Jerusalem in January: See What’s Hot and Happening

January in Jerusalem, Israel, could be cold, dark and wet. But this year the weather has been mild, with sunny days and cool nights. Perfect weather to get out and walk on Jerusalem streets. Sadly, not good weather for farmers.

In the Talpiot neighborhood, the sun was shining over this old drab building painted with vivid colors.

I had gone to find the mural hung in support of Iranian women. The large banner is to be in this Jerusalem location for six weeks and then move on to another Israeli city.

The vivid Talpiot murals have increased over the years and graffiti has become a popular artistic expression along with the Jerusalem building and construction boom of recent years.

Not everything in Jerusalem is as it appears.

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This building might seem like a slum, and yet it is located in a popular and increasingly expensive neighborhood.

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Meters away from the Train Track trail, popular for walking and cycling.

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And this street in Jerusalem is a considered major thoroughfare.

Shabbat morning three Arab women were having driving lessons, on this street at the same time. One teacher was wearing a hijab, something that I hadn’t seen before.

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In Jerusalem, it’s possible to find time to pray, almost all day and all night.

You can also purchase a snack, drink, or pair of tzitzit from the vending machine at any time of day.

You never know what you will find next on the Jerusalem streets.

The bus stops are decorated with cute posters for a warm winter in Jerusalem. And it has been a very warm winter indeed!

The flowers are bursting with color.

It’s hard to walk down Jerusalem streets and not stop and notice.

This week I have constantly been impressed at the colors and variety.

But most of all, a sign of how warm it has been, the almond trees are in bloom already well before Tu B’Shevat – even before Rosh Chodesh Shevat.

I went on Friday to check out the almond blossoms and passed by Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s Residence. Five layers of barriers were in place on Friday afternoon, all ready for anti-government protesters on Saturday night.

I checked out what was happening, and put together this video.

Remember Balfour Street from the previous protests? It was open to pedestrians during the protests and for many months.

Oh, the Jerusalem streets. What will happen next?

“You took me and my daughters 7 years ago and we loved it! Hopefully on our next visit!” was the comment I woke up to this morning in an email.  Was that the best cancelation comment ever?

When will you see the real Jerusalem streets?

Jerusalem Photos: Colors of Winter

December in Jerusalem has been marked by cooler and shorter days, but gloriously sunny daytime hours.

After two weeks in the United States, it was good to be back out walking on the Jerusalem streets again. In New Jersey, I was one of the very few people who walked anywhere. I found most people just hopped into a car even to do short trips of a couple of blocks.

When I returned the skyline was different, as the Jerusalem Gateway project proceeds near the entrance to Jerusalem, Israel.

One massive construction site fills the area behind the old Shaare Zedek Hospital, with other large buildings going up on Jaffa Road in the distance.

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Not been to Jerusalem lately to see the structures rising to the sky?

The new building construction seems to be everywhere!

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Finishing details outside, but more to do inside this renovated apartment building.

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On Agrippas Street one does not have to look up to see new colors and activities or improvements. Last year this was still a run-down area,

as Coffee Powerworks was opening up in the spring after covid closings.

Walking on the Jerusalem streets, the contrast of winter colors from those in the US was what caught my eye the most.

The fall colors from the leaves on trees to brilliant hues are not quite the same in Jerusalem, but you can find a little of the fall colors under the tall palm trees.

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These leaves above caught my attention before I noticed the ripe grapes.

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In the two weeks I was away, fresh green grass had popped up in the yard in Jerusalem, unlike the northeastern US.

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A favorite view of the Israel Museum is over the Valley of the Cross, turning green under the blue sky dotted with soft white clouds, after winter rain.

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Purple! A favorite – purple is everywhere along the Jerusalem streets.

All shades, as thousands of flowers were planted for winter in Jerusalem.

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Oh my, what a sight! More work on Gan Sacher, Sacher Park, after years, and years, and the dedication of the new playground a year ago, now a whole large grassy section is dug up and under construction again.

And to conclude, you never know what you will find next on the Jerusalem streets.

Does anyone know what this is? Found along an entranceway on a busy street where people regularly walk near the center of Jerusalem.

Isn’t it time for you to take a stroll in Jerusalem to see what you find?

Capture your memories of people and places on a Jerusalem photo walk.

Jerusalem in Autumn Colors

While I miss the colorful autumn leaves from the North Eastern United States, it was a very colorful week in Jerusalem.

Different colors, such as the colorful wedding we attended to start the week.

Occasionally an interesting leaf appears on a Jerusalem street.

But it was the bright yellow of the blooming flowers

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and newly planted Jerusalem flower beds that really got my attention.

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Under a bright blue sky with white clouds, Jerusalem was full of color.

The Israeli Presidential Medal of Honor was awarded to President Nicos Anastasiades of the Republic of Cyprus at Beit Hanasi by President Herzog.

During the ceremony, the colorful flowers outside the window distracted me and caught my attention.

But I put together a short video if you want to see more of the event.

Not only are there new colors in the smaller receiving room,

but new colorful Jerusalem artwork is displayed on the walls.

A few hours after the Medal of Honor ceremony the furniture was rearranged in order to receive the representatives of the political parties to recommend a candidate to form the new government.

As in the recent past, the President’s discussions were broadcast live.

The procedure began with Likud, the party with the most votes.

The media has the same view on screens from a reception space off the main room, however, I decided to go to see what was happening.

Here a TV news person reported in Arabic as the Noam party finished their turn with a recommendation to the President.

I waited to see the United Arab List (Ra’am) delegation comprising Mansour Abbas MK, Yasser Hajirat MK-elect, and Iman Khatib-Yasin MK arrive on the red carpet to tell the President they would not make a recommendation.

I did not stay around to see if they made a comment after or were followed out by journalists for comment as I saw for the Noam members.

The media was out in full when President Isaac Herzog assigned the task of forming a government to Benjamin Netanyahu MK at the President’s Residence today. So glad I got a front-row seat and was not standing on a chair in the back of the crowded room.

But more was happening this week than election news.

How appropriate that a book launch for “A Banker’s Journey: How Edmond J. Safra built a global financial empire” was held at the Israel Museum.

The Museum Theater where author Daniel Gross spoke with journalist Matti Friedman was next to the Edmond and Lily Safra Art Wing.

Colorful posters line some Jerusalem streets announcing events and festivals, like the Tower of David’s ZEROline II 1/2 on November 11-13.

Then there is the Israel Music Showcase Festival on November 22-27 and more, such as The Train Theater conference to begin on International Children’s Day on November 20, entitled, “How a child writes.”

Just when I thought I had finally found a place to enjoy a bit of fall color,

further down the path were big blue signs blocking the way.

Oh, the Jerusalem streets! Fix them and then tear them up again?

But to end with one piece of good construction news,

New tunnel on Route 60 to Gush Etzion

remember the Summer street scenes of the tunnel to Gush Etzion?

It was reported that one of the new tunnels is ready to open this week.

Perhaps some of the traffic backed up coming off of new Route #16 we ease up with the traffic flowing better out of Jerusalem.

It has mostly been warm during the day, so the leaves in Liberty Bell Park are still full and green. Love the Jerusalem colors as winter approaches.

It may not feel like it, but it’s time to plan for Hanukah, only 5 weeks away!

New this year is a Hanukkah tour of Nachlaot starting with donuts.

Or for those interested in a Jerusalem walking tour without the calories to see the colors of the real Jerusalem streets and lights check HERE