The morning i left Wadi Rum, i carpooled to Aqaba, Jordan's sublime coastal town on the amazingly clear waters of the Red Sea -- of course i HAD to go for a swim! :) From there i headed for the border of Israel and caught a bus up to Jerusalem (pics to to follow soon) where i stayed for the night and most of the following day before heading to Tel Aviv for a wonderful wedding reception for some American - Israeli friends of mine.
Directly after the reception, while there was still plenty of late afternoon light, i was taken by a new friend on a city tour around greater Tel Aviv. As we drove i witnessed a city in the throws of 'death' and 'rebirth'. Giant cranes scraped the sky's blue ceiling - a testament to the thriving international IT business endeavors of this vivacious city. However, away from the center, down along the coastline and sheltered in small sidestreets lined with flowering bushes and shrubs, was the charming neighborhood of Neve Tzedek. Over a century old, Neve Tzedek was officially the first neighborhood of what is now recognized as Tel Aviv. Historically known for its liberal and artisan streets, cafes, and restaurants, the amazingly beautiful and colorful architecture of this district is still very much on display -- although the majority of it has slowly deteriorated. Tagged by generations of young street artists and activists alike, and worn by the temperment of the weather and elements, this beautiful neighborhood has perhaps become even more 'beautiful'... as it slowly succumbs to 11 plus decades of urban decay. I made mention of the fascinating buildings and color schemes i was seeing and my new friend quickly pulled over and parked the car. We both hopped out, cameras in hand and wandered, fascinated, through the historic streets until twilight.
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