Down in the gutter of Tel Aviv – Stomping Grounds

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There’s a photo making the rounds on the internet. A row of schoolchildren sit cross-legged on a shady sidewalk — it looks like they’re on a field trip. And above them is a big neon sign: GoGo Girls Strip Club.

This is one of those things that could only happen on Allenby Street, where the mundane rubs up against the city’s underbelly. This, combined with the decaying beauty of the street’s eclectic style architecture, makes Allenby Street more than just gritty. It elevates it to the grotesque.

Allenby street is one of the city’s main thoroughfares. The Carmel Market, the stores full of cheap trinkets, and the cafes and bars make it one of the most touristy streets. It leads from South Tel Aviv, where Tel Aviv meets Jaffa, and runs all the way to the sea. Even as it intersects the most upscale streets, like the tree-lined Rothschild Boulevard, Allenby maintains its grungy integrity.

As Tel Aviv tour guide Shalom Kleiman says, “People are just like any other liquid: they form at the bottom of the sink” — and those are exactly the types you’ll find on Allenby Street.

 

Produced by Shoshi Shmuluvitz 

 

Interviews:

Shalom Kleiman – tour guide

Ben Peter – proprietor of HaTzalmania Photohouse

Ori Shtark – Allenby 58 club owner

Liron Noy – Rock Bar owner

Yosef Halper – owner of Halper’s Books

 

Music:

ESG – You’re no good

Carole King – You’re so far away

HaGingiot – Allenby 79

Aviv Gedge – Allenby blues

In the background:

Takuya Kuroda – Rising Sun 

Yann Tiersen – Comptine d’un Autre Été: L’Après Midi

I-Cube – Disco Cubizm (Daft Punk remix)

David Shire – Theme from ‘The Conversation’

 

  • HaTzalmania Photohouse is working to preserve and digitize its massive archive of early Israeli photography. You can help them do that by donating here.
  • Looking for colorful tours of Tel Aviv? Call Shalom Kleiman at +972-(0)54-4909191
  • Halper’s Books is usually not filled with crazy people, but it is a lovely place to pass an afternoon. You’ll find it at 87 Allenby Street.

 

Photo by J. Schnapper.

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