a summer night

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We’re fast approaching the end of summer. Here and there, we’ve got cooler days, and on a rare occasion, even a few drops of rain. And with the end of summer, comes the Jewish new year, which means the high holy days. The two day holiday marking the new year features great rejoicing and wonderful feasts. We bless one another and get together with friends and families across the country. And after the new year, we have ten days of soul searching which leads to the ‘Day of Atonement’, which is a 25 hour fast day dedicated to prayer and soul searching, and is the holiest day in the year for us.

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on the tram going downtown

With all of that ahead, I’ve decided that this would be a good time for a vacation… all the more so, because the weather has been exceptionally nice, and I have the urge to get out and see the ocean… and do some photography.

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warm and pleasant on Ben Yehuda str

But how could I do that, without taking a long last look at the summer nights in downtown Jerusalem. I’ve already mentioned that I finally had the experience of riding on our new city tram. It was a little slow, and a little crowded, but I hear that they are still improving the system, and that I can look forward to better service in the future.

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a street painter

And now that the tracks have been laid, and the building of this new system is completed, Jerusalem is slowly getting back to the same home town that I have loved all my life. It is wonderful to stroll around the downtown area, and revisit many of the places that are engraved in my mind and memories. Pini used to have one of the most beautiful restaurants in town, with a large outdoor eating area, where I would visit often. During the entifada, people stayed in more, and he closed down, not having enough business to make it worth while. But now, I visited his new eatery, which isn’t as splendid as the old one was, but it is still a good place to eat, and he has a couple of tables in front of his new restaurant, where you can sit right next to the sidewalk on Jaffa street.

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at Pini’s new eatery

Ben Yehuda street is full of people, open stores and eateries, musicians, and artists of all types, and both local citizens and tourists who all seem to be having a good time. I even had the pleasure of listening to some fine Jazz played on the street. And no sooner had I gotten out of hearing range of one set of musicians than I ran into a new group. All of the music was quite pleasant. As I was standing in the pedestrian street, listening to one band, a number of tourists came by, and they were so excited by the street show, that they wanted to be photographed with the artists. And the musicians were very friendly. So there was no problem.

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It was really a splendid evening, with plenty of drinks… a warm night… the warmth of friendship too… a variety of different good foods, and even a little window shopping for me, which is very unusual. But I couldn’t help but peek into the windows of the local camera shops, to see what they were selling these days.

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street musicians

And now, having enjoyed the city, I am off to the north… to the beautiful Galilee, and to enjoy the coastline as I travel up the country. There are friends I wish to visit… but most of all, I’m in the mood to do a little photography. Often, when I’m traveling, I run into fog or haze that make photography more difficult. But this time, it looks like I might be able to concentrate on the landscape. I have my little laptop with me, so I will still have the pleasure of hooking up to the internet.

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