My recent visit to Israel was short but very classy. Tel Aviv is ever evolving, always up to something interesting. My wonderful friends, with whom I was determined to share quality time, are also evolving - and yet always stay comfortably, comfortingly themselves. I resolved to stay the same after the age of 18 – it was my highest point, after all - but I always learn new things. Here's what I discovered this time, wandering around and letting friends take me to their favorite spots:
1. Reuben is a dish best served cold. My favorite tiny sandwich place Ruben still serves the cold, cheese free version of the American classic. When I shared a street address with it, I'd go and sit there by myself, devouring a sandwich. This time was no exception.
2. Speakeasy bars arrived to Tel Aviv. Not one, not two but three trendy bars currently operate in a prohibition era-esque atmosphere. Bellboy and Imperial, both pricey but utterly sexy, provided a unique opportunity to feel like a tourist in your own hometown. Moonshine - I'll pay you a visit next time!
3. And so did the shared coworking spaces. My fancy start-up friend took me to Mindspace, a new space filled with hopeful start-ups (and design objects I wanted to steal) – and made me wish I was a QA. The space is so cute and pleasant, I'd just sit there all day.
4. Business lunches actually rule. My beautiful client, blogger Luba Jacobson took me to a business lunch at Shila, a well-loved establishment I previously snubbed. Another fried, Yaara, insisted on the tech-folks favorite Moadon HaKtzinim. Both places turned out to be sexy and delicious.
5. My first house in Tel Aviv got a face-lift and a coffee shop, the very awesome Cafelix on the ground floor. When I used to live there, the building was falling apart and the ground floor was a kingdom of a dirty little kiosk, ran by a suspicious - looking family. But look at it now! LTel Aviv never stops, and nostalgia just has to adjust.