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What to do this Independence Day in Jerusalem....by ben • April 23 2009
Holidays, For the kids, Music, Things to do, This week in Jerusalem
Just because this year's Yom Ha'atzmaut (Israeli Independence Day) celebrates 61 years of the Zionist state - as opposed to last year's number, which had the advantage of ending with a zero - doesn't mean the celebrations will be meager.
Jerusalemites in particular are known to bite into Yom Ha'atzmaut with remarkable levels of vigor. And this year is no exception. There's plenty going on in terms of celebrations in the city, with events to appeal to every age and taste. Celebrations in the city's main open plazas, complete with folk dancing, rock performances and fireworks? Themed dance parties at pubs and dance clubs? Barbecuing en masse? Check, check and check.
Our full roundup of the most noteworthy events going on in Jerusalem this week - from before the holiday, to during, to even after the holiday - can be found on our sister website, Jerusalem.com.
But that's not all. The event calendar that can be seen on the right-hand side of every page of that site includes still more great events to check out - we're publishing event information there all week long.
And we're also gearing up for plenty more Independence Day coverage over there on the Jerusalem.com culture and tourism channel. Keep your eyes over there for upcoming 61-themed photospreads, fireworks schedules and more.
Happy Independence Day from everyone here at Jerusalemite.
Meir Ariel to be remembered at the Submarine some ten years laterby ben • April 19 2009
Things to do, Music, Pop culture, This week in Jerusalem
Jerusalem is made of many things. Most famously, it's made of gold, but here at Jerusalemite, we've written about a few other ingredients to the city (see the "Related" links below). Beloved, gloriously Jew-fro-ed Seventies singer-songwriter Meir Ariel (pictured), however, had a different vision of the city, writing his own "Jerusalem of Iron," as an iconic rebuttal to the Nami Shemer hit. Ariel's version was written from the perspective of a paratrooper who had actually liberated the Old City in 1967, rather than that of a state-sponsored songstress.
Ariel's catalogue, however, was far more varied than this tune might indicate. His career spanned three decades, coming to an abrupt end that ought to rank among the top strange rocker deaths of all time, when he died of a bacterial infection from a flea bite in 1999.
However, Ariel's work lives on - especially this week, and especially his Rishumei Pacham (Coal Sketches) album, which is being presented as a live concert tribute show by artists including Yossi Babliki, Albert Sofer and Ilan Bergbaum at the Yellow Submarine this Wednesday.
But that's not all that's going on over the next few days. You're hereby invited to check out our team's picks for the most exciting cultural and entertainment events in the city this week over at our sister website Jerusalem.com - and a full calendar, with new events being added all the time, can be viewed there as well.
It's pretty much Passover time in Jerusalemby ben • April 07 2009
Holidays, Food, For the kids, Music, Pop culture, Religion, Things to do
That's right. The harvest moon swells, and soon we'll be singing the Song of Songs. The smells of abrasive detergents and overdone toast waft. The bees are a-buzzing and the ants are a-crawling everywhere.
And hundreds and thousands of pilgrims are ascending to the City of Gold, where the feeling that big things are happening is palpable. Schools are on vacation, tourist season is gaining momentum, and virtually every cultural institution is gearing up to offer the best in springtime high art and lowbrow entertainment.
Over at our sibling website, Jerusalem.com (read more about Jerusalemite's relationship with that site, if you'd like, here), we've got heaps and heaps of unleavened content relating to the holiday....
And that's just the beginning. Loads more of Pesach-riffic content is still in the works. Happy matza time from Jerusalemite.
Photo of shmura matza baking courtesy of elibrody from Flickr under a Creative Commons license.
This week in Jerusalemby michael • December 11 2008
This week in Jerusalem, Music, Things to do
One of these men is a rock god
It's been a good week for Jerusalem. Sure, it's cold, but Hamshushalaim is in full swing, and in its wake have come 120,000 visitors, 90% occupancy in city hotels, and a 30% increase in weekly takings of restaurants and coffeeshops. The festivities continue this weekend, and as always, there's plenty of other stuff to do as well:
Now go check out the rest of the week's events and get out there to have some fun. Keep moving, or you'll freeze.
Image courtesy of the Yellow Submarine.
The top five Jerusalem soup jointsby michael • December 10 2008
Best of Jerusalem, Food, Things to do
Makes you want to sing that Sinatra classic: "Three kubbeh in a soup bowl..."
You look a little damp. Come inside or you'll catch a cold. Here, sit down. You know what'll make you feel better? A nice steaming hot bowl of soup, just like mom used to make. You're in the right place for it.
Welcome, readers, to the soup capital of the world. Maybe you think Jewish soup begins and ends with soggy matzah balls bobbing in chicken broth, but that's as much a misconception as thinking Italian food begins and ends with spaghetti. When the Jews flooded back into Israel from the far-flung corners of the Diaspora, each of them came bearing soup, and from the crimson beet-flavored borscht to the...uh...crimson, beet-flavored marak kubbeh adom, every one is uniquely delicious. So strap on your bibs, shine your spoons and prepare for a Biblical deluge of broth as Jerusalemite reveals the top five soup joints in Jerusalem.
The sign says it all: "At Mordoch, we roll kubbeh." What are kubbeh, you ask? Why, they're an entire class of meat-stuffed bulgur and semolina dumplings, often deep-fried and crispy, but in the context of soup, they're big soft globes of pure epicurean pleasure. Coming to Israel courtesy of the Jews of Kurdistan, kubbeh soup is wildly popular all over the country, and if its Mecca is the heavily Kurdish Jerusalem neighborhood around the Machane Yehuda market, its Kaaba is the modest family-run restaurant Mordoch. While every stew, meat dish and mezze Mordoch makes is wonderful, their reputation is built on their kubbeh soup, which comes in three varieties: marak kubbeh adom, "red kubbeh soup," a sweet and savory deep red soup based on beets and other hearty root vegetables; kubbeh hamousta, "sour kubbeh," featuring a sour broth made greenish from an abundance of chard and hinting at its northern Iraqi origins with its Aramaic name; and kubbeh shel pa'am, "old-school kubbeh," similar to hamousta but more garlicky. And the regular old meat soup is pretty rad too. And here's a bit of Jerusalem trivia: Mordoch's kubbeh-rolling motto comes from the time generations ago when legions of Kurdish grandmas from Nachlaot would descend on Mordoch and roll kubbeh in the kitchen all day as a way of hanging out and sharing gossip (with Nachlaot rapidly turning into another glitzy, vacant foreign-absentee-landlord playground, those days are sadly behind us).
There's something about soup that goes hand-in-hand with funky DIY sensibilities, and a city can hardly claim to be home to a thriving underground scene without an indie soup joint. Enter HaMarakiya (more or less, "the Soupery"), a soup haven frequented by both Jerusalem's young and trendy and the city's LGBT community. The cozily eclectic Goa-meets-Little House on the Prairie decor tells you exactly what to expect: a rotating selection of hearty homemade-style vegetarian soups as well as a few fixed favorites, including Jerusalem standby marak batata (sweet potato soup) and shakshuka (not a soup, but still tasty). Space is limited and what few seats there are have a tendancy to fill up fast, so try to arrive right as the place opens at 18:00 sharp.
Honorable mentions go out to the family-friendly Ima, the trendy/slightly upscale Kubiya, Heimishe Essen for the Ashkenazi end of things, and Jerusalemite's favorite lunch spot Ta'ami for a fine chicken soup. And if you can't enjoy Jerusalem soup in your current place of residence, check out some simple recipes for authentic kubbeh and marak kubbeh adom.
Photo of a full Mordoch spread (top) courtesy of rbarenblat from Flickr under a Creative Commons license; photo of Mordoch, photo of Marakiya and photo of Marvad Haksamim by Asaf Kliger for Jerusalemite; photo of Azura courtesy of Gad Shoshan from Flickr under a Creative Commons license; photo of soup at the Village Green courtesy of veggiefriendly from Flickr under a Creative Commons license.
Jerusalem finally gets Park and Ride - kind ofby josh • December 05 2008
Things to do, Municipal news
If you can't beat them, advertise to them. That's the attitude the city is taking toward drivers who insist on driving into and parking in the city's center, apparently oblivious to the fact that it’s more congested and messed up than Amy Winehouse with a cold. The Jerusalem Tourism Authority, which apparently thinks the tourists came to see the traffic jams, wants them to know that the city fought over by a multitude of peoples has more to offer. From a press release:
If until now the words "city center" caused you to shudder, to think of pressure, traffic jams and noise, the Tourism Authority and the Eden Company would like to remind you that there is so much more: tourist attractions, galleries, museums, sculptures, city murals and many other attractions.
For those lucky enough to find a place to put their cars and actually get out, the Authority will offer a free brochure - ahem, booklet - listing a number of places of interest for them to visit during their foray. Although the new initative is called Naim B'Yerushalayim in Hebrew, a double-meaning play on words ("Naim" means both "moving" and "pleasant"), planners have translated it simply as "A Stroll through Jerusalem," perhaps a lesson learned from overzealously literal translations.
Presentation of the booklet will give users 10 to 33 percent discounts at many of the city's attractions, such as the Tower of David (15 percent discount during the day), the Museum on the Seam (10 percent discount), the Time Elevator (10 percent discount), the Rav Kook Museum (25 percent discount) and more. Other items in the booklet are advertised for the special price of free, though in reality we doubt you would be charged admission for walking into Machane Yehuda or looking at street art without the booklet.
Image of the new booklet guide courtesy of the Jerusalem Tourism Authority.
This week in Jerusalemby michael • December 04 2008
This week in Jerusalem, For the kids, Music, Things to do
Lock up your daughters: these puppets mean business.
It's winter, and there's a faint whiff of approaching holidays in the air, even here in Jerusalem...or maybe that's just the delicious, delicious smell of sufganiyot (Hanukkah donuts) in the morning. And it's also festival time. Hamshushalaim madness kicks into full swing this evening, and it's your best (and by that we mean cheapest) chance all year to take in dozens of Jerusalem museums, restaurants and cultural venues. So get to it:
And, as always, don't feel limited by our picks. Check out the full listings for this week's events for yourself. Have a good one.
Image courtesy of Red Band.
Hamshushalaim makes every weekend a three-day weekendby michael • December 02 2008
Things to do, Municipal news
The arrival of the Queen of Sheba, projected on the Tower of David. That's right.
Or, uh, at least the next three weekends.
Hamshush is a bit of acronym-tastic army slang, short for "Hamishi, shishi v'Shabbat" ("Thursday, Friday and Saturday"), that refers to a rare prize in an Israeli's army service: getting released from base on Thursday to enjoy two and a half whole days of leave. And with uncharacteristic pithiness, the Municipality has tacked "hamshush" onto "Yerushalayim" to give us Hamshushalaim, an annual city-wide festival taking place over three consecutive long weekends. And it's starting this Thursday.
So what can a Jerusalem resident or visitor expect from these three hamshushim for the price of one? A pretty good deal: free or reduced-price admission to museums and tourist sites; extended venue and museum hours; reduced hotel fares as thousands upon thousands of both domestic and foreign tourists descend on the city; and cheap food from some of the city's finest restaurants.
That leaves you with a lot of choices:
Of course, Jerusalemite is your one-stop shop for Hamshushalaim event information. Most of the events taking place at Jerusalem's major venues over the three weekends of Hamshushalaim were already scheduled and will simply be receiving a price cut, so check out our listings for the first, second and third weekends - and keep in mind that new events are being added all the time, so keep checking back. You can also get a full listing in English on the Municipality's website, although be prepared to contend with the same terrible organizational skills that brought you the light rail.
And if you'll be visiting from out of town, don't forget to check out the lengthy list of hotels offering special discounts.
We'll have more special Hamshushalaim content in the days to come. Have fun, eat well, and tip your hat towards city hall for their one yearly good idea.
Light show image courtesy of Amit Geron for the Tower of David; Hamshushalaim banner image courtesy of the Jerusalem Municipality's sopkesperson's office.
This week in Jerusalemby michael • November 27 2008
This week in Jerusalem, Music, Things to do
Learn the secrets of the King David and other classics of Jerusalem British architecture
It may be time to bust out the cornucopias and raise a drumstick to Squanto (or...whatever) in America, but in Jerusalem, it's just another week. But don't let that stop you from making the most of it by hitting the town for an only-in-Jerusalem good time:
Not enough for you? Fine! Go check out the rest of the week's events! See if we care!
Image courtesy of EagleXDV from Flickr under a Creative Commons license.
The top five Jerusalem children's attractionsby michael • November 26 2008
Best of Jerusalem, For the kids, Things to do
It's too much fun to be nightmarish
Children: can't live with 'em, can't further the species without 'em. And on the long (or too-short) road between birth and financial independence, you've gotta entertain 'em. Fortunately, you're in Jerusalem, and that's a pretty easy task. Middle Easterners love children (and they have bunches of them), so it's only fitting that Jerusalem be gifted with a great abundance of child-friendly entertainment options. Just trust your friends at Jerusalemite and your kids will never be bored, because they'll be in the thrall of the top five children's activities in Jerusalem.
HaMifletzet (The Monster)
The Bloomfield Science Museum
The Israel Museum Youth Wing
The Biblical Zoo
The Time Elevator
And that leaves us with a few honorable mentions. Museums like the Islamic Art and Bible Lands often offer children's activities; the Botanical Gardens have a fun miniature train to ride around on; Hezekiah's tunnel and the Ramparts Walk offer much historical fun in the Old City; and children of all ethnicities and faiths play together peacefully in Liberty Bell Park, which also happens to be home to the kid-oriented Train Theater.
Photo of Mifletzet spewing children courtesy of bdnegin from Flickr under a Creative Commons License; thumbnail photo of the Mifletzet by Harry Rubenstein for Jerusalemite; photo from the Bloomfield Science Museum courtesy of Dany_Sternfeld from Flickr under a Creative Commons License; photo from the Israel Museum courtesy of yanec from Flickr under a Creative Commons License; photo of the adorable little baby goat at the Biblical Zoo courtesy of EagleXDV from Flickr under a Creative Commons License; photo of the Time Elevator courtesy of the Time Elevator.
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