Less than 3o minutes driving distance and a world away. Bnei Brak. How often am I mad at the orthodox Jews infringing on what I feel is my right to live as I choose? Weekly (on a good week …). How often do I take the time to look at “their world” without judgment? I am ashamed to say this does not happen. This Hanukkah was an exception to the rule, and for a couple of hours we wondered through the poorest, and most populated city in Israel - Bnei Brak. The 8th night of Hanukkah and hundreds of Hanukkah menorahs lit the narrow streets. The traditional ones, with olive oil, not the convenient candles we use at home. Most menorahs are in a glass “house” - something I see for the first time. I walk on a main street in the very center of my country, and it feels as if I am on Mars. Shops for men only (have you ever seen a shop filled with black male shoes?). “Kosher” phones (no internet access), every street corner filled with donation boxes, our guide tells us that on Friday you can see packages left on street corners for needy people to take. The streets are dirty but on these streets, a mom can leave her toddler in a stroller unattended - without worrying. A sense of community I have not seen anywhere else. Walking through the winding alleys filled with people dressed in their own dress code, living by their own rules I am reminded of the words of the Baal Shem Tov, the founder of the Hasidic Judaism (many of the Hasidim live in Bnei Brak) about us judging others, and what does it say about us. “ …should you look upon your fellow man and see a blemish, it is your own imperfection you are encountering - you are being shown what it is you must correct within yourself”. Worth keeping in mind next time I judge others. Maybe some of the Hanukkah light penetrated deeper this year ….
"Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old". I love this quote. There is so much beauty around us, in the most unexpected places. Above the electricity lines, next to the garbage bin. In the monochromatic fashion designer studio as well as the overcrowded balcony next to the central bus station. A taste of Tel Aviv.
Life is beautiful.
No idea how it happened, but since the first time I saw graffiti art - I fell in love with it. it's filled with life, emotion, a truth that does not hide beneath layers of respectability, should's and politically correct statements. It's loud, kicking, vibrant, eclectic, surprising. No better place for it than the center of Israel's liofe - Tel Aviv. A city filled with a hodgepodge of architecture from Bauhaus to Modern skyscrapers, the home of millionaires and refugees, high end stores and traditional markets, Tel Aviv is an endless source of surprises. Last week, we went to see Kiryat HaMelacha, a neighborhood that used to house lots of small businesses and during the last years slowly changed into a thriving artist community, the forefront of the local contemporary art. Here is a taste of the local graffiti art that cover the industrial buildings that house more than 200 artist studios filled with all imaginable kinds of art.
Not a place for people looking for clean, immaculate streets, but what a treat for art lovers!
Saying my goodbyes. To the beach, the gardens, the art and the streets. This time, I took my camera (testing the new Pancro 400 film) to Venice. About 45 minutes walk from Santa Monica and light years away. The ultimate blend of Van Gogh murals and Green doctors, public opinion on display ("f**k Trump" shorts ???) alongside "The Shul on the beach". Homeless and muscle beach. Loneliness, dreams and living art. Farewell Venice, will miss you, stay well.
Eclectic, surprising, filled with Art, food and life - for the last two years I'm getting to know Los Angeles, discovering one of the most fascinating cities I've seen. Mostly, I'm blown away by the vibrating art that can not be contained by the pristine museum walls and like a colorful and noisy river flows right through the city streets, filling its alleys with living works of art.
Ten days ago, my husband and I went on a spray painting workshop and graffiti tour in the LA Art District. (Yes, he painted as well :)). After finishing our masterpieces, we went for a short guided walk in the neighborhood. A world of color, letters and social meaning take over walls, alleys, the side walk, even garbage bins. A Mercedes commercial is being shot just outside the small cafe where we had a tasty little dinner. Cheers LA!! May you continue to be your eclectic, liberal self for many years to come!!!
January 21st, 2017. At 52 years old, this is my first demonstration. Being a very private and quiet person, crowded, noisy places are definitely not my cup of tea. Neither are street photography or iPhone photography....yet there comes a time, where personal preferences aside, I will go march with hundred of thousands of people, in downtown LA at the Women's March.
Armed with my film camera (who remained unused ...) and the iPhone, I stood in the fully packed Metro, with hundreds of people who despite the lack of space, joked, smiled, talked. The kindest and most considerate crowd that ever traveled on public transportation. We all exited the Metro station, passing under the most appropriate overhead sign "exit to Hope street" and could barely believe the amount of people overflowing the streets. For the next couple of hours, mainly stood in the crowd, as it was impossible to really march - people filled the streets from the starting point to the end point of the march route. The pussyhats (why didn't I order one??), the signs, the singing - the air was filled with good energy, fun and hope. Hope, that despite the new president, we shall overcome. Or as one of my favorite signs said - we shall overcomb ;).
The year is almost ending and the holidays are just such a good time to feel thankful, and it seems I'm best at expressing myself camera in hand. On the first Hanukkah night, despite still being down with the flu, I could not refrain from photographing. No big celebrations, just small everyday moments I am thankful for. The well dressed snowmen puppet I got as Hanukkah gift, our funny, loving cats and their gifts (no, we did not buy them gifts, our friends did. It seems we have now five different types of mice toys scattered all over the house. )
This was a good year, I learned a lot, created quite a bit, grew up as a person. I am truly thankful for all the people in my life that made this year so special, love you so much!
Looking forward to a great 2017, and meanwhile - happy Holidays everyone!!!
No place is boring if you have a pocket full of unexposed film, said Robert Adams. Or maybe just an iPhone....
I usually do not photograph on my morning walks. After all, this is the only exercise I get, I'd better try to keep up a good pace and burn some calories. Once in a while, my solitary walk is replaced by a more leisurely walk & chat with my friend Patti. On these occasions, we walk the length of the Palisade park overlooking the beach and the adjoining streets. Beautiful but nothing extraordinary. Until you take a second look.
The memorial plaque under the bench - who was Marion? Who loved her enough to have her immortalized in the rose garden? A hidden gate leading from the front garden - to where? A tiny plant the color of the Mediterranean sky, a lion head at the bottom of the wall. Why is he there? How can one not smile at Lulu the dog or at Moses who is lying on the bench, his head on his owner's lap?
No place is boring, and not because of the unexposed film or iPhone in the pocket, but because having them makes us look rather than see. And once we look, we notice the details and realize what great photographers said a long time ago: no place is boring. And photography - its not really about the equipment...
I love to capture the dream behind reality. Usually, I would do this in a natural setting, this time I went to Beverly Hills. Getting from our 2 bedroom apartment to Rodeo Drive takes about 25 minutes by bus. Less than half an hour, and I am in a different world. A world with its own set of rules, etiquette, priorities. Beautiful - no doubt about that. Each store creates a world of illusions, a bubble of glamour. Surreal temptations waiting for the right people to pass by, lure them in. It is so fitting to have an exhibit of Dali's amazing work in the gallery on this street.
A taste of the surreal, dreams for sale. No Photoshop used in these images ....
I decide to walk rather than drive to the art store. About 40 minutes of walking on Lincoln street in Santa Monica. Shops, car repair shops, restaurants. Lots of concrete. I start noticing the murals. More than half of them depict nature.
After seeing the third one, the irony strikes me. We cover nature with concrete. Then we cover concrete with nature. Urban nature, or perhaps a glimpse at the human nature.
Life without constant internet connection
Streets where children play soccer barefoot in the rain puddles
The national hobby is people watching
A place where streets might be dirty but the people wear crisp white shirts
Where you are surrounded by colors, music and fumes of old cars
Imagine ....Havana, Cuba
It's late in the afternoon. We land in Havana, Cuba after a sleepless night on the plane. We exchange money at the Cadeca and find our taxi. No seat belts, not even for the driver. Driver is nice and helpful and takes us to our room in a casa particular in Central Havana. I am dizzy from the sights and lack of sleep. While taking a quick shower it starts raining. Not much, not enough to keep me from going out with the camera (sleep??? now??? c'mon...)
I sincerely hope it's safe here. My parents would skin me alive were they to know I walk here alone. Once beautiful houses, crumbling. Street kind of paved, filled with puddles and islands of garbage. Children playing soccer in the street not bothered by the cars or bicycles. Shoes and shirts are optional.
The sun sets, the lamps are lit, the rain stops. I feel I am on a movie set. A colorful fantasy set in a faraway country about 50 years ago. I walk the streets, careful not to go too far and get lost, stand on street corners and watch reflections and shadows. Click. Click, click. After an hour and a half, I'm back at the casa, otherwise husband will alert police...
We stay in Cuba seven days. That first evening, was the only time it rained. The images I captured that night are the ones I love the most. Sometimes, it does seem like you arrive when God is ready to have someone click the shutter ....