A recent wedding took le flâneur to Tel Aviv, a city which in many ways embodies the vision of the founders of modern Israel, reflected in its Bauhaus inspired architecture, signalling a modernist drive to create a new urban ideal.
The city follows the contours of the coast and was built on the sand dunes to the north of the old port city of Jaffa. Exploring the city le-flaneur walked along the beach to Jaffa – and then north again to the Carmel market and Sheinkin Street, lined with fashion shops.
Our first evening in the city brought home a very different perspective though, with a tent city lining the Blvd Rothschild. The tents are part of a broad protest movement that seeks to draw attention to the high cost of living, excluding many young Israelis from living in the modernist community that their grandparents created.
As part of the wedding celebrations we visited the district of Shabazi, the first Jewish district to be built outside of Jaffa and pre-dating the establishment of Tel Aviv by some 20 years. Close to slum status in the 1960s it has increasingly gentrified, becoming one of the most expensive districts of the city.