Showing posts from September, 2008


One of the best parts of living in Israel is the cafe scene. There is nothing better than hanging out at a trendy Tel Aviv cafe on a Friday morning (the equivalent of Sundays in the US) enjoying a good coffee.
Today my husband and I went to Mazzarine which is labelled as a Patisserie & Chocolaterie. It is an adorable little cafe in a pretty part of Tel Aviv.  The food was fantastic. I had the goat cheese french toast which is basically a high end grilled cheese sandwich.  It was delicious.  And the fruity ice tea that I ordered hit the spot.  The desserts, of course, are to die from.  And what was a pleasant surprise was the attentive and pleasant service. We didn't have to fight to get a waiter's attention, everything came as ordered and in general the wait staff was helpful and friendly.
Mazzarine - 17 Gordon (Tel Aviv) - 03-522-1050

Tel Aviv Museum of Art

As a former New Yorker, it was most difficult to leave behind the cultural center of the world.  There is no doubt that New York is home to some of the best and biggest art museums in the world.  
While the Tel Aviv Museum of Art cannot compete directly with the Met or the MOMA, it is a gem.  The permanent collection has an impressive amount of art given the small size and relatively young age of this country.  The museum is currently building a second building that will double its size.
It is also important to keep an eye out for their temporary exhibitions. Some of the temporary exhibits have been fantastic (e.g., Mark Rothko).  Recently, I went to an exhibit by Michal Chelbin, an up and coming Israeli photographer.  It is a small exhibit - occupies one room - but if you have reason to be in Tel Aviv well worth the stop.
One more tip:  Holders of Isracards get into the museum for free
Tel Aviv Museum of Art - 27 Shaul Hamelech Boulevard - 03-607-7020

Houses from Within

We just had a great day in Jerusalem. For the past two years, there is a special events weekend called Houses from Within where various houses and public buildings with special architectural features are opened to the public. The website lists the various structures that are opened to the public over the two-day event. Some have a nominal fee and require pre-registration but many are just open houses with or without tours.
Our first stop was The Grand Synagogue of the Belz Hasidic Dynasty which is a grandiose building that has capacity for 10,000 people. It was extremely well-run with two different members of the sect speaking about the building and the sect. It was great.
Next stop was Beit Tavor which is located in the center of town. Originally serving as a private residence, it is currently home to the Swedish Theological Institute. Former Jerusalem mayor Teddy Kollek described it as the nicest house in Jerusalem. Here, unfortunately, the scheduled tour and video did not hap…

MC2 - a dining experience

As you can tell by now, one of the things I enjoy most here in Israel is the food and the unique dining experiences that come along with that.  On Thursday night, I had the opportunity to eat in a most unique place.  MC2 is tucked away in an old castle-type building in Bitan Aharon which is north of Netanya.  We enjoyed an eight-course dairy dinner with each course chosen by the chef.  The dishes are unique combinations of cheeses, vegetables, fruits and pastas - both hot and cold dishes.  And we enjoyed wine and bread alongside.  Dinner took over two hours and was a leisurely and lovely experience.
Reservations are required and my only advice is that on a nice night you request beforehand to be seated outside.   Nothing can be better than a lovely night in that amazing setting enjoying good friends and good food!
MC2 - 09-866-5662

Caesarea - Hana Senesh Museum

I love Caesarea.  It has the feel of a Southern California beach town.  Recently I went to the Hana Senesh Museum in Sdot Yam which is reached by going through Caesarea.  Hana Senesh,  a hero of the Holocaust, lived on the kibbutz for a short while. The museum is basically a room with photographs and other memorabilia related to Hana Senesh. There is also a short movie.   The museum, part of a small antiquities museum, is not worth a visit in and of itself but a nice stop if you are already in Caesarea and a nice way to learn more about this extraordinary woman.
Hana Senesh Museum - Kibbutz Sdot Yam - 04-636-4366

More on Vacation - Kibbutz Lavi

With school starting, my adventures have been somewhat limited so I am going to write about prior adventures.  Our summer vacation included a weekend stay at Kibbutz Lavi.  We stayed in the new wing which was beautiful.  The hotel is clean and well-run.  There was ample food that was satisfactory, not outstanding.  There is a pool - again it served its purposes but nothing stellar.   
One should be aware that the hotel caters to a religious crowd including strict rabbinic kosher supervision (Mehadrin), a central timer that shuts off all room lights on Friday night and Saturday afternoon, and separate hours for swimming (there are also hours of mixed swimming).  As a result, the hotel, especially on the Sabbath, attracts almost an entirely religious crowd, including many ultra Orthodox families with large families.
If you do go, be sure to take a tour of the Kibbutz (if there is no scheduled one during your stay, request one).  Our tour guide was an American kibbutz member who moved to t…

Mizrachi Cafe - Mahane Yehdua

I have made several recent trips to Mahane Yehuda. I love the smells, the noise, the character of the place.  I love to just roam around and see the fruits, vegetables and nuts stands next door to some of the yuppie clothing stores now opening up.  In any case, one of my favorite cafes is in one  of the alleyways.  Mizrachi is cafe food at its best.  There is a hot mushroom sandwich not to be missed and don't forget to try one of the brioches.And as you exit Mahane Yehuda on Agrippas, don't forget to stop at Marzipan for some rugleach and cinammon buns.
Mizrachi - Rechov Hashazif - 02-624-0528

Back from Vacation - Kibbutz Nachsholim

It has been awhile since I wrote last. The summer got the best of me.  But we did have a great family vacation to the beach. One of the perks of living here is being so close to the beach.  We did a three day trip to Kibbutz Nachsholim.  They have simple but clean "tzimmirim", aka cottages, five minutes from the beach called Chof (beach) Dor where it is quite shallow and the waves are mild.  We literally spent three days on the beach - building sand castles, swimming, grilling dinner on a disposable grill.  For me it was three days of rest and relaxation (I even got through three books!).
Kibbutz Nachsholim - 04-639-9533