Every time I tell Tel Avivians that I love Jerusalem, they look at me as if I’m mad. “Jerusalem?!” they say incredulously, “but it’s so dirty! And there’s so much tension! And there’s nothing to do!”
They don’t know what they’re talking about! This weekend, a friend of mine and I converted yet another Tel Avivian to the wonders of Jerusalem. This time not to the Old City, but to its bars and clubs and wonderful, wonderful, friendly people.
We arrived at the previously mentioned Asgard Bar in Jerusalem on Thursday night and met up with a few friends. I have to mention here that there’s a beer that they serve, Kasteel Rouge, that is absolutely divine. They call it a girly beer, because it tastes of cherries and it’s sweet (and to be fair, most girls I met there love it and it’s the only beer that I’ve ever enjoyed) but it’s also very strong. A glass and I’m good for the night, two and I’m a “blast in a glass” (ah, Jersey Shore reference). Aside from the tasty tasty beer, Asgard is always a good time and the people are always lovely.
However, we were feeling up to more and five of us headed down the street to a rooftop party being held, well, on a rooftop. Entry was 10 shekels (less than $3) and drinks were, in true Israeli style, very very strong. The music was, at first, very awkward electronic music that sounded like lots of beeps and bleeps, but as the night went on it got better (or I got drunker) and it was danceable.
But we still weren’t done. There was another bar only two minutes away called The Sira which is a favourite of my friend’s for its cave-like indie atmosphere. We finished our night off there, polishing off more drinks (or in my case, 1/2 a drink) and dancing before stumbling out at 4:30am (something that was never possible in Montreal) and heading up to find a taxi.
Most people went home, but a friend and I decided to go for a walk and we ended up in a little park overlooking the Old City’s Jaffa Gate, and sat there until the sunrise. My first sunrise-after-partying ever.
The two Tel Avivians decided to head back to Tel Aviv, but were distracted on the way by food at a restaurant called Uganda. I wasn’t with them, but they told me that the people there were so friendly they were tempted to stay another night (and multiple people offered them a couch to crash on). One of them told me that he was so impressed by how wonderful people in Jerusalem are that he will definitely return more often because, despite living only an hour away, he never really visits.
Friday night, I enjoyed my first ever Shabbat dinner with an Israeli friend living in Jerusalem and his friends. Shabbat dinner complete with readings from the Torah and bread dipped in salt and kosher food and their own little tradition, 20 questions from Haaretz. Everyone was so absolutely lovely, translating the questions into English for me and effortlessly including me in the conversation. What lovely people.
Jerusalem – there’s just something so magical about it. Even the people are lovelier in Jerusalem.