Pupil of the Streets

11 Jan

Every day in Israel is a Hebrew reading exercise. Especially if you pay attention to the bumper sticker slogans and street art that adorn this city.

Since my stint in Israel in 2006 I’ve had a real interest in the street artists, which have since gained notoriety. I remember walking the streets photographing the art I’d find, in the form of paintings, stenciled work, and especially poems that didn’t always make sense, but I knew that they wouldn’t be there the next time I’d pass.

My interest never faded, and when I heard about Guy Sharett’s Streetwise Hebrew graffiti tours I had to sign up. I went two Fridays ago in Florentin (Tel Aviv’s Williamsburg – upcoming gentrification and all) and the tour exceeded my expectations. Guy is a linguist and teacher who speaks 7 languages, which of course makes me admire and envy him at the same time. Guy is knowledgable about the rich history of this city, and a friendly man of streets who told us about a few of the local establishments, such as the סנדלר (shoemaker), who recently passed away, and Ilan Barbi, who makes beautiful chairs and aronei kodesh with wood carvings by hand.

Guy offers a few different tour options that should fit your taste and learning needs. Some Hebrew knowledge is required, so be in touch with him if you have any concerns. The tour is only 50 shekels (we got lucky to have him for 2 hours) and we got this nifty notepad to write down our new vocabulary words!


Guy Sharett’s handy dandy notepad


Take a look at some of the street art we saw, ranging from poetry and Israeli icons, to commentary on the treatment of women in religious society. And what hipster neighborhood would be without a mustache or two. Check it out and I strongly recommend taking this tour. I’d do it again!


Nitzan Mintz is a rarity – she leaves her full name on her work, so if the police want to find her, they can


“And G-d said…” – this is a commentary on the treatment of women by religious men. It’s in a style of the Tanach, as if it is Jewish law to mistreat women


Another work by Nitzan Mintz


A bride’s chair, made by Ilan Barbi


A chair for Elijah the Prophet, made by Ilan Barbi


Le Mustache. Also Zohar Argov “The King”


Image in full


Perfect for Israel’s weather lately


Jews are supposed to pray towards the direction of Jerusalem, but this religious boy is praying towards Tel Aviv


Punk Jews Movement makes a special appearance!


A play on Mount Rushmore, this is Har Roshmore

The Party of Parties

25 Dec

It’s a rare thing for me to find a party that seems to have everything I’ve been looking for: a cool venue, music I wanna shake my booty to, my friends are into it, and it’s not on a Friday night. So when my friend emailed me about Wednesday’s “Party of Parties” I was excited.

I’m not usually into the parties that cater to the Anglo community, and I’ll probably bump into a bunch of people I’ll try to avoid (sorry), but Terry Poison rocks my socks off, and I’m looking forward to hearing Monti Fiori live. I hope I’ll be there for Efrat Gosh‘s special appearance. This little lady is my girl crush, and it’s been too long since I’ve seen her perform.

So join me and the rest of the Anglos (and supposedly heads of political parties?) as we party on a Wednesday.

Free to RSVP at this link, 30 shekels to get in.

Welcome back

14 Dec

I know I’ve been super quiet for a while, and that’s for many reasons. Mainly because I moved countries. Sadly I am no longer a Brooklyn resident. At the end of August I became a Tel Avivian. Well that’s the first time I’ve really put it out there so publicly…

What have I been doing with myself, you ask? I work, go to Ulpan (Hebrew classes), go to the beach when possible – oh, I should mention that in the middle of December I’m still walking around in jeans and a t-shirt – see my friends, and continue to search for culture in this city, which has been a challenge.

For some reason (I think because I work in an office now after 3 years of freelancing), I haven’t had the time or the inspiration to do much crazy nail art. My friends say they want to be my guinea pigs, but that hasn’t really happened. So unfortunately the craziest designs I’ve done since I landed are a couple of glitter gradient manicures. I still have some designs from when I was in New York that I’ve been meaning to post. Hopefully I’ll get around to it soon, and hopefully I’ll get into a habit of posting more in general.

Nail art here is not at all as popular as it is in the States and the UK. The styles that you’ll see on women’s nails are the same that you’d see on the subway in NY – airbrushed designs on acrylic nails; thick French manicures; some glitter and elaborate designs, but I’ve yet to see a tribal design or serious 3D nail art. Before I came to Tel Aviv I had the idea to do nail art on the side to make some extra money, but I haven’t spent any time advertising my skills by doing my own nails. I guess I’ve been stressed lately because my nails have been broken and bitten down to nubs. It’s a sad state of affairs, but I guess that’s to be expected when there were sirens going off daily because rockets were being fired at us. Yup, welcome to life in the Middle East, but thank G-d for cease fires!

I hope that I will post more nail art here, but I envision something else for this writing exercise. When you’re a person of a certain age, and your friends start to get married, have kids, or simply outgrow partying, life starts to get a bit…boring. So I’ve decided to carry on being how I was in New York and seek out cultural opportunities while solo. I don’t need friends to see a cool band or go to a story slam. Eff that. I’m an independent woman. So join me on my journey exploring this city. Today’s mission led me to cafe Florentina in the Florentine neighborhood of Tel Aviv. This hood is a little grimy in a way that feels like home to me. Picture Williamsburg but less pretentious. Stay tuned for more journeys! Oh, and if you’re a random visitor who found me looking for things to do in this city, visit DIY Tel Aviv for party listings and interesting happenings.

Shabbat shalom, homies!

Polka dots nails

5 Aug

I decided to try something new and work with paint instead of acrylic for 3-D nail art. For this look I used SinfulColors Dream On, Feeling Great, Why Not, and Exotic Green (the last two are from SinfulColors Summer Collection), and Essie’s Waltz and Shorty Pants. I haven’t purchased dotting tools yet, although I am realizing more and more just how useful they are, so for now I’m using different sized bobby pins to achieve larger and smaller dots.


I used Waltz as my base, and starting with Feeling Great I began to dot my nails randomly. As I added colors, I realized I don’t like the way it turned out by just applying dots randomly. I prefer the look of either overlapping dots (which I later tried to do sparingly to fix it) or a pattern of dots. I will definitely keep at it, especially as I’m experimenting more, and hoping to do manicures at nail art parties. My friends thought they were decals, so I must be doing something right! See the final result below. What do you think? Do you have any tips (no pun intended) for doing polka dot manicures?


Miami ready

26 Jul

I took a trip to Philly two weeks ago to visit one of my best and oldest friends, Sabina. She had a bachelorette weekend in Miami coming up and wanted to do something fun with her nails. So we searched through Pinterest, Instagram and more to find inspiration for this Miami mani. We couldn’t find a design that she loved until we scrolled through Polish You Pretty and found this.

I hadn’t brought that many colors with me, as I thought my acrylic powders were going to steal the show, but luckily we had gone to the dollar store to pick up some extra colors. We didn’t have yellow so we improvised using Sally Hansen – Diamonds and Rubies, Essie – Meet Me At Sunset, Essie – Peach Daiquiri, Sinful Colors – Feeling Great, and L.A. Colors -Shock.

We used a different color as a base on each nail and then various colors for the design. What do you think?


Kiss My Nails

2 May

A couple of months ago I got to test out some cool products when Influenster sent me a VoxBox.  Because I’m a nail polish/nail art addict, my favorite product in the VoxBox was a pretty obvious choice for me.  I was really excited to see that Kiss Nail Dress was one of the products I got to test.  The silver and black leopard print was a bit more flashy than what I would typically put on my nails, so I decided to use the nail dress on two accent nails, with a solid color on my other nails.  I used a reddish pink polish on my nails, and kept my ring fingers bare.  I picked two nail dresses that were best-suited for the size of my nails and followed the easy-to-use instructions.  I made sure to smooth the nail dress while applying to avoid creases.  I used the nail file that came in the box to file off the excess.  The whole process was incredibly easy, and the nail dress peeled right off when I took it off 5 days later.  To add shine, and with the hopes of making them last longer, I added a top coat on the nail dress a couple of days later.

I would definitely use the Kiss Nail Dress again.  With this design, I would probably paint my other nails a solid black or silver glitter while using the leopard as accent nails again.  For fun I would probably purchase the design below.  It’s like the caviar manicure, but without the drying time!

Kiss Nail Dress is available in 18 different styles, and is so affordable at only $6.99!  So go to your local drug store and get yourself a set!

Are you an Influenster?

29 Apr

This post is looooooong overdue.  A couple of months ago I found out about this site called Influenster where you fill out your interests, add your social media info and, if you’re selected, receive these awesome things called VoxBoxes where you get to test out products. So I signed up and weeks later I got my Love VoxBox in the mail 🙂 Wanna see what I got to test out?


I first dug in to the herbal tea selection from Stash Tea.  Was I excited to see all the flavors in the sampler box!  The blueberry tea is definitely my favorite, and I’ve enjoyed the hot and cold varieties.

Of course, I had to try the Ghiradelli chocolate.  It was rich and creamy, and as it melted in my mouth I was really able to notice the subtle flavors.  I do wish that the pieces were smaller sizes so that the chocolate would last longer!

I’ve always had my hesitations about razors that have moisture strips.  Would I still need to use shaving cream?  Would the moisture strips wear down really quickly?  So when I tried the Venus & Olay razor by Gillette I was pleasantly surprised.  I didn’t need to use shaving cream or a soapy lather in addition to the moisture strips on the razor.  Shaving was super quick, and my skin was silky and smooth.  My concern about the moisture strips wearing down started to come true after 5 or so uses.  I’m still using the razor, only now with shaving cream.  Overall I think this is a must when traveling.

Also in my VoxBox was Truvia natural sweetener.  I was hesitant to use this product, only because I hadn’t really read up on it and in general stick to using sugar instead of other sweeteners.  I did try Truvia a couple of times (using about a half a packet per one cup of coffee) and will say that it was a perfect sugar substitute.  I didn’t notice a difference of flavor.  I’ll definitely have to read more about Truvia and other natural sweeteners before I incorporate this into my diet.  Do you use Truvia or other sugar substitutes?  Which do you recommend and why?

I’m going to save my favorite item in the VoxBox for another post, because as you may know I love nail polish and nail art.  So stay tuned!

If you want to be an Influenster and try products from fantastic brands, visit influenster.com to sign up.  You can also like them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter for conversations about products and brands, and news on VoxBoxes that are being released.

Moms Know How to Travel in Style

18 Mar

I’m going to come out and say it. I’m not a mom.  BUT my friends are starting to have babies, and if there’s one thing I know, babies need a lot of stuff.

Whether traveling via subway or a 3-hour flight, I don’t know a single mom who doesn’t have at least a bag full of things for their children. The stroller, some toys, snacks, other things I’ve yet to hear of! So why shouldn’t they do it with quality products that are designed well? At Trumpeting Media’s “Travel in Style” blogger event, sponsored by Baby Cargo and Citrus Lane at The Peninsula New York, I learned about some necessary and helpful items for traveling with the kids in tow.

Here are some highlights that I’m taking mental notes about for the future:

Baby Cargo’s Lightweight Umbrella Strollers are “as versatile and well-traveled as your favorite cargo pants — chock full of pockets, easy to fold and as light as they come.” I’ve spotted these strollers while out and about, and they look good in person.  I’ll wait until the time comes to test out if there’s actually a stroller that is easy to fold, but at about $150 for the basic model, they’re definitely affordable.

I live in Brooklyn.  I like to ride my bike, and when I get to my destination I lock it up.  It’s pretty likely that I will lock up my stroller as well, and I’ll probably use a buggyguard. Besides, what adult wouldn’t want and excuse to carry around a cute hippo?

The Bubble Bum is an inflatable booster seat that is perfect for traveling.  When deflated it can fit in a large purse, and is easily inflated to use as a booster seat for the car or airplane.

Speaking of things that can fit in your purse, DiaperBuds are vacuum-sealed disposable diapers!  Think about how much space you can save by popping in a few of these into your carry-on.

Okay, okay.  So I don’t know that much about sippy cups.  BUT, I do know that these sippy cups from Tommee Tippee are adorable and they have caps on top of their dura spout to make sure your child’s drinking experience is spill-free and leak-free.  Serious mental note being taken right now.

A little bit about Citrus Lane.  Citrus Lane is a really cool concept – it’s a subscription e-commerce company where after you sign up receive a box every month filled with cute and practical products recommended by real moms.  My Citrus Lane box featured organic baby food in squeeze packs and some really awesome looking snack containers that I really want to keep (and just might).  A membership is about $25 – $30 a month, and they offer different pricing options.

Want to learn more about these brands? Join Trumpeting Media for a Twitter party hosted by Baby Cargo, Citrus Lane, and The Peninsula Hotel on Monday, March 19th at 8:30-9:30pm.  To find out more information, like what prizes you can win, and to RSVP, visit http://www.trumpetingmedia.com/travelinstyle.  Also, visit http://www.babycargo.com/travel-in-style/ for a chance to win a deluxe travel package worth over $5,000!  The contest is running from March 18 – April 27, 2012.

* Please note I received samples of these products to review.  I was not paid for this post.

Visiting Robert Verdi’s Luxe Laboratory

12 Feb

Fashion Week is in full swing, and on Thursday I had the opportunity to stop by Robert Verdi’s Luxe Laboratory for a mid-day makeover, thanks to my friend Karen of Pretty Is Pretty Does.

To kick things off, my newspaper nails were switched for some sparkle with Queen of Beauty by SinfulColors. At only $1.99 a bottle, this is an affordable must-have.

SinfulColors Queen of Beauty

SinfulColors Nail Polish and Corrector

Next my hair was given a pick-me-up by the delightful Dan Sharp, who was repping T-3. He’s also the owner of the Carroll Gardens salon Danka Panka, which I must check out.  I was lucky enough to take home this T-3 SinglePass Compact flat iron.  After one use, I absolutely love it.  It’s perfect for traveling, using to straighten the baby curls along my hairline, and smoothing the frizzy pieces at the top.

Of course no makeover would be complete without the makeup, and that’s where I was pampered by Neutrogena.  Usually I’m disappointed by overdone makeup, but I was given a natural look that made me feel so good I had to hug the makeup artist!  I’m so excited to try my new products, especially the nourishing eye quad in Moonlit Violet.

Not a bad view while getting your makeup done...

The finished product

After I was feeling fabulous, it was time to have my photo taken by Snapfish by HP, while posing with my POP Phone by Native Union.  As a freelancer, my cell phone is my work phone, but this makes me feel better now that I don’t have to risk the radiation by holding my cell phone directly to my ear during those conference calls.

My last stop was meeting the lovely ladies of bamboopink, a direct sales company offering high quality yet affordable fashion jewelry designed by Jude Frances.  I love this bracelet that features their “love knot.”

When I woke up Thursday morning, I didn’t think my day would have turned out as fabulous as it had.  It was so much fun and I can’t wait to use all of these goodies I got to take home!


4 Apr

So far I’m still in the game for 30 poems 30 days.  I’ll probably post some here.  You have been warned xo FF