Jerusalem: Looking Back and Forward

Jerusalem: Looking Back and Forward

Jerusalem, Israel:

the autumn clouds are white,

and look like puffs of cotton in the blue sky.

Jerusalem, Israel blue sky, white clouds over the Western Wall in Old City Jerusalem Israel

It’s after the busy fall holiday season,

and the record crowds of visitors have returned home.

On a weekday afternoon,

Lone man praying in afternoon at Kossel Yerushalayim

it is possible to find a time at

 the Kotel, Western Wall, to pray in solitude.

This is in contrast to the main lightrail route,

along Jaffa Road.

At the start people complained.

Rechov Jafo in Yerushalayim people waiting for light rail

Who remembers the Saga of Light Rail?

Today crowds can be found along the route day and night.

Remember when George Mitchell was going to

work out a peace deal in the Middle East?

It did not go as Mitchell planned.

However, remember when the

Nature Museum was to be closed?

work and music in garden museum in Jerusalem Israel

Well, the protesters prevailed over the developers,

and today new signs tell of new projects

that are happening on those Jerusalem grounds.

children in fountain

In Jerusalem new parks have been developed

and old playgrounds are being leveled and upgraded.

Looking back just a few years

we can see and feel the difference,

but there are too many examples to list now.

This week I was on the helicopter landing pad

at Hadassah Hospital in Ein Kerem,

to take photos – not as a patient – thanks.

You will hear about their plans soon,

View of Jerusalem Israel from top of helicopter landing at Hadassah Ein Kerem

but what a view there is from up there.

As we commented on all the new building going on,

Cab driver asked to take his picture

my taxi driver on the way home wanted me to take his photo.

All around there are new Jerusalem roads

 which are too often overloaded with traffic.

Wait until the next holiday season,

the suffganiot have been out for weeks,

Suffganiot in window of bakery in Jerusalem

and soon it will be Hanukkah.

With all the centennial events,

yet another big one is ahead.

Allenby 100 years entering Jerusalem

General Allenby made his way into the Old City

of Jerusalem on foot on December 11, 1917,

one hundred years ago.

It was also Hanukkah then,

but I would bet the window displays were not filled

with suffganiot weeks before the holiday.

Oh, Yerushalayim, 

Jerusalem looking back and to the future.

Walked Down Jerusalem’s Jaffa Road Recently?

Time to get out and walk

on a special Jerusalem, Israel street.

kids playing in water in Jerusalem

Children cool off in this water mist from an urban installation.

Remember when traffic pollution was so thick

it was hard to breathe?

Not any more, no cars allowed.

Walk further down Jaffa Road,

Kikar Zion changing new building

construction cranes rise above Ben Yehuda Street,

and off Kikar Tzion, Zion Square,

Mashbir and new hotel off Zion Square

  the new Mashbir has a new neighbor.

Its renovations completed,

the new Herbert Samuel Hotel has opened.

Near the site of the Sbarro bombing 15 years ago,

Jaffa Road near Sbarro bombing site

people have returned to city center.

After years of the Jerusalem light rail saga,

Light rail trains on Jaffa Road Jerusalem

trains are running regularly.

Walk Jaffa Road,

off Davidka Square you will see

Davika Square sign for Camera Man photo exhibit at Tower of David Museum

some of the photos from the

 Tower of David Museum great photo exhibit.

Wow, across the way,

Davidka Square in Jerusalem off Jaffa Road

look at those trees,

what a difference since the storms of January 2013

knocked out the new plantings.

A popular new night attraction at the shuk,

Machane Yehuda market,

are the shutters painted by Solomon Souza.

Machane Yehudah market shutter painted

Here one shop was closed during the day,

with the bright colors and Hebrew words visible.

Oh dear, and across Jaffa Road,

Urban Installation Warda a mess again on Jaffa Road

 was the sad looking וורדה.

I had a whole blog planned on this street installation,

called Varda, with its faded fabric, replaced multiple times,

tied for winter winds, and millions of shekels wasted since 2014.

This week one “flower” was so shredded,

it was removed – again.

Maybe more on that another time.

Jerusalem Israel Jaffa Street

The Jaffa Road area has changed drastically.

View of Jerusalem from top of Sharei Hair building Jaffa Road

Construction has begun on huge projects.

new construction from top of Jaffa Road Jerusalem

Hundreds of new apartments are going up.

The new fast train to Tel Aviv is coming–

imagine a half-an-hour from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv.

It’s really coming.

Located across from the central bus station

on Jaffa Road,

Jaffa Road new train station being built on Jaffa Road

  is Jerusalem’s newest train station.

man reading book dressed in white robes and woman on cell phone

Old and new.

Jerusalem of contrasts.

Jaffa Road has changed over the years.

Always something new to see on the Jerusalem streets.

12 Jerusalem Scenes with Israel Under Fire

Israel is under fire.

Southern Israel has been getting hit for over 10 years

and people always said “wait till the rockets hit Tel Aviv!”

Well, rockets from Gaza have hit Tel Aviv.

Again and again people run to bomb shelters after the sirens.

 Operation Protective Edge is going into a third week.

In Jerusalem, Israel we have had “only” a few sirens,

image washing hanging out

so the daily routine like hanging the washing goes on.

image getting ready for school

Fall school supplies are ready in shops, though there are very few shopping for the fall.

Some tourists are cancelling their trips,

 ElAl has room to spread out on their flights and thanks those who fly with them.

people eating out doors

But people are still eating falafel on King George Street.

image light rail and Jaffa Street

 Jaffa Road towards the Old City,

image Jaffa Road

and towards Machane Yehuda Market, the shuk,

looks the same minus lots of Arab women shopping,

but it is the month of Ramadan and they are fasting month and it is hot.

 I did spot one interesting couple,

image Arab girl, photo Muslim couple Palestine

I had to get a good photo of those shoes.

Everyone knows someone who has been called up for duty,

and my son-in-law has been on the Egyptian border

on reserve duty for over two weeks.

Like so many other young mothers, my daughter is trying to manage

with her children out of school, work and appointments…

and how to get to them all to a bomb shelter

when there is a siren warning of incoming rockets.

inside Jerusalem Cinema City

Jerusalem Cinema City is one popular option for an outing,

being that most of it is safely underground.

children doing water play

But the Bloomfield Science Museum and

Israel Museum

 Israel Museum also provide fun and educational activities.

And in this crazy upside down time,

image outdoor party

last week as planes flew over head in Abu Gosh,

a caterer held a tasting for a dozen August weddings.

image party over

We ate it all and keep planning the wedding.

At the same time it is hard to not think about

image Israeli soldiers

and thank all our Israeli soldiers,

as friends went to Ashkelon to be with their wounded son,

and another funeral begins.