A City that Never Sleeps

As some of you may already know, one of my internships will be at Taste TLV (check out their site at: http://www.tastetlv.com/).  Taste TLV provides English reviews for restaurants in Tel Aviv.  From first-hand experience eating at a restaurant featured on the site (more on this in a later post), I can say that the selection of reviewed restaurants is amazing.

This is my first post for the Taste TLV Blog, which will chronicle some of my experiences with Tel Aviv’s culture, lifestyle, food, etc! Here’s the link to the blog: http://tastetlv.blogspot.com/.

————-

During a recent family dinner, my uncle said, “Tel Aviv is the city that never sleeps.”  Having spent the last four years in Manhattan, I couldn’t help but object.  “New York is the city that never sleeps.”   He scoffed, saying there was no other city in the world like Tel Aviv.  My love for New York aside, my uncle had a point.

While New York may never shut down, with stores that stay open 24-7, a lively nightlife scene in various neighborhoods, and a public transportation system that always runs, the city does sleep.  The Financial District, which is overwhelmingly bustling during the daytime, becomes eerily calm and quiet after business hours.  The Upper East Side bar scene is tame on weekday evenings.  When there is bad weather, people quickly opt to stay in rather than go out.  While New York may be called the city that never sleeps, New Yorkers certainly do.

I think part of the difference between New York and Tel Aviv is weather-induced.  The climate in Tel Aviv is such that people want to (and can) enjoy spending time outside.  While it can get quite hot during the day in the summer months, the weather in Tel Aviv is pretty wonderful. Plans to go out are practically never hindered by rainstorms or snow.  Taking a walk or run on the tayelet (the boardwalk along the beach that runs from Yafo to Hatzok Beach) during the sunset, feeling the cool breeze against your skin, hearing nearby street musicians—it’s addictive in a way strolls along the Hudson River never were.

Tel Aviv is not just awake 24-7, but it’s also alive.  People go out every night of the week, whether to restaurants, bars, cafes, or the beach.  That’s not to say New Yorkers don’t go out—they most certainly do.  But Tel Aviv has something New York doesn’t… and I’m still trying to pinpoint exactly what the distinction is.

In the two weeks since I’ve arrived in Israel, I know I’ve only started to experience the Israeli lifestyle.  While I am Israeli (I was raised in America by Israeli emigrants) I’ve never visited Israel for more than a month at a time.  So far, I’m thrilled with life in Tel Aviv, despite constantly wishing I were better oriented with the city structure and geography as I was in New York.  I know such knowledge and familiarity comes with time. I’m looking forward to getting to know Tel Aviv better, even if it means continuously debunking the notion that my beloved New York is not the city that never sleeps, but only a city that never sleeps.

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “A City that Never Sleeps

  1. I love your search into the nuances of a place and what makes it different. During two weeks we spent in Tuscany, I loved how there were conversation congregations everywhere. Old men carried kitchen chairs to a group gathered at a gas station. People walked dogs and stopped to talk. Maybe small apartments pulled them outside? Certainly weather was critical. In New England, too many people sit closed up with technology–but we were always labeled “stand-offish” anyway, thanks to those uptight Puritans!!!! In spite of the ancient wonders of Israel, perhaps it is the youth of this new nation that makes it vibrant and appreciated? Maybe it is enthusiasm that you feel? Keep asking–I enjoy your observations and love that you take time to keep the blog. Mary

    • I think small apartments definitely have something to do with it!

      Israel definitely has a lot of vibrancy. I’ve been reading Start Up Nation, which talks about how certain elements of Israeli culture and lifestyle contribute to a certain atmosphere and mentality. It’s been wonderful to read about AND see first-hand.

  2. Well, NY is the still the city so nice they named it twice. The Bronx is up, the Battery’s down, and the people all ride in a hole in the ground.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s