With the holidays over and tourists returning home, one might think Jerusalem streets would be quieter this past week.
Sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic, you would know that was incorrect.
The week started off slowly enough to appreciate the Jerusalem autumn colors while walking to the VERT Hotel for a conference.
But oh the new impressive views at the end of the week!
The olive trees are full of ripe olives, ready for picking.
The flowers by the garden established in memory of Sarah Herzog were in full bloom, bursting with color in the midday sun before the rain started.
The 23rd Oud Festival is one of the many events happening in November.
The Jerusalem nature strips and traffic circles were cleared and now new flowers are being planted along the Jerusalem streets.
Small areas were busy with gardeners working to beat the rain.
One shmita sign was still up.
But drivers nearby watched the new planting, which started as soon as the holidays ended.
New flowers line the Bloomfield Garden near the Montefiore Windmill.
And work on King David Street appears to be completed – at least for now.
A bigger landscaping project is now happening at the new National Library.
With the construction fences removed, the campus is now being developed.
Remember when this was cleared and just a huge hole in the ground 3 years ago?
Located across from the Knesset, extensive work has gone on for years.
There is still more to do, but an end appears in sight.
The renovation work has finally started at the Prime Minister’s Residence which was unused for the past year. With a November 1st election day, maybe soon it will have an Israeli Prime Minister living there again.
The Wohl Rose Garden has big signs lining the road to say that it’s closed.
The estimated completion is set for December 2023, so that means no nature photo walks there for quite some time.
However, who remembers the construction fence near the Gerald Behar Center? It was exciting to see the workers finally above ground in 2019.
On Thursday, the Sam Spiegel School of Film and Television opened its new building in the cultural complex, a project started under Mayor Nir Barkat.
I got Mayor Moshe Lion to smile at the morning dedication.
The mandatory ribbon cutting was a big red one, along with the red carpet.
The Jerusalem Mayor attached the mezuzah to the door.
One student smiled when handed a notepad with his photo on the cover – perfect for his grandmother he said.
There were dozens of other photos of students on these notepads too.
The film equipment, library work areas, theaters, everything excelled over the old Talpiot location of the past 3 1/2 years.
But as we went up the stairs in the seven-story building, the views became more exciting. Imagine having the city of Jerusalem as the backdrop in student lounges–the real thing, not a photograph.
With each new view as we went up, it was hard not to snap more photos!
And finally, we were on the roof of the new Sam Spiegel School.
From the roof, you see the VERT Hotel and the Chord Bridge in the distance, but look at all those new buildings that have gone up!
And as this busy week came to an end, I was at the Shalva Building.
There the stairs offer an important message – “You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the FIRST STEP.”
Hard remembering the steps, and the years involved, as we see a few of Jerusalem’s major projects coming to completion. As Israel approaches 75, Jerusalem combines the old with the new.
Getting out and appreciating the sunset was a good way to start a busy week. The tour at Sam Spiegel was a great way to end on a high.
Looking forward to seeing you soon on the busy Jerusalem streets.