First destination, just like in NYC is to get our senior public transportation passes, a Rav Kav card with our picture and a smart chip.
We walked to the service office and getting the card was fast and efficient, much better than NYC or SF. We were then heading for Sarona Market when Jim recognized the hole in the wall Miznon even though the name out front was in Hebrew.
This food outlet, hardly a restaurant as you order at the counter and they then scream out your name for pickup at the counter, is the reason that we decided to come to Tel Aviv. Miznon in Paris was recommend to us by our friends Neil & Audrey and we ate there with them for the first time. It became our favorite place to eat and was instrumental in our decision to move to Israel for the winter. We loved the simple very tasty pita pocket combinations of meat, sauce and veggies. They also grill or char cauliflower, broccoli, eggplant, sweet potatoes & corn on the cob. We loved the vibe of the loud music and equally loud, raucous and friendly wait staff. Of course we had to stop and eat so our second meal in Israel was at Miznon. There are six outlets in Tel Aviv and while looking that up I found that there is one on 15th Street in NYC which opened after we left.
After our delicious lunch of a ratatouille pita pocket and beer we walked on to the Sarona Market. We had visualized this as a dirty outdoor farmers market or a flea market, turns out it is a fancy indoor place resembling more Eatily, Fanueil Hall in Boston or Chelsea Market in NYC with expensive high rise apartments built above it. Sandy stumbled across a beautiful pair of Brooks running shoes with a full Union Jack look which we both loved. This will be fitting running shoes for our next destination of London.
As she was purchasing them Jim realized that he had left our backpack with $60 worth of cheese and other purchases sitting on a chair at Miznon. While Jim went running back to retrieve it the clerk at Brooks reassured Sandy that no one would steal it but that an unattended backpack in Israel is taken seriously and he presented the scenario that the police would come immediately and just blow it up. Fortunately we avoided an international incident as the backpack was safely behind the counter at Miznon.
We did our first run on day 3, Wednesday, running to the Yarkon river and then following it to the Mediterranean promenade boardwalk and renovated hip Port area with a multitude of shops and restaurants. We picked up a pita with falafel, salad and humous for Lunch.
The weather here is notoriously changeable with brief showers coming and going almost every day and a lot of wind. Jim headed out to the Post Office on Wednesday afternoon and experienced a few brief outbursts during a 20 minute walk. After the first rain shower he viewed an amazing full double rainbow which Sandy later saw on the Travel & Leisure website.
Thursday, day 3, we walked over 7 miles, starting by walking about 2 miles down the Mediterranean promenade boardwalk which we have already described.
It was a very blustery day as there is a near hurricane tropical storm approaching tonight, but that didn’t dissuade the runners, surfers and wind surfers.
Our destination was the Carmel market which is a vibrant eclectic mix of produce, baked goods, sweets, street food outlets, clothes, household supplies and tchotchke with the sellers LOUDLY hawking their wares. There are no words to describe how “alive” the vibe is here and we are soaking up every minute.
We had lunch in the middle of the chaos sitting around the kitchen of a street food place.
After the market we wandered down Allenby street where we saw store after store selling beautiful gowns. We can’t imagine who wears these gowns or to what events. We then took a left on Rothschild Boulevard which is a lot like Commonwealth Avenue in Boston or Park Avenue in NYC but a lot narrower, shorter and more third world.
Heading home from this outing we passed a tiny shop with a hat outside that caught Jim’s eye. It matched his clothes perfectly and the shop owner wanted a picture of him. In return we took a picture of Jim with her.
Not to be outdone Sandy saw the perfect pair of antique pearl and diamond earrings in an antique jewelry store window. We stopped in and discovered that the owner had lived in Boston while her husband took an anesthesiology residency at Beth Israel about 30 years ago. Her daughter and family live there now.
Thursday night brought a tropical storm which hit Tel Aviv with torrential rain and 60-70mph wind gusts which awoke Sandy in the middle of the night. Friday morning gusty winds continued and Jim went out to the beach to take pictures of the surf while Sandy just hunkered down for the day and enjoyed a rare treat of being a couch potato and reading news, books & magazines.