From Jerusalem Firgun, Fun and Food

From Jerusalem Firgun, Fun and Food

It started in Jerusalem, Israel, six years ago.

July 17th is International Firgun Day.

Everyone is invited to join from anywhere in the world, sharing the spirit of #Firgun

(Hebrew: פרגון) an act of kindness performed solely to make another person feel good.

How do you celebrate Firgun Day?

You come up with a firgun, a compliment, a kind word, a small pat on the back for someone (person, business or group) and post it on any social network, adding a photo or video and the hashtag #Firgun.

Or just say something nice to someone you know to pleasantly surprise them.

“Say Something Nice, Make Someone Happy”

Whoever thought up ‘Windows’ for the September Mekudeshet Festival is really clever.

Structure called Windows for Mekudeshet Festival

This structure called ‘Windows’ has received attention since it went up last week in the center of Jerusalem. The house of windows is made out of 550 windows from all over Jerusalem, in a variety of shapes, and from various time periods.

Jerusalem Israel park with horse stature and Windows

The location is called Gan HaSus or HaSoos, Horse Park, well, because this horse is in this Jerusalem park.

The windows were collected and preserved for decades by the late Yoram Amir, an artist, photographer, activist, and lover of people and Jerusalem who recently passed away.

Windows Jerusalem Israel festival called Mehudeshet

These posters tell the story of the exhibit in three languages.  The Mekudeshet website promises that on every Wednesday from afternoon to dusk the place will be full of surprises.

Windows as seen from behind Gan Hasoos Jerusalem Horse Park

‘Windows’ is set back from King George Street, and is located near the water fountains. These rescued windows are from condemned or abandoned buildings. Just before his death, Amir joined forces with Mekudeshet, the Jerusalem Municipality through Eden, the Jerusalem Center Development Company, and artists Itamar Faluja and Lili Peleg to construct a structure filled with majesty and presence. Amir’s final gift to the city that he loved. #Firgun

sign for Jerusalem event Hebrew is in our blood

I missed an event at Beit Alliance on July 11 but liked this poster ‘Hebrew this is my Blood’ promoting the event.

Jerusalem Israel Mussara festival sign

Bogrim 2019 goes to the end of the month, with art and musical events for young people.

Front Stage performs at Ben Yehuda Mall this coming Friday afternoon. Last week hundreds of young people danced to live and loud pounding music on Friday afternoon. I am surprised I could only hear it on the municipality Facebook live feed.

Hebrew Jerusalem sign on street for good summer long holiday

Jerusalem street signs are up wishing children a pleasant summer holiday.

Jaffa Road Jerusalem Israel iced coffee in cate

Summer for me means it’s time to sit and enjoy an iced coffee.

Jerusalem Israel food truck at night

Food trucks are back in the Hinnon Valley near the Cinematheque on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights again this year.

Down dozens of stairs, people came to stand in line to buy sushi and three other food offerings. Every week there are to be four options, in addition to beer and wine trucks.

Jerusalem Food Truck Festival in Hinnon Valley at night with full moon

Under the full moon with live music, people sat at the few tables or on the ground. What a great view they had for the moon and its partial eclipse.

Jerusalem Israel at night from near Cinematheque toward Old City walls

OK, just for this Jerusalem view I am glad I went to check it out.

Jaffa Road sign for Overall at Tower of David

OVERALL is this week at the Tower of David Museum. Fashion and more in twenty locations throughout the expanse of the Mamluk monumental complex.

Events at the Tower of David are always a photographer’s delight. #Firgun

This one called OVERALL has everything from making lapel pins to a Met Gala (like in NYC) exhibit to designing with a 3D pen and more.

Tower of David where the very old past meets the very modern future.

Tens of thousands, record-breaking, numbers of tourists, have come to Jerusalem this year.

93% of tourists said they were happy with their visit.

I hope they had time to enjoy what’s happening on the Jerusalem streets,

Jerusalem full of fun and food and #Firgun.

 

 

Jerusalem 2019 Light Festival in Old City

Jerusalem 2019 Light Festival in Old City

The annual Jerusalem Light Festival is once again lighting up the walls of the Old City.

Every year I try and go early to get into position for photos at sunset.

Sign for Blue Route on Jerusalem light festival

The lights were just getting going near the end of the Blue route.

Jerusalem Light Festival

‘Choosing Mildness’ would be more vivid after dark.

Jerusalem Light Festival sign

For each installation, a sign was posted with details.

Thankfully I took photos of a few signs.

A very nice young man in a security vest offered me his map, only the text was in Arabic!

So the first piece of advice, start at the beginning of the routes and do not go in reverse as I did.

Light Festival Jerusalem Israel

I could not find the last art piece #17 on the Blue Route. Due to security for an event on Thursday night, it was not open on Wednesday as well.

Jerusalem Light Festival in Old City

The next to last piece, #16 ‘Trumpet Flowers,’ was ready to go.

Light Festival in Jerusalem

This year the Blue Route goes on the outside of the old city walls from Jaffa Gate to Dung Gate. But beware if you do the route in reverse it can get confusing.

Jerusalem Light Festival

Lights and people dressed in lights were popular this year.

Jerusalem Festival of light

Near Jaffa Gate, as it got dark the blue lights were easy to follow.

Jerusalem light festival in old city

More actors dressed in lights were near Jaffa Gate.

Jerusalem Festival of light

This was one of my favorite photographs.

However, since I cannot read Arabic, I am not sure what it is.

Jerusalem lights on Damascus Gate

The lights on Damascus Gate were interesting near the end of the Green Route.

Jerusalem light festival at Damascus Gate

They changed, but too slowly for a good video.

I had forgotten just how amazing was the masterpiece from five years ago.

Light festival in Jerusalem old city walls

Here was one interactive Green Route attraction aimed to interest children.

This was my fourth attempt to take a video here.

Families kept walking by and posing for photos.

Jerusalem Light Festival near New Gate

Entering the New Gate on the Red Route was this piece.

Jerusalem light festival street flowers

‘Street Flowers’ was a popular overhead attraction.

Light Festival in Old City Jerusalem

The streets in the Arab market are always an interesting photo op.

Arab market in old city Jerusalem for light festival

The shops themselves are colorful when well lit.

‘Call for a Wish’ needed a video better than a photograph.

Muristan Square with French light artist Jerusalem light festival

Lucky this year, instead of getting lost in the Christian Quarter, as usual, I met the artist of #17 Blue Route at Muristan Square. Mr. Franck was free to wander as his special piano will not be on display until next week.

People taking photos at Jerusalem light festival

By the time I got to the light tunnel crowds were building.

Jerusalem light festival light tunnel and photographers

You should be seeing many photos and videos of this attraction.

Jerusalem light festival shops in Arab shuk open at night

More shops were open in the Arab shuk than in the past.

It got so crowded in some places, I had to hold my camera over my head and push through the crowd trying hard not to fall on the uneven stone streets.

Jerusalem Light festival near Jaffa Gate

I finished the Red Route back at the plaza by Jaffa Gate.

Jerusalem light festival wall near Jaffa Gate

The photo of the walls outside Jaffa Gate was not the usual lovely image.

But it seems this ‘Dance Party’ was just getting started as I was leaving.

This year there was no route that went through the Jewish Quarter.

Remember last year’s beautiful ‘Rainbow’ on the Hurva Synagogue?

I am considering going back next week to check out my new friend’s piano in Davidson Archeological Park.

Equipment for Jerusalem light festival

This was the serious equipment aimed at the walls near the end of the Blue Route.

Jerusalem 2019 Light Festival runs from June 26 to July 4th.

It has been a while since I did over a 3-hour walk.

Make sure you wear good shoes.

Festival of Light in Jerusalem

Let me know what you think of the Festival of Light in Jerusalem if you go.

There’s much more happening in Jerusalem, Israel this week, but enough for now.

 

 

King Herod of Judea-Builder of Caesarea

King Herod of Judea-Builder of Caesarea

One thing Jerusalem, Israel does not have is a good view of the sea.

An attempt for a beach in Liberty Bell Park was a poor substitute.

So a trip to the coast and the sea was a welcome treat.

Beach front sign in Hebrew Caesarea port

The sign “The Sea” between palm trees greets visitors to Caesarea coastal park.

Caesarea excavations

Here part of the remains of Herod’s Sebastos Harbor has been exposed.

Roman bath house excavation in Caesarea

But other portions are being worked on carefully by archaeologists.

Visitor Center in Caesarea

The trip was to attend the launch of the new Visitor Center.

Visitor center in Caesarea

Josephus wrote of Herod’s tribute to Caesar in the first century BCE.

Herod the Builder. Herod the Great. Ruler of Judea. Builder of the Second Temple in Jerusalem. Builder of the fortress, Masada. Builder of Herodion.

Scene of old port of Herod in Caesarea

Herod built Sebastos to honor Caesar Augusta and the goddess Roma.

In this photograph from the video in the new Visitor Center video, we see his vision.

Image of port Herod built today Caesarea

One scene illustrated the hundreds of boats that came through.

Herod’s building project took ten years to complete. Tons open tons of cement went into rafts sunk, along the coast which had no natural harbor.

Herod or Hordus as he is called in Hebrew began globalization in the region.

From video in visitor center in Caesarea

Caesar Augustus attended the gala opening of the one mile long piers and temple.

Screen shot of video in visitor center of Caesarea of Herod's port

However, this massive building project lay in ruins for 2000 years.

Artifacts found in port of Caesarea

Now, located in one of the fourteen vaults Herod built to support the platform of the temple of Augustus and Roma, the new Caesarea Visitor Center is open to the public.

The once-thriving area was rebuilt and hosted many rulers over the centuries – pagan, Christian, Muslim, Jewish and Samaritan.

Roman remains from building of Caesarea by Herod

In the museum, artifacts from various periods are on display.

Caesarea Visitor Center menorah

An ancient menorah was placed next to a modern visual box, hard to catch in a photograph.

Layers of history in Caesarea Israel

Visuals of the past help the visitor to see how the 60-acre site would have looked.

King Herod’s gateway to the Mediterranean Sea was constructed in the 1st century BCE.

Pieces of pottery over the years found in harbor

On display are recovered pottery pieces that span the centuries.

Visitor Center in Caesarea at sunset

This was the outside of the vault of the Caesarea Visitor Center at sunset,

Roman baths in port of Caesarea at harbor

and next to it an area where Roman baths greeted weary seafarers.

Bottles of wine at event to launch Caesarea visitor center

The Caesarea project was funded by the Rothschild Foundation and featured family wine at its launch.

Sunset by the beach of Caesarea

As the sun set, this was as close to the beach as I could get.

Because of the tight security, I was afraid if I left I might not get back in.

Lights go on at launch of Visitor center at Caesarea Isale

The lights went on, the program began.

Woman and man dressed as statutes at nigh event in Caesrea to launch new visitor center

Musicians played and the statues turned. Oh my, they turned out to be live performers.

Israel president Rivlin speaking at launch of visitor center in Caesarea

President Reuven Rivlin arrived after a tour of the new museum and spoke.

President Rivlin and Arianna Rothschild cutting ribbon at new visitor center in Caesarea, Israel

Cutting the ribbon with Baroness Ariana de Rothschild before he headed back to Jerusalem.

Then the party and music really got going.

Perhaps that is why the neighbors were invited along with media and dignitaries?

Fancy ladies loo at launch of Caesarea visitor center.

Though I do not usually take selfies, this outdoor portable toilet fit for royalty needed a photo. Sorry, I cannot share the pleasant smell. This was not your usual portaloo.

The Caesarea harbor is to be once again a major stop for visitors.

I took a short clip from the video, which should be the first stop on a visit to the new Caesarea Visitor Center.

King Herod. King of Judea. Hard to describe in a few words in a blog.

Visitors can now experience parts of his story in Caesarea.