A Tour of Jaffa

Jaffa is a delightful old town on the south side of Tel Aviv. (You could see the lighthouse of Jaffa way off in the distance in the earlier picture taken from my hotel window as the tallest building on the right side of the horizon.) Jaffa was practically a ruin after then war for independence here. So the city of Tel Aviv decided to revive Jaffa by making it an artist’s retreat. The artists, sensitive souls that they were, didn’t tamper with the old Ottoman architecture and narrow, pre-automobile streets.
It had been raining for the past few days here in Israel. So I was really afraid that I’d come 6,000 miles without being able to do any touring at all. Wouldn’t that be a shame? The old town is filled with narrow but picturesque streets all of stone. Every little nook and cranny seemed to be crammed with an art gallery or a performance studio.

Jaffa was once a major agricultural center for the region, producing some of the best citrus ever to come from these parts. One of the artists here created a really neat installation honoring Jaffa’s famous oranges by planting a full grown adult orange tree in a special container and hanging it. I thought it was really pretty, personally.

I’d seen Jaffa once before, thanks to a tour from my Israeli friends Itzik and Lilac Ben-Gan. But that was an evening tour. Lots of bars and restaurants were open during the evening hours, but none of the art galleries or boutiques were open. So I’m very glad that I got to come back during the day to see what a pretty place it is. Oh, and you can see the hotel I’ve been staying in just to the left of my fat noggin.

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