Sunday, January 31, 2016

The Proposal

At various places near Jerusalem's center are eye-level posters with chapters of a story in Arabic, English, and Hebrew. Each poster includes a map showing the location of each of the seven chapters. I meant to blog about these last week. Just as well I waited as Saturday morning (on the free municipality walking tour) I learned about the illustrations stretched on canvas on the sides of buildings near the posters. They are about the same size as the trompe l'oeil murals by the CiteCreation of Lyons (, but unlike them the illustrations (like the story posters) are not glued to the buildings and are not meant to last more than a year. If there's money at the end of their year, they are to be replaced with a new story.

Copyright 2016 Jane Fox

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Thursday, January 28, 2016

Burst Pipes

Blue skies in the morning. Water rushing into the streets. Two degrees celsius below freezing (about 29 degrees fahrenheit) freezes water in exposed pipes. Almost all pipes are exposed. Ice takes up more space than liquid water does. We set a faucet to drip all night. Did everyone else whose pipes did not freeze do the same? Or does exposure to wind or heat leakage through the walls lmake difference? Or something else?

Copyright 2016 Jane Fox


Wednesday, January 27, 2016


The Monday afternoon Etnakhta consert series has dwindled to every other week. The programs have gotten very expectable, at least what the elderly regulars seem to expect and want. Chamber groups play Mozart and Bruckner. I remember with fondness the assault on my ears of a pre-Muslim Arab chorale and of all the strange sounds a musician can make with a trumpet not to mention several pieces so modern they had no key. These are not forms I'd seek out or ask to hear again, a reason I was happy to have them presented to me just so I'd know what they were.

Copyright 2016 Jane S. Fox

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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

No snow but no electricity

In a condo, where each apartment has a separate meter at just this side of the sidewalk, I suppose I can strectch my mind to understand half the bulding being without electricity while the other half has heat and light. But how could the neighbors upstairs have electricity in half their condo while the other half has none?

Why, when snow did not fall in Jerusalem, any of us were without, is another question. OK. It has been very cold, we all heat with electricity, and Israel hit an all-time high for electricity use. Whatever.

We moved upstairs for the night to a flat that had electricity. This morning, we're back downstairs, lit and warm.

Copyright 20016 Jane Fox


Sunday, January 24, 2016

Maybe Two Israeli Andalusian Orchestras

A full house tonight for the concert of the Tizmoret Andalusit Ashdod. Never mind the storm -- which paused for us to walk to the otherwise cancelled-out Jerusalem Theater and was barely puffing when we came home. And what an enjoyably energetic concert it was.

Earlier in the month at a smaller concert of the Tizmoret Andalusit Yerushalayim, we heard how happy they were to be Yerushalmim now. Yet tonight the banners of Ashdod were draped behind players, some of whom we recognize. So what's the story? A split? Two orchestras now touring?

They're both excellent.

Copyright 2016 Jane Fox

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January 28

I have now come across five different events I'd like to see the evening of January 28th. I think the concert we have tickets for (Mark Eliahu and Peretz Eliahu) is the one I'd like best, but they all sound good.

Tonight we're scheduled for a "classical" (not sure what that means in this context) concert by the Andalusian Orchestra. The Jerusalem Theatre had cancelled all its other events, including films, for tonight because of weather (or weather fears). I suspect this concert is to be broadcast, as I can think of no other reason they'd keep it and not the others.

Copyright 2016 Jane Fox

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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

La Boca

Ate dinner at La Boca on Shlontsion HaMalka. Hadn't noticed how many restaurants, some quite upscale, are on this street now. Well, I am usually in the neighborhood on Saturday morning on my way to a walking tour.

Now that my digestion can no longer handle dairy, kosher meat restaurants are a joy. True, I don't eat meat, but they generally have fish (which I do eat) on the menu, and, like many, La Boca even had more than one tempting vegetarian dish.

Even in a kosher dairy restaurant they understand that "no dairy" means no dairy products at all from any animal. No, "I didn't think you included butter."

Walking down HaSoreq and Yodef Rivlin to Hillel Street, I noticed many more new restaurants. Even in a light rain, they seemed to be doing well. Tourists? Locals with money and leisure?

Copyright 2016 Jane S. Fox


Monday, January 18, 2016

Money for the Municipality

Friday the local community council emailed us to be ready to march for restoration of cuts they were sure would come early this week to Jerusalem's budget. Sunday, a more dire email. Forty two percent cuts would mean the end of services for the handicapped and the elderly, of sports and cultural events, probably of those Saturday morning walking tours. To be sure, a 42% cut would mean the city would be hard pressed to pay the mayor and the city hall electric bill.

Today a short notice in the scrolling updates on said Jerusalem had candelled layoffs. No explanation.

Garbage is being collected regularly, though.

Copyright 2016 Jane Fox

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Close Your Windows

For over a week, temperatures hovering above 60 fahrenheit. Most days have been sunny. Winds light. Now a dust storm is predicted followed by rain and "temperatures lower than is usual for the season."

The weather service advises, "Close your windows."

On the one hand it is indeed strange that we've had our windows open in mid-January. On the other it seems strange that anyone would think we needed to be told to close the windows in a dust storm, rain, or cold weather.

Copyright 2016 Jane Fox


Saturday, January 16, 2016

Old-City Churches

This morning's English-language walking tour took us to churches in the Old City. We started at the Roman Catholic Patriarchate with a clear explanation of the term in this context. Three minutes later one woman asked what patriarchate meant. I'd never have the patience to be a tour guide.

This one got the filioque clause right.

I had been to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. This walk skipped it in favor of a Greek church to one side of it and Coptic and Ethiopian churches on the other -- all new to me.

The Old City, with its staircased streets, requires care for those expecting a smooth path, but that is not a common Jerusalem expectation.

Copyright 2016 Jane Fox


Friday, January 15, 2016

Alternate Bus Entries

The Egged-green lozenge shapes on the doors of double-length Egged buses indicate that, if you have a ravkav (prepaid transportation card), there are card readers at every door and you can get on wherever you like -- just like on the light rail. Fortunately bus drivers still take cash and make change.

Copyright 2016 Jane Fox

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Thursday, January 14, 2016

La Dune

I recommend the film La Dune. The first 10 or 15 minutes being in Hebrew and the rest almost entirely in French may limit the audience. If you do see it, please let me know how the author-who-had-run-away fit in.

Copyright 2016 Jane Fox

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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Andalusian Orchestra

HaTizmoret HaAndalusit Ashdod has become HaTizmoret HaAndalusit Yerushalayim, and very proud the director is to be associated with Jerusalem.

Monday's concert at the Jerusalem Theatre was a tribute to the late Selim Halali ( ), a French singer born in Algeria.

The Rivke Crown auditorium was a great venue for this concert, not so large as to dilute the effect of the enthsiastic audienc singing along with the help of words transmitten to cellphones. We watched the singers, instrumental soloists, and orchestra rather than phones. In any case, almost all the lyrics were Arabic, though transmitted in Hefrew letters, and many in the audience already knew the words.

The conductor got a good aerobic workout, and we had a most enjoyable efening. There's huge energy in this music.

Copyright 2016 Jane Fox

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Monday, January 11, 2016

Clean Sidewalks

When we left Jerusalme Thursday night, the garbage cans along our Kiryat Shmuel sidewalkswere overflowing. Garbage made sidewalks, whose cleanliness is the Municipality's responsibility, impassible in places. Saturday night when we returned, dustbin lids were closed and most of the garbage was gone. Sunday morning sweepers were at work. Today, we're neat and tidy. Anyone who visited Jerusalem last week for the first time went away with the impression of a city dirty to the point of endangering health.

I have not read whether the mayor got the money from the central government to hire the sanitation workers back.

Copyright 2016 Jane Fox


Sunday, January 10, 2016


Encore Theatre's production of Iolanthe was one of the best I've seen and heard. Their articulation was so clear I understood almost every word, including the topical additions never heard before. Like other contemporary productions, this one gave microphones to softer-voiced singers. It worked. Unless you looked for the mic, you couldn't tell which of the principals had them.

Copyright 2016 Jane Fox

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Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Silk Road

The number of people in the audience, and the fact that the event was in the large Sherover auditorium at the Jerusalem Theatre, surprised me. The event was billed as a lecture on and music of the Silk Road. The lecture was interesting. I learned that the term "silk road" dates from the start of the 19th century, that it refers to several different routes from Europe to and from China and from India to and from China, that traffic started during the early Roman Empire and the T'ang Dynasty, that the movement of ideas and culture was as important as the movement of silk and spices. The lecturer included more that added to knowledge I already have.

Then came the music -- enjoyable interesting stuff, but unfortunately not tied to the lecture. We got to China once, but mainly stayed near the Mediterranean. Perhaps I'll find out some day exactly how Chinese music influenced the music that influenced the music of Greece. Never mind. It's music I like.

Wonderful, graceful fiddler. Fantastic percussionist. I think the dancer was the same one we saw a while ago at the Mayer Institute for Islamic Art. No printed programme. No indication of names that I can find on the Jerusalem Theatre website.

Copyright 2016 Jane Fox

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Monday, January 04, 2016

Mme Butterfly

The Jerusalem Opera's production of Butterfly was very enjoyable, though Live at the Met has gotten us used to more spectacle and more spectacular voices.

One of the best Butterflys I've seen was the ballet version last year at the Jerusalem Theatre, particularly moving because the protagonist was believable as an 18 year old.

No operatic soprano is 18. When teen or preteen girls sing opera on TV talent shows, we see angry comments about the damage done their voices. Plus, older sopranos are probably better actresses than they were at 18. It is to Yasmine Levi-Ellentuck's credit that by the end of the performance we felt we were watching a naive young woman, barely a woman, making decisions she was not ready for.

Copyright 2016 Jane Fox

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Garbage collection

Walking through the Makaneh Yehuda shuk Thursday I noticed a pile of vegetable cuttings and torn cartons -- unusual. The shuk generally lacks that bit of eastern color. Along the residential streets on Sunday, garbage cans overflowed.
In a conflict between the municipalityto and the government over tax allocation, the mayor laid off over 100 municipal workers. That included garbage colectors -- piled garbage is the surest way to let everyone know there is a problem.
Just read that the garbage collectors are back on the job, although they have not yet reached this neighborhood.

Copyright 2015 Jane Fox

Sunday, January 03, 2016


The new cafe on Kharlap Street features excellent cheese. It's a pleasant addition to the neighborhood. Unfortunately what made a place for it was the retirement of Michael who ran the makolet. I miss his shop and him.
See also

Copyright 2016 Jane Fox

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