Buzz Stop

Tel Aviv is very much a beach city and this is taken on the famous Tayelet (Hebrew for “Promenade”) that stretches all the way from the Port in the north to Jaffa in the south. Different sections of the beach have very different characters. This part is famous for its tourists, and its two English-speaking bars – Mike’s Place and the Buzz Stop. You can just see Mike’s Place in the picture, past the ubiquitous McDonald’s. I believe the chap in the picture – the jogger in the Union Jack shirt – owns or runs the Buzz Stop.

I’ve never been to either place, although they are very popular with tourists and with English-speaking immigrants who hold regular get-togethers here. Group identity is a funny thing, and English-speakers (from the UK, US, and South Africa mostly) have formed their own identity here, centered around a shared English-speaking “Anglo-Saxon” culture. Although I’m originally from the UK, I never would have thought of myself as an “Anglo” or an “Anglo Saxon”. (I still don’t.)

There was a terrorist attack at Mike’s Place in April 2003. Three young people were killed and over fifty were wounded. I think it’s great that the bar reopened and still attracts crowds of young people.

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14 comments on “Buzz Stop”

  1. Your processing gives it a feel as if bleached by the sun. It seems improbable that in this sunny place horrors could take place. As for group identity – for those of us who have been formed by two or more cultures, I think we become like chameleons that adapt and suddenly change when in the midst of any of them. It is as if we are divided against a true one whole complete cultural self. There is always the other view – the other language, the other… When we are in one we are always comparing and looking at the other, sometimes without even being aware of doing so. But maybe that is only me and some may have a stronger sense of an indivisable cultural self not influenced by different contexts.

  2. In response to the “always the other” comment above — I find it very compelling, as a (former) immigrant, having gone back and forth across the pond a number of times. I like to think of myself as suffering from an “odef shoreshim,” an excess of roots, rather than feeling divided, or split.

    Sorry for blathering on, but these photos really strike a chord, both in the scenes and subject matter, as well as the amazing technical treatment. YOu have a great talent!

  3. Thanks for the comments :)

    I think both of you raise some interesting points, and thanks for the food for thought. I suppose that personal or group identity anyway is formed by contrasts with ‘the other’, but in the case of immigrants it seems to be thrown into a really sharp contrast or focus.

    daina I think it’s natural to try to locate yourself between the two groups. I know that since I came to Israel, I read the UK news completely differently – I think I’m trying to see where I fit in. Although I haven’t sought out “Anglos” here as I found I’ve wanted to try to integrate more into the local culture – and most of the Anglos I met are either not from the UK (so we don’t share a culture anyway!) or are very religious, so I’ve found more in common with Israelis.

    Barbara I like the idea of an excess of roots! It’s like you’re gathering something from each place you visit, and adding it to yourself. As you know Israel well, you’ll have experienced the debates about immigrants and klita (“absorption”), and how the different groups behave. I do think language is central – I’ve felt so much more “at home” since I can now read the newspaper and understand conversations. And you’re definitely not blathering on – it’s great to hear others’ opinions, so do speak out :)

  4. This is a side of Israel that I have never seen before.

    Thank you.

    I too live in another country, and hate the ‘English’ enclaves and avoid them at all costs. I really don’t want yesterday’s Daily Mail, full English breakfast, and somebody telling me that ‘they’ don’t live like ‘we’ we do.

  5. When I saw the picture it reminded me of the French riviera, and Nice in particular. Funny thing : the main street of Nice, which goes along the beach and is lined with palm trees like the ones on the shot, is called the “Promenade des Anglais” (“The Promenade of the English”).

    It also has a McDonalds :-)

  6. Jon – Thanks for the comment. Interestingly, this is a very typical side of Tel Aviv :) I know what you mean about the English enclaves – and the odd “us and them” thing. I’ve found less of the ‘full English breakfast’ kind of expression of it here – I just don’t feel like I can identify myself as an “Anglo-Saxon” as it’s an identity that relies on “being an English speaker” rather than a shared culture that has a meaning to me. Each to their own!

  7. pictalogue That’s funny :) I’ve spent a lot of time in Nice and on the Riviera (wonderful part of the world) and know the Promenade des Anglais well…I don’t remember there being a McDo though. I also thought that the Tel Aviv promenade reminded me of Nice a bit. There are lots of French tourists here in the summer, too!

  8. I enjoyed the picture and the writeup. And it is always interesting to learn more about the photographer and what he thinks about himself.

  9. Having been to Tel Aviv – as a tourist..of course – this image brings back memories of time spent there. And as an ‘anglo’ (Canadian/American) tourist I found myself staying clear of anyplace that didn’t feel ‘Israeli’. Interesting studies in human behavior and attitude…and interesting comments and conversation that ensues.
    Love the processing. It reminds me of the beautiful Tel Aviv heat and how it radiates off the pavement.

  10. Looks like white is a very popular color for cars and buildings there and only a two light system instead of the red, yellow green we have here. I never have been across the pond but interesting to see so many McDonald’s in pictures of street scenes from photobloggers around the world.

  11. is that rod stewart jogging along there??
    thanks for the narrative, you made me think of tel-avivi in a more human way than you normally do as a result of the news broadcasts.

  12. It’s hard to imagine a bomb exploding in a place like this. But I guess that it is hard to imagine a bomb going off anywhere except from some hot zones.

    I love the snapshot Seventies’ feel in the image.

  13. Marcie – thanks, it’s interesting that you tried to find “Israeli” places to spend time – I also prefer the authentic to the touristy so I can relate:)

    Terry – you’re right about the white – I noticed that too when I first came here because in England, white is the least popular colour for cars. Here it’s because of the heat, white cars reflect the sun better.

    trotsky – maybe is is Rod Stewart and he’s opened a pub in Tel Aviv. Actually this is a very fun-loving, relaxed and “human” city – the news broadcasts miss the mark completely…:)

    Geir – thanks and you’re right, it is hard to imagine…

  14. as always I’m drawn by the processing of your shots…this has a very 70’s old photo feel only betrayed by the trappings of now. I spend a lot of time in Crete and have always been mystified by the need of non locals to gather with similar people, I know it happens all over the world…..I always feel the need to say if it is Englishness you crave there is always England! I avoid such places like the plague.
    Nice shot


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