human behavior

Jaffa is for (Art) Lovers

Posted in Foreign Impressions, Travel by humanb on March 28, 2012

During our brief stay in Tel Aviv, we strolled over to neighbouring Jaffa, a.k.a. Yafo. Jaffa was incorporated with Tel Aviv sixty years ago, but the ancient port city of Jaffa still looks and feels like a different place.

Looking back towards Tel Aviv from Jaffa, you get the distinct sense of going back in time.

Jaffa offers a pleasanter outlook towards the sea than does Tel Aviv’s man-made beaches.

And the buildings have a character and beauty absent from Tel Aviv’s 1970’s beachfront high-rises.

But Old Jaffa seems sterile and lifeless in its beauty.

It feels more like an open-space art gallery, consistent with its name. This particular area is known as the Artist Quarter. Galleries and studios populate its buildings.  Sculptor Frank Meisler has his workshop here.

Frank Meisler Sculptures, Jaffa, Israel

Other shops sell jewellery, original paintings, collectibles from Israeli history and antique doors.

My favourite piece of art in Old Jaffa, however, was a living piece.

And that’s what felt missing from Old Jaffa’s Artist Quarter: life. This tree had a ‘burning bush’ effect in that wide, lonely plaza. It permeated the space with an energy and holiness. It filled me with wonder and made me still. And despite its contemporary engineering, it somehow reminded me that I was standing in a very old place.

I wanted more of that feeling. So it saddened me that our whirlwind trip that had begun so long ago in Beijing was coming to an end in that plaza.

Or so I’d thought.

Next up: Backtracking to Akko


4 Responses

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  1. kaie w. bird said, on March 29, 2012 at 5:39 am

    I love that last photos of the ‘floating’ tree. I’ve never seen it in Jaffa and will try to find it next time. Those are all great photos!

    • humanb said, on March 29, 2012 at 5:43 am

      Thanks. 🙂 Yeah, that tree is in the Artist Quarter, and I can’t imagine that it would have been taken down.

  2. Anonymous said, on March 29, 2012 at 5:59 am

    I like the antique doors and hanging tree. Is it replanted every few years with a new tree?

    • humanb said, on March 29, 2012 at 6:03 am

      I have no idea about replanting, but this tree was there less than a year ago, so the same tree should still be there. 🙂

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