As the new year 2021, begins wishing all
good health and a great year
and next year in Jerusalem!
For months I stayed close to home, so when I ventured out it was a shock.
In Jerusalem, Israel, walking in the park and nature areas had been a daily relief from COVID-19 limitations. But seeing what had been done to the Jerusalem streets in my absence was amazing.
Some locations recently renovated have become popular out door spaces.
With the announcement of the renovation, expansion, and renaming of the Jerusalem International Conference Center for Shimon Peres, it was time to go again see what was happening.
It was exciting to see new stairs leading up to where the old parking lot was located. The past years access has been difficult with so many changes in the infrastructure. Every time you came for an event, there was a new traffic pattern and the old stairs were gone.
Jerusalem of old is going and the new is going down and up and up.
The old Kraft Stadium has gone down, just down as seen from the street.
But the housing across the road has gone up and up.
This new Abba Eban Street was one of the first in the neighborhood.
The old Foreign Ministry campus is now a luxury housing project going up.
The bollards are up on the new sidewalk in front the Netanyahu house.
But business in the area is down. This red antique van, parked near Balfour Street for a very long time, was in front of a closed restaurant.
The restaurants and bars are closed, but the bakery is open with patrons waiting outside at a distance, and many food places are selling take out.
Not so easy for a tailor to social distance and survive financially.
But walk up the street and there are new traffic lights and construction.
First time I saw a worker cutting stones on the spot.
The street by the Ohel Nechama Synagogue on the way to the Jerusalem Theater is being redone.
The Jerusalem Theater looks the same, however, it is closed. I just missed a dance class which took place on the plaza outside in front.
This is the new footpath and view from the Jerusalem Theater plaza.
The footpath leads to the new parking lot for the theatre. Seems the builders added a couple of extra floors and now construction has stopped and the action has moved to the court room.
The area around the Jerusalem Theater is very different. Be warned the first time you go to give yourself extra time to figure out which direction is up or down or around.
The Museum of Islamic Art, as are the other museums, is closed and in financial trouble with no visitors. An auction of 200 items from the private museum’s storerooms was halted due to negative publicity.
But there should be more concern for the small business owner who can’t legally open their doors.
Walking around the Jerusalem streets, building after building is going up.
Bus stops have been moved, streets were redone with commercial parking.
The construction fence is gone, and now there’s a new theater in Liberty Bell Park near the rollerblading skating rink and new parking lot.
New seating areas with wooden benches and shade grace more Jerusalem streets since the novel coronavirus crippled the tourism industry.
New paths with fancy wood garbage bins have been installed in Gan Sacher, Sacher Park, along with lots of new landscaping.
But walking around Jerusalem, it was good to see some of the familiar sites.
The stairs in Yemin Moshe look the same as before the novel coronavirus.
And the Lion Fountain was back on! No children were splashing and cooling in the water as in past years, but the big lion had the same one drop drip from his chin as before.
So much had changed on the Jerusalem streets over the spring and summer.
The Tower of David is closed to the public for a major renovation. I will share that big project next time. Meanwhile, I will end with a clip from the King David Night and Light Show. Can’t wait to see what they do next!
Hope to be able to share the real Jerusalem streets with you in person soon.
Jerusalem in August is usually not the most popular place to be.
It’s hot. It gets humid at night in Jerusalem.
It’s summer vacation time when residents go north to find cool waterways and nature trails. In past years, tens of thousands of Israelis flew overseas to foreign destinations for a holiday. With COVID-19, nothing is usual this summer.
But even during a pandemic in Jerusalem, the attitude is that the show must go on.
The Western Wall Plaza is divided up to meet the latest prayer limit restrictions and, as you can see in this image taken after Shabbat, the sections were filled.
Families are doing their best to keep children busy and safe. With hats, sunglasses, and masks it can be difficult to recognize friends.
Last week the clouds over Jerusalem were impressive.
For two days in a row, there was no rain, just massive clouds over the city.
Those white billowing clouds can make for colorful images at sunset.
By day even weeds growing wild make for a colorful image.
These are the slow days or the end of summer. Instead of attending crowded festival events and conferences with hundreds of participants, walking these nature trails in Jerusalem has been a daily activity. There is a man sitting and reading alone in the distance. There are a few runners, occasionally a person sitting alone on a bench meditating, even a young couple sitting together, with the girl wearing a hijab covering her face with her hands.
I refrain from taking photos of people to respect their privacy. But this guy I had to get.
Days of walking slowly, not rushing to a scheduled meeting, one can look and see a bird perched.
Look up, there are building cranes in most directions over Jerusalem streets. These working on the National Library and Jerusalem Gateway seemed to be in sync.
Oops, the water company was on site for a water leak.
The next day it was repaired and all was back to normal.
However, not all is quiet. The protests near the Prime Minister’s Residence continue. Members of the IPO played a concert and various culture groups also joined protesters.
Theaters have not been allowed to reopen. However, the 59th Israel Festival, originally set for June, has rescheduled for September 3-12. The “show must go on” for the annual Jerusalem event with local and foreign artists, events, and performances.
The 2020 Jerusalem Jazz Festival is planned for September 8-10.
The Jerusalem Municipality is holding a series of events at Jerusalem’s bars and nightlife businesses. Every Monday, during the month of August, the Shaon Horef events are happening.
Jerusalem School of Rock student performers were out entertaining the public. One of the many Jerusalem street actors passed by and danced to the beat for a bit on his way up Hillel Street.
A warm-up for August 20-21, the two-day family-friendly smoke-free, second annual Jerusalem Community Woodstock event. Featuring the best of the Woodstock era bands with music, food, camping out
The jamming to the “greatest music in rock history” is planned at Silo, a vegetarian eatery, off the First Station parking lot. At this Jerusalem Woodstock, don’t expect to find mud, smoking, or drugs.
The Israel Museum finally reopened after being closed for months due to corona.
The first visitors came on Thursday with masks, tickets, and special security.
The water is back on and flowing over the Shrine of the Book.
The Bloomfield Science Museum is to reopen this week.
Planning for the future, The Jerusalem Theater opened its 2021 membership season.
Here are some on my favorite Jerusalem flowers, the בוגונויליה – Bougainvillea.
Want to get out of Jerusalem and see more Israeli flowers?
See the latest wildflower walking tours HERE.
And to end on a positive note, the night shows at the Tower of David were fully booked! So they added more. Only Friday nights the lights and sounds are silent.
Rosh Hodesh Elul is Thursday and Friday.
Only one more month in the Hebrew year תש”פ.
In Jerusalem, the streets and shows are slowly happening again.
Wherever you are headed this week take care and stay safe.
The skis are opening up to tourists.
Hoping to see more visitors again on the Jerusalem streets.