The Hazards of Walking in Tel Aviv

December 15th, 2008
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Guest Blogger: Steve Miller

There’s Iran and the nukes.
There’s the Tel Aviv mafia which blow things (and people) up.
There’s the rockets from Gaza.
We had bombs and rockets from the North not too long ago.

But living in Tel Aviv, the most dangerous part of my day is walking.

Have you walked the sidewalks of Tel Aviv recently?

First, Israel was founded before motorcycles were the thing in Tel Aviv. So everyone has the motorcycles slash beefed up scooters…let’s call them motor scooters. Israeli drivers are crazy so it makes sense that these drivers use their skinny vehicles to swerve in and out of lanes, past cars, through red lights etc. Safe right? But the worst part is the guy who sells these motor scooters:

“And the best part for you,” the sketchy Israeli car salesman explains, “is that when you own a motor scooter you can drive WHEREVER THE FUCK YOU WANT!”

“Sold”

I’m convinced this conversation happens because walking on the sidewalks of Tel Aviv is swimming through a sea of motorcycles/beefed up scooters…motor scooters They drive everywhere. Why?! The road extends to the sidewalk for them.

Second, bicycles. Not nearly as dangerous as the motor scooters, but everyone rides a bicycle on the sidewalk. If it was just 6 year old Shmulik it’d be fine, but everyone rides bicycles on the sidewalk. So now you’ve got motorscooters and bicycles with those annoying little ching-ching-I’m-about-to-pass-you-even-though-I-shouldn’t-be-here-get-out-of-my-way bells. And have you ever seen ONE person in Tel Aviv wear a helmet while on a bicycle? Nada – I hear you have to go to Cypress just to buy one.

***Note there is an exception to the bicycles – there is a growing number of beautiful shanti-esque girls driving old school bicycles. Totally cool to ride on the sidewalk***

Then the least dangerous but biggest day-ruiners while walking in Tel Aviv are the dogs and dog owners. You walk your dogs with complete disregard to everyone else. You endanger the lives of your dogs by walking them on the sidewalk where motor scooters and bicycles swerve all over. But I like dogs, in fact I love dogs. So it’s not the dogs, it’s the dog owners who leave their dog’s shit everywhere.

Everywhere.

Today I walked by the dog park on King George between Dizengoff and Allenby…a DOG PARK with little ramps and things for the dogs to play with…and watched some dog owner let his dog shit OUTSIDE the dog park literally 15 feet away from the entrance…and then leave the shit there. Couldn’t he hold it in? Please? For the sake of my shoes!

Bicycles and motorscooters, and then little landmines of dog shit everywhere – maybe in Tel Aviv it’s safer to walk in the street?

[editors note: The article is over, but this picture was too funny not to include]

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Categories: My 2 Agurot

A Formal Welcome

December 9th, 2008
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Well, hello, hello!  I just wanted to take a second to state how appreciative I am to any reader that visits this blog, and how utterly indebted I am to any reader that actually reads or listens to anything this blog contains!

I should probably work on the tongue-in-cheek thing a little more….

ANYWAY, glad you’re here and here’s to you finding something on this page that you’ll enjoy immensely.  Updates will range from anything to original music from Ari (as DJ Element) and I (as Loki), our weekly radio show and video simulcast, articles and random rants from us and guest bloggers, other spur of the moment type posts of whatever we want to share with our readers, and various other posts encompassing the lives we’re living as immigrants in Tel Aviv.

I know I speak for Ari when I say that we’re both looking forward to producing a great blog for everyone, but we also want this to become a sort of virtual gathering place for the young TA community to come and commune with some kindred spirits.  We encourage anyone to hit us up whenever, with whatever, especially if you’re offering feedback or want to get involved in the production of content.

So again, welcome, good looking out, and keep checking the site.

-L

Categories: TelAvivRE Messages

cheeseburgers – thumbs down, cancer – thumbs up?

December 7th, 2008
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Guest Blogger: Steve Miller

No little hasids were harmed in this blog rant

No little hasids were harmed in this blog rant

I like the black hat Jews. I think they’re good for Israel and I think they’re good for Judaism. I’m glad that some of my taxes go to supporting their livelihood. I don’t study the Torah or keep Shabbat to the extent they do, but I respect their decisions immensely. I’m glad buses don’t run on Shabbat and malls close. This is a Jewish state and all Jews should feel comfortable here.

But all you ultra-orthodox Jews out there reading a Tel Aviv blog made by two rappers, listen up. Many of you do two things every day that make me furious, make G-d furious, and embarrass your entire religious community.

You smoke cigarettes and then you throw the buttes on the ground.

It just doesn’t make sense. How can you follow century old Jewish laws, and then light up a joe? Your wife can’t show her hair, but you can kill yourself and those around you ever so slowly with cancer?

un-kosher goodness

Today I saw two ultra-orthodox Jews standing outside a synagogue with kids running around smoking cigarettes. How on earth can they dress in all black, grow the beards and payesses, and I imagine follow hundreds of other laws and in the same smokey breath justify smoking cigarettes…let alone outside of a synagogue with kids around. I’m no scholar, but there’s no way the Torah says cheeseburgers – thumbs down, cancer – thumbs up.

The image of an ultra-orthodox Jew smoking is a walking oxymoron. It’s Barack Obama picking Dick Cheney as Secretary of Defense. It’s Prigat making chocolate milk and Elite making mango juice. It’s Olmert giving back the money he stole and Bibi having a cigar with Ahmadinejad. It’s an ultra-orthodox Jew reading this blog!

It’s an image this country doesn’t need.

Categories: My 2 Agurot

New Mashup from DJ Element – Radioactive Waters of Nazareth

December 6th, 2008
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So I haven’t made a mashup in a long time, but i decided to test out the program I usually use for original productions/creations – Ableton Live, as a mash up remix tool.

It fucking rocks.

I remixed Justice Cross’ track Waters of Nazareth with rapper Large Professor’s song Radioactive. I think it works really well together – you got that angry punk-electronica thing going with Large professor’s staccato old school rap about radioactivity? How can you go wrong?

Check it out! Comments welcome:

(note: if you have heart issues, you probably shouldn’t play this track. It’s got a really in-your-face analog dirty intro that might make you think your computer is going to blow up…)

+

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DJ Element – Radioactive Waters of Nazareth

Download the full track here

(Right click, save target / save link as)

Fugee Fridays

December 6th, 2008
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An awesome activist NGO set up by American students and ex-pats in Tel Aviv.

Fugee Fridays

Categories: Show and Tell

Saturday Articles – Obama’s Palestinian Friend and South Tel Aviv

December 6th, 2008
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I’ve decided to start a weekly post about good articles that I read on Saturdays. I have a subscription to Haaretz / International Herald Tribune combo paper daily. There’s nothing I love more than to veg out on Saturdays, read the weekend-shabbat paper, and drink some coffee. So here’s my wrap up of what I was perusing over while eating some left-over-challa-french-toast:

Obama’s Palestinian Friend

a couple of excerpts:

Something that I noticed as well during the election – Obama has amazing ideas and inspired hope for a post-race ideal. Unfortunately, if you want to become President of all of America, you still have to be careful where you go and who you associate with. Now that he’s going to be President, it will be interesting to see if he comes back to those ideals instead of pandering a bit.

What have you learned from the political-media affair in regard to your relations with Obama?

“It proved once again that to be of Palestinian origin and to be publicly opposed to the occupation and critical of U.S. policy is grounds for public defamation as a ‘terrorist.’ It attests to the survival of McCarthyite tendencies in the U.S. media and politics. It also reaffirmed that Arabs, Muslims and Palestinians specifically are still the ‘other’ in American society. A higher percentage of Arab-Americans voted for Obama than any other ethnic group besides African-Americans, and they voted in record numbers too, I believe, and yet they are still pushed aside, almost literally. For instance, two Arab-American women in hijab were removed from the camera’s gaze at one of Obama’s rallies during the election. Obama did not visit one mosque or Arab community center throughout the entire two-year campaign, and he never mentioned Arab- or Muslim-Americans in his speeches. Whatever may have been the ‘strategic’ political reasons for these actions, they show the kind of atmosphere we in the U.S. live in. “

Another bit I liked…I really believe that the American ‘pro-israel’ lobby needs to be more diverse and more accurately represent American Jewish (and Israeli for that matter) public opinion.

Do you believe that J-street and Arab-American peaceniks can contain AIPAC and Jewish right-wing organizations?

“They appear to have begun to make some headway. They need to convince American politicians, Democrats in particular, that where Israel and Palestine are concerned, leaders of the main institutions of the American Jewish establishment, notably AIPAC, do not represent the views of the majority of the American Jewish community. In fact, the hawkish views of most of these leaders are far closer to those of the 24 percent of that community who voted for McCain than they are to the 76 percent who voted for Obama.”

Read more…

Categories: Middle East News

Street Beat Radio Episode 2 – Hiphop and Women

December 6th, 2008
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Hey peoples… Here is the second episode of Street Beat Radio! This episode is about hiphop songs dedicated to women. You know, Loki and are are gettin’ quite cold and lonesome in these frigid (ha, yeah right!) tel aviv 70 degree swoons. So without further freddie-ado, here it is:
Click play to listen!

To download the whole podcast mp3 to your computer, right click the link below and hit save target as (save link as for a mac).

Street Beat Radio Abroad-Cast Episode 2

The playlist for this episode is as follows:

1. Atmosphere –  The Woman w/the Tattooed Hands
2. Nujabes feat. Substantial – Eclipse
3. Yungun – Liquid Love
4. Dr. Octagon – Girl Let Me Touch You
5. Kev Brown – Albany
6. Pharoahe Monch – The Light
7. Diverse – In Accordance
8. A Tribe Called Quest – Bonita Applebaum
9. Loki – Sigh
10. The Roots – The Hypnotic
11. Cannibal Ox – The F Word
12. Kashmere – Veronica R.I.P.
13. Soul Position – No Excuse For Lovin’
14. Common – The Light
15. Soul Position – Right Place, Wrong Time

We also started live video broadcasting on blog tv here: http://www.blogtv.com/people/DJElement

You can see some video snippets recorded from the live broadcast:


Last few minutes of the show..


Raphael De La Ghetto – aka Loki – dancing like a weird ass in the back with the african mask


err?

Let us know what you think in the comments section.

peace!

Streat Beat Radio Abroad-Cast Episode 1

November 28th, 2008
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Check out the first episode of street beat radio. This is a weekly Hip Hop show recorded by Raphael De La Ghetto and DJ Element, aka Ari and Ari.

Click play to listen!

To download the whole podcast mp3 to your computer, right click the link below and hit save target as (save link as for a mac).

Street Beat Radio Abroad-Cast Episode 1

Let us know what you think in the comments below.

peace!

Welcome to Tel AvivRE

November 27th, 2008
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Welcome to the new site!

if we had an album, this would be the cover

if we had an album, this would be the cover

Categories: TelAvivRE Messages

How to get women with your fridge

November 25th, 2008
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Loki and I had a good laugh about this today….

Categories: Show and Tell