Friday, July 2, 2010

WHITE NIGHT in TEL AVIV

In July 2003 Tel Aviv, the city that never stops and never sleeps, was honored to be chosen by UNESCO as a World Heritage site, because of its remarkable Bauhaus architecture and abundant and versatile cultural heritage. 
To celebrate and homage this noble and well deserved gesture the Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality decided to hold an annual festival every first Thursday of July of a big all-night-long in-and-out-doors party, called White Night (yes, there are also White Nights in France and other cities...)

Cultural institutions, like the Cameri Theater and the Israeli Opera open their doors till the early morning hours. Free concerts are strewn throughout the city and the streets are flooded with happy people, many dressed in white. Restaurants, pubs and cafes stay open all night and especially the beach front cafes and bars are much fun to visit and you sit there with your feet stuck in the sand, listening to live music of all kinds and to the waves crushing on shore, and with something to sip from in your hand, all your worries floating out of your heart and disappearing into the sky...
A great variety of entertainment is offered, including fashion and art, the city vibrates with energy, there is a breeze from the sea and the heat of the day is forgotten.

The fleamarket in Yafo, Shuk haPishpeshim, offering street theater performances and nighttime tours to get better knowledge of the area, is packed with visitors all night and is bustling with activity around the art and craft stalls, shops and small picturesque coffee houses with their local ambient.

Yesterday one of the highlights and the main attraction was Rothschild Boulevard, the garden boulevard with the kiosks in the middle, with many of its buildings lit, all the fancy restaurants open with special deals during the White Night, and many shows going on right there under the trees. 
Who fancies Jazz could be served at Ben Gurion Boulevard and at the old train station near Neve Tzedek, who likes Flamenco could dance at the Suzanne Dellal Piazza - really, there was such an abundance and something to pick for everyone.

Hip Hop and Pop-Shop parties were held in Bialik Street and at the Dizengoff Center and near the Dolphinarium at the beach. And all the parties are always free of charge, even the nocturnal open-air concert at the beach, which was given this night by the popular Israeli singer Gidi Gov, featuring authentic Israeli songs and music was gratis. 
And last but not least there was an exciting event at the Shalom junction, a bungee jump from a burning rope at 100 meters height, stretched between the Azrielli Towers, accomplished by magician Hezi Din who was tied up and had to free himself before the jump. 

With all this entertainment going on we had to choose and we opted for the Opera. The performance started at midnight, tickets had been sold weeks before at very low cost, keeping within the general concept of the night. 
The program was marvelous with a lot of talented young singers and one Diva, Israeli soprano Mirela Gradinaru, all accompanied by a wonderful pianist and  featuring a variety of arias from operas and operettas such as from Rigoletto, La Traviata, La Boheme, Figaro, Carmen, The Magic Flute, The Barber of Seville, Cavalleria Rusticana, and more, as well as songs from musicals, like Porgy and Bess, Oklahoma, My Fair Lady, West Side Story and excerpts from The Tales of Hoffmann.

Most enjoyable was the magnificent and so humorous Israeli born tenor Guy Mannheim, singing 'Komm Zigan, komm'  from Countess Marizza by Emmerich Kalman with bravura and in what seemed to be a very Jewish style! He topped it with his interpretation of Tevje from the Fiddler on the Roof - dadadada da da...

The fun at the opera lasted till three o'clock in the morning and while walking back to the car we noticed the streets still were swarmed with people of all ages, many teenagers among them and a frolic, light and vibrant atmosphere was in the air with the celebration going on and on...

But remember: Tel Aviv never stops and never sleeps - you do not have to wait till next year to enjoy many of the above pleasures - the beach and the coffee houses are always waiting for you! 
Nevertheless: may there be many more White Nights in Tel Aviv!!!

6 comments:

veroque said...

יעל, זה נשמע נהדר. אני אוהבת כל כך את תל אביב - ביום ובלילה.

aurorafedora said...

wow! that sounds like an awesome event!! have a great day, yael...joanne

glazedOver said...

You painted such a detailed and picturesque painting of the Tel Aviv White Night that I could close my eyes and imagine myself there (which I truly wish I was). What a wonderful tribute and a fitting way to celebrate. Sounds like you had a charmed evening. How wonderful!!

glazedOver said...

Jacob wants to know how the burning magician did. Did he make it in time?

Dawn of LaTouchables said...

You make me feel like I was there!

Yael said...

Oh, I think that magician is alive and okay! No shocking reports at the news papers!!