“Omg it looks like New York” she said with glitter in her blue eyes. I smile at her because, how could I not, she loves New York. She loves New York because she didn’t grow up 40 minutes away from it. The strangely familiar visual changed the whole perspective of the place. She was right, it did look like New York.
But it’s just not New York. The air is different and the music is warming. This is not New York. This is Tel Aviv. This is a city that knows peace because it knows war. This is a type of place that has a tough exterior, but a loving inside. Not that New York hasn’t had it’s battles and Tel Aviv is the land of always peaceful, but something about the side street falafel and hummus assures you of it’s family values.
The small hours wandering a museum of Yitzhak Rabin makes a person wonder why it’s always the person advocating peace who pays the price of resting in it. Why?
The city marked on miracles and misfortune can make a mensch out of a menace. But who else can become a mensch but one who has been misfit? “One can only make peace with their enemies” the Rabin says. I say one can only know hurt by being so.
Just as we women know love because we know heartbreak. We know proper educate because we know how to act a fool. We are both sides of the coin and we argue for both sides of the case. For love, all for love. Love that we will one day be there on that day of peace as one, one of love. And then it rains, then the people say to life, “l’chaim!” As we start to head down stream. The night after the full moon, and now we have an eb to this flow. A dance to this music. The splash sound to droplets of truth, the poetry of going out on a gloomy night. Because tonight even in lit up streets we prefer to be in the dark.
This is not New York, this is Tel Aviv. This is where we know ourselves, because we don’t know what we will become. Where a night taking the one bus becomes the one night we acted like we were number one. Yes the night life is always face up, so we put our drinks down. Why not be young and free in the foreign priceless memories of a person’s early twenties. We have our youth, we are single, and we can choose to do whatever we want. Who cares if Jerusalem encourages us to wear sleeves.
This is the city of Tel Aviv, who were they to know anything about us as we jog down the streets and pass on wearing a sports bra. Who are they to know what the context of our character consist of? We are here to be ourselves regardless of the fact that if we stop to take a breath from running we wind up unintentionally racking up a guy’s number without even wanting it.
No I don’t think I’ll be texting you my name. It’s just too Israeli, it’s just so Tel Aviv. It’s too forward when you aren’t even in the mood. But we just keep pressing on like a soldier. We are fearless, and there’s a proud pace to our steps. But we can’t stop running, and the silence remembers that we are still that little afraid girl.
This is not New York. This is Tel Aviv, the city of parties-parties, restaurants, businesses, and stores. The lifestyle is full of different sounds and beautifully lit hidden side streets. It’s a lotus in a pond and its petals are the walls of its skyscrapers. We aren’t protected by any of the realities of Israel even if all the apartments must legally have one bomb shelter room. Because this is so not New York.
This is Tel Aviv. This is a new spring that flows from the eternal soul to seduce us with sensual allure. “This is the place to be,” a small voice may tell us. There has never been one who could resist the thoughts of temptation surrounded in a such a holy land.