Thursday, February 9, 2017

Oh, Oh What a Beautiful City!

After midnight
It’s after midnight and the streets of Jerusalem are alive with music. Our apartment for the next two weeks is right smack in the middle of Jaffa Street. Crossing the city from east to west, Jaffa is one of the oldest and longest streets in Jerusalem. This is the heart of the city, with all its arteries flowing throughout into the various areas, each rich with specific spirit and purpose.

The Light Rail
I revel in the sounds of the city. It bustles constantly with Israeli music stridently blasting from the street and the many shops, businesses and restaurants that line the road. Pedestrians from all over the world connect with the “triple” intersection of Machane Yehude Market, Central Bus Station and King George. The car free passage offers an electric train (Jerusalem Light Rail opened in 2011) for those who don’t want to walk from one end of the street to the other. It’s a far cry from the camels and mules that originally carried us to and from our destinations here.

Music everywhere
Even after midnight, the energy of life permeates the streets and flows into our apartment. Laughter, loud voices, conversations that sound more like yelling matches continue until the early hours of the morning. Sleep is almost impossible for me without earplugs.  We are told that Thursday night at about 9:00 this Jerusalem central comes even more alive with a multitude of musical choices offered in cafés and bars throughout the area. Music, joyousness and a noticeable expression of joie de vive abounds.

"Quiet" time on Jaffe
I am remembering my past as if it was another life. It is sometimes hard to fathom all I have done in 62 years. As I walk the streets of Jerusalem I feel the same excitement as I felt during my years living here (1972-73). The city has changed drastically since then. Architecturally, it is completely unfamiliar with shopping malls, bridges, high-rise buildings, intricate road structures and spectacular bridges making life here seem so ‘grown up’. I love the Jerusalem of old with the abandoned hills, simple stone buildings and the quiet of undemanding life.
"Quiet" time on Jaffe

Today, the city is complicated with the beauty of multi-culturalism. In the streets, only half the time do I hear people speaking in Hebrew. The other half is mostly English with lots of Arabic. Many many people speak Russian and Spanish and French. I am amazed at how many non-Hebrew languages can be heard.

Busy, Busy, Busy!
This afternoon, siesta time in Israel, I take my glass of beer and my quiet mindset out to our merpeset (balcony) for a rest. Nothing stops here on Jaffa Street. There seems no rest, no reprieve from the busyness of the city. Hundreds of people continue to move about, most of them with their cell phones held to their ears while talking loudly, smoking cigarettes and carrying on with the events of their day.

I am loving every minute!!!
This is where we live!

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