Shana Tova

Rosh Hashannah, Rosh Hashana,

maybe spelled many ways in English,

image shana tova

and some Shana Tova greetings are new

image Rosh Hashana

while some are old favorites,

wishing all a good, happy and healthy new year

from The Real Jerusalem Streets.

New Free Shuttle Bus in Jerusalem

Driving in Jerusalem, Israel, can be difficult,

with too many cars on too narrow roads,

especially in the Old City.

image traffic old city Jerusalem

Today four cars wanted to drive in the same small place at the same time,

I did not even notice the little child

in the scene until I saw the photos at home,

I had been watching a boy on a bike go through the cars.

During holidays the situation gets worse

when traffic is restricted

and entry is forbidden to non-residents.

But there is something new for the new year 5775,

image free bus to Old City

located in the parking lot adjacent to First Station,

image free shuttle bus Jerusalem

easy to find stations

image shuttle bus to Dung Gate

for free shuttle buses to the Dung Gate,

which is near the entrance to the Kotel, the Western Wall.

image shuttle bus to Dung Gate old city

The buses leave every 20 minutes,

Sunday to Thursday,

8:00 am to 8:00 pm,

Friday until Shabbat and after the end of holidays.

The van I took only had two other passengers, but it left on time.

image near City of DAvid

On the way we got to see the construction near Ir David, the City of David.

image bus stop for free shuttle Jerusalem near Dung Gate

Outside the Old City Walls near the Dung Gate, the station was easy to find.

The service is meant to encourage parking at First Station,

and at least for now it is free for anyone.

Thanks for the tip Fun in Jerusalem.

fun and free in Jerusalem–

what could be better?

No stairs!

20 Signs of Rosh Hashana in Jerusalem

The end of 5774 is in sight

and signs of the new year are everywhere.

image Rosh Hashana

The municipality has posted signs wishing a good year to Jerusalem 5775.

This morning, there are dark circles under many eyes of those

who stayed up late for Selihot prayers, and then woke up early this morning.

The Selichot prayers are scheduled almost non-stop,

and there are even tours to see those who recite the special prayers.

image Hebrew sign

One is to be held in Kikar Safra, the Jerusalem Government Square.

image free bus sign

These new signs are for free buses to the Old City,

I had to try one and not walk every time.

Many pre-holiday parties include “raising a cup” to toast the new year,

image truck inspedtion

which makes it a perfect time for road stops to test vehicles and drivers.

image Israel police

But not all police were busy with ticketing or crime this week.

So much to do this short week before Rosh Hashana,

food shopping is crazy and time is stretched to limits.

Emek St Fair walking dogs lots of them pushing a baby

This man is often seen on skate board walking dogs,

but for first time I saw him pushing a baby stroller.

I wondered ‘his own, or some family short on time?’

image people in sukka

Friends who are visiting had time for brunch.

Signs were up for sales, but this restaurant got the first sukka photo for this year.

Every organization is looking for end-of-year donations,

image zedukah

this woman held a sign asking for charity in the Old City,

image homeless man on streets

and this man on Jaffa Street had no sign.

He just held an empty cup.

But there are much prettier sights this time of year,

image limes

like these new limes on the tree ready to be picked,

image Yemin Moshe Jerusalem, Israel

  and wonderful flowers, not just outside on the streets,

but inside

image Jewish holiday table

getting ready for holiday tables as well.

image small park in Israel

Public parks have been cleared and private gardens are ready,

since shmita, the year of not working the land, begins at Rosh Hashana.

 The notes in the Western Wall,

image notes in western wall

were overflowing before the holiday clean up,

image notes western wall

but no one was going to peek at this message wrapped tightly in blue thread.

image chairs at kosel

New chairs were delivered, all ready for the holiday crowds on the plaza.

image blowing shofar at Kosel

It is shofar time,

image soldiers IDF

and after 5774 years

image women at kotel

עם ישראל חי

Am Yisrael Chai,

bus sign Shana tova

Shana tova.

Did You Hear about Jerusalem’s Emek Refaim Street?

It did not make headlines.

Afternoon traffic was heavy and slow Monday in Jerusalem, Israel,

image no traffic

with some streets like this one blocked to traffic for hours.

Emek St Fair 063b truck blocking st

No one was driving onto Emek Refaim Street with this truck parked,

 buses were rerouted and taxis blocked.

Emek St Fair 060b street c;losed

There was a large blue arch on the other side of the truck,

Yad2 street fair

a blue man,

image crowd of people

blue balloons,

image police marching band

and men in blue too,

as the police formed a brass marching band.

image US colors

The US Embassy had a booth in red, white and blue.

image Emek Rephaim sTreets

It is estimated that as many as 30,000 people attended this community street fair,

image Emek REfaim STreets

where second hand goods were for sale.

image choir singing

Choirs performed,

many musical groups played,

image little girl dancing

and here one little dancer is moving to the music.

image street fair entertainment

Actors on platforms,

photo street acts

standing on stools above the street,

image Jerusalem streets

and sitting on chairs performed to young audiences.

image cooking lesson unusual

This group was learning about cooking.

image lots of people

Thousands of people took photos.

Emek St Fair crowd

This usually busy neighborhood street

Emek St Fair 020b

was full of barriers blocking side walks.

image cute kids

It was grid-locked by people and double strollers.

image street fair and wheelchairs

There are so many places in Jerusalem and on Emek Refaim Street

that are impossible and impassible for disabled,

it was great  to see so many out for this event in wheel chairs.

image chairs

Please let me know if you hear of anyone who actually

paid 50 shekels to sit in these chairs.

The sign asks for 50 shekels to sit.

That is what was happening on the real Jerusalem streets

and it all went on well into the night,

but no violence, not news,

Jerusalem New Arena Opening September 11

School has started and another week has whizzed by.

The countdown for Rosh Hashannah has begun.

You can feel the seasons starting to change with cooler nights.

Headlines were made when Light rail trains were attacked

in some Arab neighborhoods,

and also of attacks in the French Hill neighborhood.

Sadly, French Hill residents have had trouble with some Arab neighbors for years,

but it was not newsworthy until this recent escalation of violence.

image Arab woman in Jerusalem, Israel

However, this Arab woman was waiting to ride the light rail this week.

There were fewer Arab girls on the streets over the summer,

and there were fewer people on the streets tourists were missingl.

Arab girls in Jerusalem

Now, Jaffa Road is looking busier every day.

Har Hayabit wooden bridges ramp to Temple Mount

This week Jordan complained about a “wooden bridge.”

Someone decided to build a second wooden ramp to reach the Temple Mount.

The wooden structure on the left is the only access for non-Muslims.

Though this new one is much smaller, it is coming down.

For a $15 billion gas deal, Jordan gets its wish?

image  Hebrew sign Jeruslaem

The summer concerts at Kikar Safra

featured music of the Beatles and ABBA.

The last free music concert of season is tonight,

at the Pianos at Jerusalem Theater.

But the big, really big, biggest news in the Middle East,

image of new Arena in Jerusalem Israel

is opening of the new Jerusalem Arena tonight.

image press conference

The first press conference was held  in the special press conference room,

with Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat and leaders of the massive project.

Built next to Teddy Stadium and near the Malha Mall,

image view Jerusalem new unusal

the view from main lobby of Jerusalem is impressive.

image large sports arena

The main floor can be changed for events – sports, recreational and cultural.

There is seating for 11,600 people,

image VIP viewing box

and 16 executive boxes.

I wondered if I would get back to a VIP suite,

image Mayor Nir Barkat at new Arena

and assumed it was my last chance to hang in a locker room with the Mayor.

image working on Jerusalem arena

Workers were all over trying to finish up for the opening tonight.

70% of the 400 million shekel cost was covered by the Israeli Lottery,

Image Jerusalem school construction

but many wish some of that money would go to finish up school construction.

We lived near Washington, DC on September 11, 2001.

As the world remembers those lost in NY Trade Towers,

we also remember those killed in the Pentagon that day.

Sept 11 should have been a wake up call

for US & for the world to terrorism.

Meanwhile, in Israel,

  though there have been a stream of terror attacks,

we have two things in our favor,

Israeli soldiers

as shown here.

The inaugural ceremony of the new Jerusalem Payis Arena

will be a salute to soldiers of IDF.

Jerusalem Summer Nights to September Days

Ah, in Jerusalem, Israel,

image Jerusalem

 summer nights are usually cool and clear.

image bike path

Not many were out riding on the newly-constructed bike paths,

image music and dancing

but the music at First Station had crowds on their feet dancing.

image sing in Hebrew

There was a big welcome sign at the only entrance to the Jerusalem Beer Festival.

בירה the Hebrew word for “beer”‘ and “capital” is the same.

The annual event drew a protest from the Arab media this year.

Located in Gan Ha’atazmaut, Independence Park, is it possible

image park Jerusalem

 that little white circle in the bottom left,

could really be a danger?

image Hebrew sign

These “Make an agreement with Abbas, not with Hamas'” signs

were in many more locations and more on people’s minds.

image black cat, Jerusalem cat

Days this past week were hot enough to make the cats lazy,

Sign in Hebrew posted in Jerusalem

but the summer signs

image Hebrew sign

were being replaced with lots of new ones

image Jerusalem, signs Hebrew

 promoting education in Jerusalem,

as school children returned to their classrooms.

Adults took advantage of end of summer

image Israel Museum

 at The Israel Museum.

image love

In the Garden,

image Big Bambu

next to the Big Bambu, all lit up at night,

Wine Festival Is Mus 048b

was the hugely popular Wine Festival,

where twenty wineries shared samples.

Not all of the samples were wine,

Wine Festival Is Mus 044b

and not all were popular,

as tables were filled with these discarded orange shpritzes.

Children Playground at night Wine Festival Is Mus 065b

Usually the children’s wing and playground are busy places,

but not on the four nights of this festival.

Not to worry,

Wine Festival Is Mus 072b

on the way home I saw that signs were already up for a new event

at the Jerusalem Theater, “24 hours of PIANOS,”

plus there is another free concert in Kikar Safra on 11th,

 just part of what is happening

on the Jerusalem, Israel, streets this week.