Back in times when muslims and jews had less trouble living together, in the 1880s some jewish families decided to establish a new neighbourhood outside the ancient port of Jaffa. They took to the sanddunes north of the town and settled there. They called the new neighbourhood Neve Tzedek, or Valley of Justice. Others soon followed suit, writers and artists flocked to the area. Later, in the early 20th century, a new city developed north of Neve Tzedek: Tel Aviv. While Tel Aviv developed rapidly and modernized, Neve Tzedek had a period of neglect and was actually marked to be demolished in the 1960s.
However, the area was spared ultimately, and while the surrounding areas see skyscrapers coming out of the ground, Neve Tzedek was renovated and preserved as a hip, artistic area with a bohemian feel that continues until this day. You cannot miss the laid back and relaxed feel when you enter the area, especially when coming from the bustling streets that define the boundaries of Neve Tzedek. Indeed, it could easily be called oasis of quiet. You can walk in the middle of the streets without being afraid for cars. Cruising the streets is probably the best way to explore Neve Tzedek: you will find picturesque corners, daring buildings, artist galleries, shops, and more. You might well run into a newly wed couple having their pictures taken here.
I spent hours criss-crossing Neve Tzedek, just soaking up the views and the atmosphere. One of the most remarkable places I saw was Rokach house, named after one of the first settlers here. It now houses an artist gallery with a clay man cycling through the air, and artsy sculptures of female bodies. While the sun was slowly moving towards the horizon, the light was casting an always warmer light on the old houses of Neve Tzedek and the few people I came across. All around, the skyscrapers are like an enormous glass and steel fence around Neve Tzedek. It should be hoped that they will leave Neve Tzedek as it is.
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Neve Tzedek (Israel). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Neve Tzedek.
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