Sunday, March 07, 2004

Falling in Love. I don't fall in love with cities as a general rule. Paris has its historical/cultural weight, Venice is stunning in its old-world way, and London has a frenzied, low-slung charm; but I have never fallen head over heels in love with an urban center until now. I spent the weekend in Tel Aviv (Purim weekend: imagine a drunken Halloween), and it dawned on me that I am helplessly, wretchedly in love with that city. It is a ferocious city, erotic, loud, slightly ill-kempt and, at night, lit up in reds and blues and whites which hurtle down streets lit with a yellow, luminous glow until they cascade out into the pitch blackness of the sea. The Mediterranean at night is a pure void, impenetrable, and behind you looms the brightness of the city, alight and shining and irradiant. Tel Aviv is Israel: Europe and the Middle East, young and old, angry and joyous, loud and ominously still, hedonist and ferociously political. Concrete and steel and stone and sea. Yes. I am in love.