Tel Aviv 2022

I have been busy building the UX and Docs teams for work. California has been difficult for me as the time zones are so different. The center of gravity in the company is on the other side of the world including centers in Tel Aviv, Prague, and Bangalore. I decided to spend 6 weeks in Tel Aviv to build up the team there. It has been an amazing stay, but alas, I am at the end of my trip. Here is my journal and thoughts on Tel Aviv.

Overall Impression

Tel Aviv is like a mini Manhattan with San Diego mixed in. There is a large downtown with skyscrapers, as well as Greenwich village type neighborhoods. Combine that with middle eastern flea markets, a spectacular beach, and artists communities and you have Tel Aviv. It’s extremely walk-able and the weather (right now) is as good as the Bay Area.

Culture

Although it is a “Jewish” city, most of the people I met were non-religious. It’s the most progressive city in Israel (so I have been told). Everyone is extremely polite and talkative. The streets are always filled with people biking, scootering, and walking. There are tons of families with small children. It is vibrant, progressive, and young. I really liked the energy.

Tel Aviv is also a progressive culture supporting women and minority rights. The rest of Israel is not like this. It seemed to bother many residents and made them fear for their countries future. As a Californian, I understand completely.

There were some army people around, but I never saw a policeman and always felt extremely safe. It feels like a place where crime is infrequent. But as a tall white guy I may be overstating this.

Food

I would put Tel Aviv food up there with any city I have visited. The food is diverse and spectacular. Everything was fresh and had interesting combinations of ingredients.

Habasta was one of my favorites. It is in the middle of Carmel Market and has a weird menu that includes brains and offal. The Kreplach soup was delicious and brought back memories of my childhood.

Another big winner for me was Rustico on Rothschild. The street is great for walking with a mini-park in the middle running for miles. Rustico has a lasagna that I just loved. Best I have ever tasted. Sorry Penny.

There were also fun Gelato places on every corner. My favorite was Otello.

Beaches

The beaches are huge. The waves are large. The sand is smooth. This is a great beach and it’s really long. There is surfing and people playing every game imaginable. It rivals any beach I have ever been to.

Carmel Market

This market is so cool with throngs of people every day (except Saturday). There is a flea market area, but also side streets with amazing restaurants. On Fridays, there are artists and performers on every corner. I stayed a couple blocks away from this market. The mornings were so solemn, each vendor quietly setting up shop.

Jaffa

This is a touristy spot, but somehow it houses all sorts of independent artists. There are little alley ways where an artist sets up shop. I can’t believe people even find them. But the work was excellent and everyone took credit cards and smiled.

Construction

There are cranes and construction crews on almost every corner of Tel Aviv. The city is going through a metamorphosis. It is unreal how much construction there is. It’s like gentrification on steroids. I was at one AirBnb and they started construction on the building. This was right outside my window. I had to move.

Summary

Tel Aviv is not a city for tourists. It’s a place to live and work. I really enjoyed my stay and hope to be back often. It was an amazing trip and made me appreciate the world in new ways.


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