Tag Archives: graffiti

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


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!