Author: Taxin, Adam
Date published: May 5, 2011
Yom Ha'atzmaut - Israeli Independence Day, May 10 - is a timely reminder that the State of Israel, much as we may take it for granted, is actuallyonly 63 years old.
Because of its relative newcomer status, as well as the waves of immigration from all parts of the world that have been a constant during those years, a state of flux is a given for the Jewish state, particularly in areas without the history of ancient cities such as Jerusalem.
This state of flux is certainly reflected in the Tel Aviv-Jaffa area. The ancient port city of Jaffa is actually incorporated with Tel Aviv into Tel Aviv-Yafo.
Although quite possibly one of the world's oldest cities, Jaffa - specifically the Old City by the harbor - continues to be a prime destination for art galleries.
Now, it's practically the place to be.
At Adina Plastelina, for example, which opened in 2004 and is located in a centuries-old building, co-owners Adi Prahia and Sami Leder have created individual handmade jewelry and designed accessories by applying an ancient glasswork technique called "millefiori" to polymer clays.
A look around the gallery confirms their own characterization of their work as containing "inspirational optimistic elements, which are colorful beyond imagination and suited especially for those of us with 'joie de vivre and a naughty charm.' "
Even if you were to visit this area every two years or so, it would be nearly impossible to keep abreast of what's currently new and "hot," as this writer discovered during a visit at Passover time. (The David Intercontinental Hotel, besides a great location, has hip general manager David E. Cohen, who helps keep the site hopping.)
IN PERFECT HARMONY
For example, this Passover was a particularly "green" one in south Tel Aviv. During the holiday, Coca-Cola unveiled its new Recycled Collection Pop-Up Store, featuring products such as clothing and other goods made exclusively from recycled Coca-Cola bottles and cans.
In conjunction with the Coca-Cola brand's "Give It Back" campaign, the store invited customers to bring in used bottles and cans to trade in for credit toward the store's products.
The Pop-Up Store is located in the Old Train Station in Neve Tzedek. Built in 1890 on the Jaffa-Jerusalem railway, the Old Train Station had been in a rundown state since 1948, the year of Israel's independence, when the line was abandoned.
However, it reopened on March 18, 2010, as part of the celebration of Tel Aviv's 100th birthday. The new cultural mecca (also known as HaTahana) features various clothing stores, galleries, restaurants, coffee shops and other venues catering to the "new wealth."
Jewish Exponent Feature