places in Tel Aviv by an art historian

After studying art in Santiago, in the 1970s, Chilean native Aviva Sawicki moved to Israel and expanded her career by studying theater and art history, English literature, and theater design in several cities. One of her first jobs in Tel Aviv was at a film company, and that’s why her tips on the city combine memories of those days with current attractions.

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Diane Keaton in Jaffa

“Jaffa Port is one of the oldest ports in the world,” explains Aviva. It’s well preserved and home to many restaurants, even though her favorite spot is the old customs house: “It has served as a location for international movies produced by Israfilm and it’s where I found my dog, Charlie. Her name is an homage to Diane Keaton’s character in the first movie I worked on, The Little Drummer Girl. When she heard about this, the actress wanted to meet Charlie and me.”

Jaffa Port: Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel

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Focus on art

“The gallery Sommer Contemporary Art is home to the most promising contemporary art in Israel, with a highlight to the work of photographer Adi Nes and artist Yael Bartana. Nirit Levav Packer is also an interesting multidisciplinary artist who uses recycled metal in her art,” explains Aviva.

Sommer Contemporary Art: Rothschild Boulevard, 13

Nirit Levav Packer Art Gallery: Beit Eshel, 9

 

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New cuisine

Rothschild Boulevard is one of the main thoroughfares in downtown Tel Aviv. Heading north, you’ll find the Habima National Theater, where I worked in the scenography department. These days, across from the theater, you’ll find the seafood restaurant Milgo & Milbar, with a European atmosphere and renowned for its young chefs’ attention to details.

Milgo & Milbar: Rothschild Boulevard, 142

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Flea market

“Right next to the picturesque Jaffa city center and the old Clock Tower is Shuk HaPishpeshim, an eclectic combination of shops that sell clothes, furniture, and games, as well as cafés and bars. Among antiques and handmade items, the place is filled with treasures. We used to buy elements to complement the movie sets there.”

Shuk HaPishpeshim: Olei Zion, Jaffa

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Tel Aviv’s answer to Central Park

“HaYarkon Park is probably the most important park in Tel Aviv. It’s home to extensive gardens, sports facilities, a botanical garden, an aviary, a water park, two outdoor concert venues, and lakes. It’s the perfect place to go jogging, biking, or skating, take a stroll, and play soccer or mini golf.”

HaYarkon Park: Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel