Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Israel -- At Last!

After years of wishing and hoping, we're finally in Israel. In fact, we've been here a day and a half, racking up 8 life birds. I'm going to take a record of this time and split it into two separate posts, since it will cover two topics -- birding/sightseeing and current events, in that order (though it will appear backwards in the blog).

Arrival at Ben Gurion International Airport was mostly uneventful. We didn't sleep well on our more than comfortable flight, but felt mostly awake and ready to begin our day. We were picked up by our son Dan and Avi's cousin Ika, someone he hasn't seen for many years. My first bird was a Common Blackbird, right on the sidewalk at the airport.

We spent the rest of the morning in Ika's company, visiting his apt. and son Harel at their apt. on the beach at Bat Yam, seeing the senior housing development where he, his wife, and daughter supervise the pool, and sniffing our way to our apt. in Tel Aviv.

Avi and I hit the wall after lunch with the kids at the Carmel Market area, so we came back, took a brief nap, and hung around the apt. while the kids went out on the town with their friends.

This morning we woke up and, while the kids slept, walked over to Rothschild Blvd. to see both the Bauhaus architecture and the tent city protests.

So, to begin with the photographic part of the post, here are photos we were able to get of two of our eight lifers, the first is a Laughing Dove and the second is a Hooded Crow:

The following series of photos are of different Bauhaus buildings along Rothschild Blvd. They are in various stages of disrepair. One can only hope funds will be found to refurbish them. 

Unfortunately, I don't have specifics on some of them. Where I do, I've prefaced the photos with some information. If I've made any errors, please forgive me. The photos will still give a representative sampling of this wonderful period in Tel Aviv's architectural history. Enjoy!

Ripstein & Co. House (1934) was built as a residential and commercial building with clean-cut cubical contours. Its plain facade preserves the restrained look of the building. The perpendicular effect is induced by the stairwell windows.

The Samuelson House (a three story office building) was originally residential. Built in the cubist style, the wide balconies of the house hover over the boulevard. Its rounded side acts as an interesting contrast on the corner.

The Krieger House (1934) is a three story residential building that has been refurbished. It's built with clean and restrained lines. Its dented balconies, creating a light and shadow effect, are important elements in its design, with their balance between openings and wall. The surface of the white plastered facade protrudes somewhat, while its long narrow openings address Le Corbusier's horizontal ribbon window.

The next few photos are of The Berlin Family House. Built in 1929, it was the private abode of the architect Yoseph Berlin and his wife, the artist and sculptor Shoshana. Yoseph Berlin immigrated to Israel in 1921 and, together with the architect Pasovsky, established the Association of Engineers and Architects. He was one of the first to apply the international style of architecture in Tel Aviv. 

This building, constructed from bare silicate bricks, establish a decorative motif. The surface of the building is an impressive game of light and shade through the use of triangular outcroppings on one of its sides.

Avi also liked the tomato plant someone had growing outside their window.

The statue of three figures, two women and a man with open books in their hands with their mouths open, as though they were speaking, is the work of the sculptor Ofra Zimbalista.

The Hachami House (1933) is a residential building with a single wide facade. Its protruding mass unites all of the stories of the building. One balcony per story cuts across the width of the facade, creating horizontal divisions and preventing the sun from penetrating the rooms. The house was built for David Hachami, founder of the "Israeli Phoenix" insurance company.

The Rapoport House (1934) was being refurbished. But we took photos anyway, since the basic lines of the building remain.

1 comment:

  1. So glad you posted these pictures. Enjoy your visit!