Killed by a Scooter – A Tel Aviv Travel Guide

If you do colour correction and grading of movies in other countries, you got to be aware of the fact, that the idea about what exactly an olive skin tone is might be very different from your own idea of what an olive skin tone is. So, when you do it, grading in another country, it does help to take a bike and cycle a bit, going through the local skin tone changes, you can find on the street.

In Tel Aviv, for example, you could start at the southern end of the bus line 16. The last stop being close to the stadium, where the borders of the city make a swing, leap forward and take some houses hostage, that basically should belong to Ramat Gan already.

Chasing the small Schirut Busses and the big chunky Egged and Dan Monsters of vehicles, you make your way west, turning after a while right in to the Rechov Etsel. Looking to your right and left, you are peeking in to tiny alley ways, houses almost touching each other above the streets, cotton roofs keeping the last bit of sunshine off the clothes, fruits and kitchen ware kept for sale there by loudly haggling darkish middle eastern people. Jewish families with many kids from Yemen and Israeli women from Iran fill the crowded streets, causing traffic jams they seem not to care about at all, even though the bus drivers honk, yell and scream. With your bike, you wind through easily, turning left at the end of the Etsel, crossing the Ayalon to the New Central Bus Terminal. On Shabbat, African migrants fill the streets here. Few shops are open.  Most locals are with their families. The lack of Ashkenazi and Sephardic Israelis and the number of black people with no families here is remarkable. They have been working all week and now chill in parks and go for a stroll in their new home town, Tel Aviv. Israel is an African country.

Very  Southern European Lewinsky, Yafo and Allenby. Bit of France du Sud, bit of Italy, a shop with Spanish books. A man is cleaning street signs with soap and water. Street cats cross your path and look at you like wild tigers. They do know how to hunt here. The restaurants in backyards call themselves Enoteca. Like Radio Rosco, Allenby 97, a place great to sit. With food, that is good, but not as amazing as the Bauhaus style white walls around you and the dimly lit Bougainvillea covering them.

Still me and friends had the one and the other glass of wine there, before I went the next morning, and got myself nearly killed by a scooter. Did you know Israel has a death toll on roads and in traffic much higher than the number of all victims of terror attacks on this tiny piece of land in the same time?

Up Ben Yehuda, past Yekke Cafés on the corner of Frishman, towards Dyzengoff, you can’t get a much more different idea of olive skin tones than the impressions you get on the ladies toilets, seeing pictures of 90-year-old Yekke women throwing kisses at Günther Jauch, the German presenter of “Who wants to be a Millionaire?”. He was coming all the way from Germany to visit his German fan community here.

The Yarkon river is almost the northern end of Tel Aviv. You grab a drink for on the way in the New Port, sit on the grass and chill. you ring your friend Onn Nir and wonder, if he threw his phone in the river or is dead. And you slowly understand, for colour grading in other countries, bring a colour chart of what your home towns idea of an olive skin tone is, that you love so much to be in your movie.

I want to show you a bit of the Kikar Rabin, the Rabin Square, where a huge crowed remembered the assassination of Rabin.

And apart from a city still,  the strange brute force of zooms.





2 thoughts on “Killed by a Scooter – A Tel Aviv Travel Guide

  1. Now, this is just an amazing little tour. Having never been to Tel Aviv, I feel like I’ve got some dust on my shoes from this visit. And, it is a miracle you were only “almost killed” just once! Riding a bike in all that traffic? Whew…I’m nervous just reading about it.

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