(Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons)
By Aaron Pomerantz
Last Updated 3/13/2017 at 6:50 PM
Tel Aviv, Kikar Dizengoff: A work of modern art planned for display in the soon to be renovated Dizengoff Square is meeting heavy opposition from concerned members of the Community. The statue, designed by Neve Tzedek artist Yair G. and titled “Tel Aviv Epiphany”, does not portray a man eagerly displaying his genitals to passerby. And Tel Aviv residents are not too happy. The Daily Freier walked down to Dizengoff Square where an impromptu protest was taking place.
“I don’t know how they do things down in Neve Tzedek” admonished Tomer C., a resident of Bograshov. “But up here in Tel Aviv, we expect our statues to be touching themselves. Or rummaging around down there as if their lease paperwork is hidden somewhere in their boxers shorts.”
As the protest continued throughout the day, sympathetic members of the Municipal Government met with community organizers. “These statues really serve as a public service.” explained Cultural Affairs Chairperson Safir H. “I mean, when you think of it, a Tel Aviv guy offering to show strangers his genitals is actually a rather accurate preview of what out of town visitors will experience in Tel Aviv.”
Yet despite the strong opposition from community activists, some Tel Aviv residents see the wisdom in maybe erecting displaying a slightly different kind of statue. Alert local Ronit S. explained. “My family lives in Holon, and last week I had to give my mom directions to my new apartment. So I told her ‘Turn right at the statue of the guy grabbing himself.’ And my mom was like ‘You mean the one on Rothschild where he is using both hands? And then I said ‘No. The one on Dizengoff and Gordon where he is relaxing in a chair with his legs open.’ So yeah…. maybe if they just had a statue of a bird or a car or something, it would be better.”
As the protest adjourned for the evening, several philanthropic-minded men from the neighborhood offered to serve as models for a statue that better served the wishes of the community.
By Aaron Pomerantz
Last Updated 9/17/2016 at 5:00 PM
Tel Aviv: The city is abuzz this weekend with some exciting action: the competition to be named “Tel Aviv’s Next Top Shitty Bartender“. Tel Aviv Municipality’s Cultural Affairs Chairperson Safir H. explained. “While it’s true that the Imperial Cocktail Bar was recognized as the Best in the Middle East, we felt that this discriminated against one of the Start-Up Nation’s Core Competencies: Indifferent or Slightly Hostile Customer Service.” Safir took the Daily Freier down to the competition site on Ben Yehuda Street to scope out the talent.
The Municipality had set up a mock bar where competitors were run through realistic scenarios to include:
- “Customer just interrupted you while you were texting your boyfriend.“
- “Customer wants ice.”
- “Customer at all-you-can-drink event has the chutzpah to ask for another drink.”
While all of the competitors were amazing, some simply stood out for their awesome lack of a give-a-shit. The Daily Freier spoke with one of the stars, a guy named Avner, about the events so far.
“So these people kept annoying the hell out of me. Just really stressing me out. What do you call those idiots who hang around the bar asking for things when you’re trying to check Tinder or work on your Start-up?”
The Daily Freier helpfully added “Customers?”
“Yeah that’s it. Anyways, these ‘Customers‘ kept bothering me. I mean, it’s not like I work for tips or anything.”
The Daily Freier then spoke with Romi, who seemed a bit frustrated from one of the tougher scenarios: “Giving the customer change“.
“OK, this guy gave me 200 shekels for a 135 shekel bill.” explained Romi. “So the idiot kept waiting for me to give him some money back or something. Whatever. I just assumed that the rest was my tip. I mean, I’m kinda hot.”
After being tested for three hours, Sapir was ready to crown a guy named Yoav the winner. Unfortunately Yoav stepped out for a smoke break thirty minutes earlier and had not yet returned.
By Aaron Pomerantz and Mark Levy
Last Updated 7/22/2016 at 5:20 PM
Tel Aviv, Allenby: The City of Tel Aviv just took deliberate steps to safeguard a critical aspect of its culture and “Brand” today: that smell of dried pee that permeates every sidewalk, especially Allenby Street. Early this morning Tel Aviv registered as a Trade-Mark the smell of dried urine on a hot and dusty sidewalk that makes Tel Aviv so special. Municipality Cultural Affairs Chairperson Safir H. took the Daily Freier on a walking tour of Central Tel Aviv this morning as she explained the City’s endeavor.
“We had to act quickly” explained Safir. “We heard that Athens and Rome were trying to muscle us out of the industry. And ever since Greece sued other countries that made feta cheese (NOTE: This really happened), we knew that they meant business. Rome and Athens are fine I guess. But I’m sorry. It’s just not the same as smelling a Tel Aviv sidewalk on a hot summer afternoon.”
The Daily Freier asked Safir how Tel Aviv’s streets were different from other countries where the sidewalks smell like pee. “I can’t quite explain it., but not all sidewalks that smell like pee are the same. Some say it’s our Mediterranean diet. Some say it’s the coffee hafuch. Some say it’s the hummus. Some say its the chutzpah. All I can say is that if you have never experienced Tel Aviv in the Summer, you need to come smell the Excitement!“
As Safir walked us around, she stopped at one particularly bad-smelling alley between Allenby and Shuk HaCarmel and started looking at the sidewalk. “Wait….. there is a hint of sunflower seeds and bamba in the aroma here. I think I know the artist who created this!” Safir then turned toward a middle aged heavyset man reading a newspaper at a nearby taxi stand. “Shlomo! Was this you????” she asked in mock anger, at which point the man grinned sheepishly and shrugged his shoulders.
The City of Tel Aviv claims that it will begin marketing the scent at those kiosks that sell Dead Sea Products all over the world. They also plan on marketing automobile air fresheners that make your car smell like the Number 5 Sherut.
By Aaron Pomerantz
Last Updated 7/1/2016 at 3:10 PM
Tel Aviv/Dizengoff: Tel Aviv, a city that lost its damn mind this year after the opening of a Burger King, has declared itself a World Cultural City. Burger King’s arrival (return) in Tel Aviv caused the entire city to stop what they were doing and wait in line for 3 hours in order to experience hamburgers slightly better than McDonald’s, fries somewhat worse than McDonald’s, and genuinely awesome onion rings. The Daily Freier spoke with Tel Aviv’s Cultural Affairs Spokesperson Safir H. in order to truly understand the city’s new international status.
“From our Bauhaus Architecture to our renowned theater to our amazing cafe society, we as Tel Avivians must embrace our status as a World Cultural Center.” explained Safir as she munched on a BK Original Chicken Sandwich (“Long Chicken” here in Israel!).
The Daily Freier then asked Safir what it is about Tel Aviv that distinguishes it from other cities of the World. “We are a confluence of cultures. European, Middle Eastern, North African, Latin American. There are just so many influences to our daily lives here.” explained Safir as she added ketchup to her onion rings while sipping her BK Cafe Americano (Only 4 Shekels!).
“There is just something about our Urban enclaves such as Sarona or Neve Tzedek that you don’t see in other cities. This mix of urban street life and quiet reflection.” explained Safir as she started to attack her vanilla soft ice cream.
As the Daily Freier got up to leave, Safir asked us if we were going to finish our Whopper.
(Photo Credit: http://www.midnighteast.com)
By Aaron Pomerantz
Last Updated 6/30/2016 at 5:40 PM
Tel Aviv, Kikar Rabin: As the city prepares for its annual “White Nights” all-night spectacle, the Tel Aviv Municipality reminds out-of-town guests not to feed or harass the native species. “Tel Aviv is a unique ecosystem.” explained the Municipality Cultural Affairs Chairperson Safir H. “The introduction of non-native foods by visitors from Rishon or Petah Tikvah could upset the food chain. Just last year in Kikar Bialik a visitor from Holon accidentally introduced a non-native form of bread with gluten. We almost had a disaster, but we were able to quarantine the affected natives by taking them to that vegan place on Nahalat Binyamin and feeding them millet tortillas while playing A-WA on a constant loop for seven hours. Also, we handed out spliffs.“
Safir went on to provide a helpful list of “Do’s and Dont’s” for Out-of-Towners at tonight’s festival. “Avoid taking pictures, as there is a 30% chance that the person photographed is an aspiring model/actress who will then direct you to their Instagram Account. But by all means, ask the native about their plans to live and work in New York City, but only if you have cleared your schedule for the next three hours…. Same goes for the documentary that they’re “working on”.
Visitors are reminded to pack out any trash they may produce during the evening to prevent it from being incorporated into a piece of “street art” displayed outside those weird warehouses between Florentin and Neve Tzedek.
By Aaron Pomerantz
Last Updated 6/2/2016 at 4:30 PM
Tel Aviv, Dizengoff: People all over town are excited to welcome new and old friends from the LGBT Community to Tel Aviv this week. In honor of this auspicious event Tel Aviv businesses are festooned with Rainbow Flags to celebrate an a 50% increase in prices. The Daily Freier spoke with Tel Aviv Cultural Affairs Chairperson Safir H. to find out just what this is all about.
“Tel Aviv is a very special place.” explained Safir. “This is the only city in the Middle East where you can enjoy a beer for $11 regardless of how you identify.” Safir pointed to a pub displaying the Rainbow Flag. “And if you see the flag this week, rest assured that if you purchase a drink, you can purchase a second drink for exactly the same price.”
As Safir continued down Dizengoff Street, the Daily Freier noted a sign on a business that said “We are so Proud to Have You“. Safir explained that this sign was a result of budget cutbacks. “This sign was actually shortened due to funding constraints. The original design was ‘We are so Proud to Have Your Money.’ But we had our funding cut and had to improvise. Welcome to Israel.”
As we passed a local eatery, Safir said hello to her friend Yoni the proprietor. “We welcome everybody to our restaurant.” explained Yoni. “Stonewall, ACT-UP, Will & Grace…these were just steps on the path to me charging you 150 Shekels for a Buffet Brunch.”
As the Daily Freier ended the interview and entered a taxi, the tearful driver explained why this week is so special for him. “Tel Aviv is like nowhere else in the world. Today I am celebrating diversity by refusing to turn on my meter! But for 100 Shekels I can drive you to Savidor.“
By Aaron Pomerantz
Last Updated 11/6/2015 at 12:30 PM
Tel Aviv, Kikar Rabin: The city of Tel Aviv launched an intensive outreach this week, trying to help some of the most vulnerable among us: those who feel the need to give their Internet Wi-Fi networks really, really, really inappropriate names. The Municipality is offering a wide range of life coaching and personal development courses, free of charge, to the affected communities. Tel Aviv Cultural Affairs Chairperson Safir H. explained the city’s rationale:
“There are people out there who are crying out for help. Crying out for help by naming their Wi-Fi ‘Boobsnet’ or ‘Bibi is Shit’, which I have to admit we all laughed about at the office. Some people even name their Wi-Fi ‘F-ck Off’, or ‘Free F-ck“‘ and finally,….. “ Sapir paused, retained her composure and continued. “I’m sorry but this is just like totally gross.”
The Tel Aviv public is rallying behind the measure, with citizens praising the move.The Daily Freier talked to concerned citizen Matan G. about the new initiative. “So I’ve been stealing unprotected Internet from my neighbors for the last couple of years and I’m always looking for an open network. So imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon ‘F-ck Off’ last week. I just felt violated. This needs to stop.”
Safir outlined the initiative’s mix of personal development classes and one-on-one life coaching. Later she allowed the Daily Freier to tag along at an evening group therapy session conducted in an unused classroom at Ulpan Gordon. As a circle of a dozen men and women (OK, OK, they were all guys) listened attentively, the group facilitator walked them through a scenario speaking slowly, loudly, and deliberately. “So expressing ourselves? That’s OK. Naming our Internet after our private parts? That’s NOT OK. OK, now you try it. Expressing ourselves?” At this point the class answered in unison “OK” The facilitator continued. “Naming our Internet after our private parts?” At this point half of the class answered “OK“, three answered “NOT OK”, and one answered “Big Butts!”
By Aaron Pomerantz
Last Updated 3/30/2015 at 11:30 AM
North Tel Aviv: The Tel Aviv Municipality kicks off its annual “Park Like a Total Dick” championship, challenging its residents to compete to find out who can annoy, inconvenience, and endanger their fellow citizens with the most flair, panache, and originality. Representatives from the City’s Department of Cultural Affairs will be touring the city this week on the look-out for those among us who go the extra mile in turning their problem into our problem.
Cultural Affairs Chairperson Safir H. explained, “We will be judging based on the criteria of ‘Inconvenience to the Public’, ‘Lack of Empathy for Others’, ‘Chutzpah’, ‘Creates a Public Hazard’, and ‘ Lack of Awareness that What They’re Doing is Actually Wrong’.” Ms. Safir explained the final criteria: “What we’re really looking for is somebody who thinks that what they’re doing is perfectly OK, and that YOU’RE the idiot for questioning them. I don’t think it’s possible to win this spirited contest if you actually have any self-awareness.”. Last year’s winner, Moti C, won a parking pass good for the entire year of his crown and allowing him to park anywhere he wanted in Tel Aviv………as opposed to the year before he won the competition, when he……..parked anywhere he wanted in Tel Aviv.
Despite the competition’s name, Safir stressed that it is actually open to men and women. Incidentally, as we spoke, Ms. Safir rushed over to notify a woman parking in the crosswalk on Ben Yehuda across from the SuperSol Market that she was in fact a finalist. At which point the finalist looked at us like we were from Mars, told us we were in her way, and brushed by us as she walked into that frozen yogurt place on the corner.