Short post since I forgot to bring my camera (so I am using other people’s photos):
Tel Aviv, Tel Aviv…by far the largest (metro area around 3,500,000) and most influential (over 90% of all the arts, sports, music, literary, hi-tech, commercial, and broadcasting industries are located in the city) city in Israel.
Even though Tel Aviv is only about 45 minutes away from Jerusalem, it might as well be a world away. As we descend into Tel Aviv (Jerusalem is about 900 ft above sea level, while Tel Aviv is at sea level), bright lights begin to emerge. In the distance, glass and steel skyscrapers cut across the horizon. During the day, the warm Mediterranean Sea laps against packed beaches that rival Rio’s or Cancún’s.
I never really knew how different Jerusalem was until we pulled up into Tel Aviv. If Jerusalem is religious, then Tel Aviv is so far secular that you can’t even compare it to Jerusalem. People wait in lines to buy pork from the ubiquitous vendors on street corners. A half naked Scarlett Johansson illuminates a billboard. Allenby and Ben-Yehuda Streets feel like Miami Beach’s Lincoln Road – huge royal palm trees mark a promenade in the middle of the street while people party until 8 AM.
I ate at an Italian restaraunt, “Amore Mio Trattoria,” a living testament to the city’s strong, in-your-face secularness – I ate milk, meat, and leavened bread and struggled to find any restaurant/store whatsoever selling anything Kosher.