There’s this bar in Old Jaffa called Anna LouLou that I love. I have been twice now, the first time was with the crew at Physicians for Human Rights, and both times it’s love. LouLou, as it’s better known, is a bar that welcomes both Israelis and Arabs and where people happily mix in its cave-like atmosphere sipping on cheap (by Tel Aviv standards) drinks.
It’s a hole-in-the-wall bar. If you arrive earlier in the evening you wouldn’t even know there was a bar located there – though by about 11pm it is so packed that there are people drinking outside. There are no windows, and space is cramped (though there is a more isolated comfortable seated area in the back). The music isn’t mainstream (and I love mainstream), so why do I love it? It doesn’t sound so pleasant. I don’t know. There’s something about it: it’s hectic and colourful in the dark, it’s friendly even if you keep to your friends, it’s just a really great place to be – and people who know me know I’m not normally a big bar person.
How did LouLou come up? Tuesday night I decided to go for the book launch of “Zoom In, Palestinian Refugees of 1948, Remembrances” at Yafa Cafe. Two of the scholars who worked on the book were there to talk about it. I was very excited, the cafe was packed, and the entire discussion was in Hebrew (despite claims at the beginning that there would be some information in English). After an hour of Hebrew, I left and joined 4 friends/acquaintances outside where we headed to LouLou and unexpectedly stumbled on what was poetry night at the bar – though again, it was all in Hebrew.
Last night was fun too, a very different scene. My beloved ex-roommate, who has social superpowers and is always able to amass a large number of people, invited out a whole group of people to meet at Zimmerman’s – a bar which her friend pointed out is quite Bob Dylan themed. We arrived before the bar opened (7pm) but they very kindly let us in and served us drinks anyway. As time passed and more and more people arrived the group became so big we had to move to the tables and couches out back. It was great fun and I met a number of new people, almost all of whom were interns and travellers. Many who were couchsurfers.