Highs & Lows from Creative Changing Jerusalem

Jerusalem has seen extreme highs and lows over the last three millennia.

Since the establishment of the State of Israel 70 years ago, Jerusalem has grown and changed.

Our theme, that you never know what you will find on the Jerusalem streets, is continually reinforced. Recently while driving home near the Jerusalem Theater, it seemed like a huge spaceship had landed.

Jerusalem, Israel, Hansen House at night lit up Ester wooden structure

Rising from the grounds of the old Hansen House grounds was this illuminated object.

Was is from another planet?

No it wasn’t, and by day, it proved much less mystifying.  It is a large wooden sculpture called an Ester Tower.

Innovation Ester Tower in Hansen House garden

In honor of 70 years of State of Israel and 100 years of Czechoslovakia, a Czech firm built its fifth project in Jerusalem. Hansen House, the former leper hospital, has become a center for innovation.

Hansen House Garden, Ester Tower in honor of 100 years Czech and 70 Israel

For those not afraid of heights, inside you will find a winding staircase as in a lighthouse, which goes up to a platform, from which there are some spectacular views of the city. And as in so many Jerusalem photos, when you look down, there is a cat on the scene.
Kikar Safra International Mayors Conference in Jerusalem Israel

The 32nd annual International Mayors Conference in Jerusalem began with a program at Kikar Safra, in the large municipal government  meeting room. Over 30 mayors from around the world attended this week long gathering.

International Mayors Conference in Jerusalem, Israel, Nir Barkat greets visitors at Kikar Safra

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat walked around to greet fellow mayors as they were introduced. During the week, they will see innovation and discuss security and ways of working together.  A mayor from Taiwan brought a team of businessmen looking for collaborative opportunities.

In his remarks, Barkat emphasized that Jerusalem is always viewed under a magnifying glass. In reality it is one of the safest cities in the world. What happens in Jerusalem spreads throughout the world.

Last week on a Friday Walk in Jerusalem, it was a lovely day, and I decided to just wander around to enjoy the weather. Jerusalem certainly has its highs and lows in weather!

View along Mamilla to Old City Jerusalem Israel

The road was unusually empty outside Mamilla Mall. The street was clear of cars, which usually happens only when traffic is blocked for special events or visitors.

Two Arab girls in Mamilla Mall Jerusalem Israel with 3 Jewish musicians.

As usual, musicians were performing along the Mall. It was unusual was to see a young Muslim woman put money in their case. The two stood for a while listening and took their toddler out of the stroller to dance.

Mamilla Mall artist Yardena Yizoker with her sculpture of male and female Israeli pioneers

Thousands of pieces have been displayed and changed in Mamilla since the opening. But this was a first, to find the artist with their work. Yardena Yizoker posed next to her ‘Zionist Pioneers’ with her partner.

Rova Jewish Quarter, Old City, Jerusalem Israel

Walking through the Rova, the Jewish Quarter of the Old City, I decided to take a photo of those towering palm trees. I wondered how much longer they will be standing?

View from steps to Kotel, Western Wall from Jewish Quarter

Trees have been removed from here, opening up new views of Mount of Olives from these steps in the Old City.

Jerusalem, Israel construction of new hotel

All around Jerusalem, trees have been removed and construction is at work, as new foundations are laid deep in the earth.

Construction on National Library of Israel is seen above ground

After many months, construction at the site of future National Library is finally above ground.

Building in Jerusalem, Israel, fence for new City Center

A new construction fence is in place for the future Government Center. Those living and spending time around Jerusalem’s Rechavia neighborhood will not be sorry when the Prime Minister moves to this new abode and new location. Unpleasant street closings, traffic stops and pedestrian searches should become much less frequent.

Jerusalem Israel swimming pool destroyed to make room for new apartments

One thing swimmers in Jerusalem will miss, however, is the pool on Emek Refaim, which is now history. It was torn down to provide space for new luxury buildings for those who can afford to buy.

Night in Jerusalem, Israel lights on building post office

Not all old buildings are coming down. Here, the old Post Office on Jaffa Road, near Kikar Safra, is illuminated at night.

Police cars at Kotel on Friday Old City Jerusalem Israel

Old and new, highs and lows, the police vehicles are parked and waiting. When it is a quiet, as on a regular Friday in Jerusalem, there are no reports, no news.

Pro Israel demonstration in Jerusalem Israel on Friday afternoon

On my way home I saw a pro-Israel counter protest group has started demonstrating near Paris Square on Friday afternoon.

Store for rent on daily basis near Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem near Mamilla Mall

It is hard to tell what will pop up here.  This store between the Waldorf Astoria Hotel and the US Consulate is now available for short term rental.

Can’t wait to see what will be happening next on the Jerusalem streets.

 

Crazy Design Week Contemporary Art in Jerusalem

Spring in Jerusalem, Israel.

It is hot, then it is cold.

Yesterday it rained.

You never know what will happen next.

During Jerusalem Design Week

you have no idea what you will see next.

When I have the opportunity I love to see what is new

Hansen House at night Jerusalem Design Week festival outside gardens lit

at the old Hansen House.

The opening event for Design Week

 held in the courtyard,

Kugel Party Hansen House Design Week opening event

was called a Kugel Party.

At first, even the guests had trouble figuring that out.

There were pink signs in Yiddish,

Yerushalmi kugel at Hansen House for Design week opening event

burnt Yerushalmi kugel with a pickle,

Kugel Party Jerusalem design week

an Oriental noodle sent upstairs to the second floor

people waiting for noodles at Hansen House Kugel Party Design Week opening

in glass jars with a pulley system.

The third kind of kugel was a Belgian waffle,

the one with longest line,

Waffles at Hansen House for Jerusalem Design Week Kugel Party

not fast food, but slowly crafted by Bezalel artists.

Inside were a variety of exhibits,

design week at Hansen House chemistry Jerusalem

this one brought back memories of hours titrating in a lab,

with a theme of yellow and blue for the men and women of Jerusalem.

Contemporary art exhibits using the media of

light Jerusalem design week at Hansen house

photography, paint and light and shape and form,

displayed in different rooms inside the Hansen House.

gardens Hansen House at night for design week

Animals were outside in the garden,

with colors, shapes and forms.

I am sure Dr. Hansen would never have envisioned them.

Design Week is spread out in 7 locations.

A much more serious exhibit is at

Islamic Museum Jerusalem Sign from Iran

the LA Mayer Museum of Islamic Art.

Sign from Iran is a collection of

posters Sign from Iran at Museum for Islamic Art

60 art poster masterpieces

by 27 Iranian graphic artists

over a 40-year period.

Yossi Lemel at Islamic Art exhibit sign from Iran

Israeli graphic artist Yossi Lemel

who initiated the project was at the opening.

woman in Iran art

Contemporary Iran is not usually seen around here.

So many strange and unusual happenings this week,

Hansen House gardens at night with full moon and animal lit for Design week festival

maybe it was the full moon.

The only thing related to politics

 that I will mention

Eiffel Tower in Jerusalem for French PM

is an Eiffel Tower model constructed during the visit of

the French Prime Minister Manuel Valls.

I was going to photo shop out the man on the crane,

but then I realized that he was securing the tower

so that it would not fall down in the extremely high winds.

selfie at Hansen House night in garden

Just a bit from this week worthy of a selfie.

There is also a Book Festival, Russian Festival,

MusaraMix Seam Art Festival,

the annual Israel Festival

and my favorite, the Light Festival.

Tonight, starting as soon as the sun sets and going all night long

are the huge bonfires of Lag B’Omer

Spring festival season,

never know what you will see next happening

on the real Jerusalem, Israel streets.

11 Scenes of Erev Yom Kippur in Jerusalem

At the end of the Rosh Hashana holiday weekend,

some neighborhoods were piled high with garbage.

I will spare you those ugly photos this year

image holiday packaging

and only post this one of the holiday boxes, marked with dripping honey.

The city was prepared this time, no complaints about hauling it all away,

but plenty of complaints about time!

The usual change from Daylight Savings time before Yom Kippur

did not happen this year because of a new law in the Knesset,

so many woke up an hour off when their devices did not get that memo.

Some Apps are still off an hour,

image for Yom Kippur

but many of the buses did change to the Yom Kippur greeting,

to be sealed for a good year.

The change of seasons can be felt by the shorter days and cooler weather,

but days are still warm enough

image Arab woman

 to stroll down the street eating an ice cream cone.

On days leading up to Yom Kippur

image paroes before YOm Kipput

Chabad was out on the streets not only offering chance to put on tefilin,

but also to get a head start on Kaparot, using money,

instead of chickens to get rid of your sins.

image Pais Arena Jerusalem

The 11,000 seat new Jerusalem Payis Arena was filled

by those honoring the first  yahrzeit of Rav Ovadia Yosef.

image Jerusalem, Israel

The landscape in Jerusalem, Israel, is changing in all directions.

In time for the holiday tourist season,

image Hansen House

  the gates of the renovated old Hansen House are open.

image large sign in hebrew

For many locals the expansion of Hadar Mall in Talpiot

with a new supermarket opening was big news.

But this season, expansion and building features

image getting ready for holiday

 the walls of sukkot for the holiday next week,

image colorful decorations

with colorful decorations for sale.

image poster for Jerusalem Formula

And, next week is the Jerusalem Formula Road Show,

and if it is anything like last year

the Jerusalem, Israel streets will be filled with people and fast cars,

the opposite of Yom Kippur with no cars and people fasting.

Gmar chatima tova

may all be sealed for a good year.