Tuesday, January 31, 2017


Once again the Jerusalem municipality is fighting with the Treasury over budget. I'm with Jerusalem. Having a capital with decent services and cultural life is a plus for Israel. I don't like uncollected garbage though, and I hope the central powers that be are enough moved by the piles of garbage bags to increase the budget. Yesterday garbage trucks festooned with a variety of professionally-produced slogans blocked Azza Road, the street leading up to the Prime Minister's office. Recently he has been distracted by police interrogation sessions, his statement after one of which was that everyone takes presents from friends.

Copyright 2017 Jane S. Fox

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Tile Project

Walking from the shouk to King George to get a bus that would let me off at the top of a hill rather than the bottom, I reached the brick-paved section now a pedestrian mall. To the right, giant pictures of tiles and a sign explaining the Jerusalem Tile Project (http://muslala.org/en/projects/the-jerusalem-tile-project/).

In the older parts of Jerusalem courtyards a unmodernized rooms are often floored with decorative tiles, mostly from the last century. The project invites people to look for these, photograph them, and contribute the images. See also http://jerusalemblog.blogspot.co.il/2007/01/floor-tiles.html and (https://www.google.co.il/search?q=jerusalem+tile+project&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwic--j8mN3RAhWBOxoKHQy3Aq4QsAQIIA&biw=1242&bih=580 )

Copyright 2017 Jane S. Fox

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Monday, January 23, 2017

Two Andalusian Orchestras

Last Sunday we were at a performance of the Ashdod Andalusian Orchestra; this week at a concetrt by the Jerusalem Andalusian Orchestra.

Generally these orchestras, both excellent, perform music, particularly Jewish music, from the Middle East -- mainly north Africa, Iraq, and Syria. Last week we heard a song from a Lebanese musical comedy of the 1950s, Arabic poems set to Arabic music, medeval Hebrew poems set to Arabic music, a modern Hebrew poem set to Israeli bedouin music, a Hebrew poem set to Israeli music in an Arab style, and similar pieces.

The Jerusalem orchestra tried something different: traditional French chanson with the music rearranged into the Andalusian style and rhthyms. Two vocal soloists sang, Ela Daniel much like the usual chanson style while the orchestral went excitedly Andalusian in accompanyment. David D'or was the other soloist, moving from counter-tenor to baritone. Ariel Brant soloed on the harmonica, though with eyes closed I'd have called it a saxaphone.

The conductor of the Jerusalem orchestra is wonderful to watch. He conducts with his entire body, a dancer directing the musicians.

Copyright 2017 Jane S. Fox

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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Eucalyptus Restaurant

The Eucalyptus Restaurant at the Khutsot HaYotzer artists' colony https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hutzot_Hayotzer is convenient to the Jaffa Gate as well as Beit haConfederatzia; the Hirsch Theater at Beit Shmuel; and the King David, Citadel, and Waldorf Astoria hotels. It is expensive and good.

The menu indicates which items include guten and which are, or can be prepared, vegan. As it is a kosher meat restaurant, no worries if you are sensitive to dairy products. A big plus, they understand food sensitivities and can tell you with assurance what is in every dish.

COpyright 2017 Jane S. Fox

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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Sick Man of Europe

A current temporary exhibit at the Islamic Art Museum http://www.islamicart.co.il/english/ is "The Sick Man of Europe" -- as the late Ottoman Empire was called. It combines photographs of the Turkish army in the Great War, diagrams of destroyed Armenian churches, and a 10-minute film on whose sound track we hear two Armenian composers of the early 20th century discussing music plus a very little bit of music.

We arrived two minutes past noon for the guided tour that started at noon. "Where does the tour start?" we asked the mand selling tickets. "Right over there," he said, pointing across the lobby. After a 10-minute wait we asked again about the tour. "Oh, it's already downstairs." OK, we had not originally asked where it was, and it had indeed started from the lobby.

Another temporary exhimit shows the work of a contemporary watchmaker, Itay Noy. For this the guide was extremely helpful, pointing out the various ways in which each watch plays with time -- with trasparent faces back to back or with faces opposing a city scene to a country scene. Well worth a visit.

Copyright 2017 Jane S. Fox

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Monday, January 16, 2017

Teddy Kollek with Singalong

A lecture, a panel discussion and a singalong -- this is a combination I've seen only at beit Avi Chai bac.org.il where this month's was on Teddy Kollek https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teddy_Kollek. We started with songs about Jerusalem, followed by a short film on his life. The panel inluded a current deputy mayor and the director of the Jerusalem Foundation who had a chip on her shoulder because she had not herself thought of marking the tenth anniversary of his death. As she told the moderator in her opening statement, "We at the Foundation should have organized an event, thought since we didn't I suppose it's good that you did, though you should have invited more people to speak and included different material."

Copyright 2017 Jane S. Fox

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