Thursday, January 12, 2023

Tel Aviv, Israel, January 12, 2023

I put on a lot of miles today and my feet are sore.  Today reminded me of my camino days.  

For a lot of the day, I could walk between the streets on a pedestrian sidewalk which is a green space with a bike lane on the other side.  It’s well used and a great thing.  There are playgrounds, gathering spots and art-

My first stop was Rabin Square.  It used to be called Kings of Israel Square but was renamed because Yitzak Rabin was assassinated there on November 4th, 1995.  He was the fifth prime minister of Israel.  At the south end of the park is a Holocaust Memorial which was fenced off because they’re putting in a metro line-

but this is what the whole thing actually looks like-

I was close to the Tel Aviv Museum of Art which I had wanted to visit but sort of forgot about-

It has some metal sculptures in front-

I played the “old” card and got in for the senior’s rate.  There was A LOT to see starting with  Impressionist art which I love-

The individual brushstrokes are so cool.  It’s hard to imagine how gobs of paint can turn into a masterpiece-

Renoir - Woman in Blue-

and Bathers-

Mark Chagall- Jew with Torah-

Van Gogh- The Shepherdess-

Degas-Ballet Scene-

Joan Miró - At the Bottom of the Shell.  Miró is a man with a woman’s name-

Picasso - Woman in an Armchair.  Whatever…

Gustav Klimt’s - Portrait of Friedericke Maria Beer.  He made her turn her coat inside out because the lining was so interesting.  It reminds me of my Bootson-

and Fernando Leger’s Contrast of Forms-

Then I got into the weird modern stuff like Sacrophagus which is a long board mounted on the wall-

with glasses lying on their side-

Then there are “Blue Tubs” just sitting randomly on the floor with objects inside them-

and “Slaughtered Bag” which is a large construction collection bag spread out on the floor with some sand and wristwatches on top.  One lady just about walked over it but the guard caught her in time- 

How can any of that be “art”? Goat Skeleton I didn’t mind.  It looks like it’s made from clay-

and whatever the heck this is.  A plastic tablecloth on the floor with a pile of sand and a mesh basket-

A mattress and bed frame with socks drying?  This person has obviously stayed in a hostel-

There was a temporary exhibit by Maryan S Maryan who was really Pinkas Bursztyn, a Polish Holocaust survivor.  The exhibit follows his life and career through Poland, Auschwitz, Jerusalem, Paris and New York. Maryan is considered one of the most important artists to engage with the fate of humans in the second half of the 20th century.  There was a documentary playing of an interview with him.  He never understood why he wasn’t shot like the rest of his friends and family.  His PTSD really came out in his art.  Here’s wax crayon work of Napoleon puking-

and other trauma induced works-

Oil on canvas - Aushwitz Crematorium-

More pain-

He went through a black and white phase-

 and then an “after Goya” phase-

He also painted “Goya” chickens.  He used a slaughtered animal as a vehicle to contemplate human suffering-

Moving on… Hills Tony Nabokov created miniature rooms.  They’re about 18” x 12”, very intricate and detailed-

This place just went on and on.  There’s Shira Zelwer’s “Gathering of Birds” which is 400 life sized birds 
standing on the floor frozen in time.  They’re made of wax and hand painted -

“After the Storm” is one of Josef Israeli’s best known works.  It shows three generations waiting the return of a fisherman after a storm, who never comes home.  It was painted in the 1600s.  The light coming in from outside is so lifelike-

The last super weird thing was a video of people pretending they are ostriches.  I couldn’t watch it-


I carried on looking for some good graffiti.  I didn’t find much-

I walked to Florentin which is a trendy sort of place with lots of restaurants out on the streets-

and saw these mail boxes.  This idea was a display of art at the museum but I didn’t take a picture of that.  I wish I would have now-

Then I walked to Carmel Market where everything is available-

They had an Italian coffee here that I’ve been looking for since Oman but I’ve got enough Starbucks to last me for awhile-

There are also lots of food stalls, clothing and  jewelry booths and anything else a person might desire.  It’s a busy and interesting place.  I had a falafel pita for lupper and wandered back to the hostel.  

Not sure what this is-

Later on, from the hostel, I walked across the street for happy hour at a Mexican place and spent a couple hours visiting with a 27 year old Turkish man who was drowning his sorrows.  He had been riding his electric bike on the sidewalk because there was constrained no place else to ride when a cop jumped out of nowhere, fines him $100 and took his bike.  He can pick it up Sunday for another $100!  He has recently quit his job which was in online advertising.  He was responsible for the click ads that are on the right side of our screen and that annoy the shit out of us.  His company pays for people like us who visit certain sites.  They “own” us and then each time we click on an ad, his company gets paid from the business.  I asked if it was lucrative and he said that the company wasn’t making 100s of millions but it was making millions! Very interesting.  The ads are deceptive too.  On a news site, you might see a story that says some celebrity has just bought a 10 million dollar home.  If you click on that, it will take a few clicks through various products to finally get to the real site.  Each time you click, his company gets paid.  We had a great couple of hours visiting.  Once back home, I also spent time with Eugene, my 18 year old Russian roommate, who just learned his school is starting early so he’s leaving tomorrow. Ryan from Ventura County, California is also leaving but Paul, the noisy German, will stay as he is working for a German NGO.

I’m off to Delhi tomorrow early afternoon and looking forward to the next part of my adventure.


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