a funky drawing of something I couldn't quite make out. Looks like an astronaut embryo reaching for bubbles ... Anyone got a clue?

Here's another cool one:

"No bears and no forest"

The bear looks happier watching television than he would be in the stupid forest.

Before I left, I got to meet Amit, Ephraim's workout partner and current Mr. Israel (80kg class) bodybuilding champion. The secret to their massive musculature? Meatos!

Ephraim and Amit - here to pump *JEW* up!

Next post: my afternoon with Mr. Dry Bones!


Anonymous said...

You should put the second picture of you on JDate, although I think you look cuter and younger without the beard.

Anonymous said...

I consider this whole blog a reality JDate ad. And I think you have a shot with our first commenter.

Anonymous said...

How could you leave out "N NA NACH NACHMA NACHMAN ME'UMAN" from your list of ubiquitous graffiti?

I ended up at (in?on? what's the right preposition?) your blog when I googled "bats in Tel Aviv" ...

Love your cartoons! Great blog.

Anonymous said...

I didn't know steroids were legal in Israel!

Steven Tucker said...

You wouldn't want to be anywhere near electricity when that rocket goes off!