Ah, Jerusalem! Just about everyone wants to visit Jerusalem at least once in their lives.
I forget that sometimes because I live in the center of Jerusalem. From my rooftop perch, I look over the valley of downtown Jerusalem and I still find myself surprised to look down and see crowds walking around. What are all these people doing in my neighborhood? Oh, right. Jerusalem.
But Jerusalem is a city like any other and the people who live here want stuff to do that has nothing to do with holy sites, educational activities, or even tourist attractions. Our mayor, a secular businessman (who is an all-around awesome guy), encourages all kinds of fun city events. It just so happens that a lot of them are delivered to my doorstep.
The Beer Festival was held in the park across the street on Wednesday and Thursday. While the beer was not actually delivered to my door, the music floated over so that I could prop the door open, sit in the comfort of my home, and listen to well-known Israeli bands playing just across the way. For FREE!
If I decide to actually leave the house, I could visit Jaffa Street Night Market on Thursdays. The idea is apparently inspired by the night markets of Chiang Mai, Thailand (been there!), Las Ramblas in Barcelona (been there!), and Covent Garden in London (haven’t been there yet!). It’s touted as the first in Israel and will eventually be quite big, just over a kilometer long or.75 miles.
I’ve been sick this week, so I didn’t manage to get to the Beatles Tribute that was supposed to happen this afternoon on the rooftop of one of the downtown hostels. They wanted to recreate the Beatles playing on the Apple Studios roof in London.
And still there are the usual things to do in the city: movies screened in outdoor locations, there are cultural shows at the First Train Station (along with Lego Land and a zillion other things for kids to do), I’ve heard that the Metropolitan Opera will be screened at the Cinemateque. Friends, this is not the Jerusalem you remember from 20 years ago. Frankly, it’s not the Jerusalem you remember from 5 years ago.
Here on my little rooftop, I sometimes forget that I even live in a city. From my window, I see trees. Somehow the city noise floats away from my apartment. And yet, this amazing city is all around me. I must remember to go down and visit from time to time.