People are slowly coming back onto the Jerusalem streets, like bears emerging slowly from hibernation, lumbering up from deep in their caves.
Recognizing friends you have not seen in over a year (or was it two?) whose faces are hidden behind a mask is not so easy. But what a pleasure it is to reunite and speak to people in real life, rather than via a computer screen.
Weddings with bubbles and brides! What could be better this week? Albeit with caution and held outside, but celebrations are back, better than last year and with anticipation and enthusiasm.
Organized tour groups have returned to the Jerusalem streets.
The Kotel (Western Wall) train is back in business.
Not your usual train tunnel
or usual train track,
but the Kotel train, love it or hate it, is back on the Jerusalem streets.
Inside and even outside the walls of the Old City, photoshoots for bar mitzvahs and other celebrations are common again.
Shopping at Mamilla Mall? Masks are needed inside stores, but not outside.
The cats are not back, they never left the Jerusalem streets. Need at least one cat photo, here in the new parking lot in the Armenian Quarter.
Parking in Jerusalem has never been easy, but these workers found a convenient spot on the sidewalk near the construction area at the Paris Fountain.
Remember the parking lot at Shaare Zedek hospital that opened up and swallowed cars? Repair work has progressed, but the area is still not back to normal.
Construction outside the hospital parking area is only part of the story.
The work on the new Route 16 nearby is extensive.
Mountains of dirt are being moved, and
tunnels are emerging from underground.
On the other side of Shmuel Bait Street, there is more huge equipment.
Part of the mountain is gone to make room for new lanes of traffic.
A whole new scene awaits when you return to these Jerusalem streets.
As mentioned last week the Jerusalem Marathon is back!
The Sports Expo returns for two days, October 26-28, at a new venue in the Jerusalem Cinema City, before the Friday marathon races.
Will the new children’s playground at Sacher Park be ready in time?
Participants will see new buildings in the city center as they run by.
The Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Conference is to be held at the new The Museum of Tolerance building. Last year it was held online.
Andrea Merkel is back again. Three years ago this was the table set for the German Chancellor at a special lunch at Beit Hanasi, with then-President Reuven Rivlin and Israeli Nobel Prize winners. This time no media, private lunch for two, but I did see her motorcade leave.
The First Station parking lot has been full at night. People are back in large numbers. But, the winter igloos have popped up for those who still need more time in a cave and are not ready to party in crowds.
Here’s to celebrating, coming back, and enjoying life.
Hope to see you soon on the Jerusalem streets!