On My Mind: No longer a sleepy town

On My Mind No longer a

By
October 29, 2009 21:15
2 minute read.

 
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According to Jewish tradition, the coming of the Messiah will bring about the raising of the dead. All cities and towns undergo change over a period of time, but few have witnessed as many changes as Jerusalem over the past two decades. Any Jerusalemite who died in the last 20 years or more would be totally confused by the new roads and highways, the Central Bus Station, the high-rise residential complexes, the network of shopping malls, the National Precinct, the roundabouts that are developing into island parks and gardens, the relocation and expansion of the Biblical Zoo, the number and variety of restaurants and coffee shops, the rise of new neighborhoods in places that were once barren rock or forest areas - and, of course, the number of cars and two-wheeled vehicles on the road, not to mention the ever-increasing and changing bus routes. Jerusalem is no longer a sleepy town but a bustling metropolis. Even those of us who live here and have witnessed major changes in our own and surrounding neighborhoods are not always aware of the dramatic changes in neighborhoods farther afield. Jerusalem has received a major face-lift. Few things remain as they were - not Mahaneh Yehuda, not the Old City - not even Mea She'arim and Geula. In my own neighborhood of Rehavia-Talbiyeh, where there were many petitions and protest demonstrations against tearing down old buildings or adding floors to existing ones, there is a constant flurry of construction. New multi-story buildings are going up, and two, three and even four floors are being added to existing buildings that are later sandblasted to obscure the difference between the new and the old sections. Sometimes the sandblasting doesn't help because the architect of the new section has not created a design that harmonizes seamlessly with the old. As someone who spends a lot of time walking around the city, I am constantly amazed by the rapidity of change, not just in residential areas but also in commercial ones where many business enterprises have a short shelf life and stores are revamped as often as every six months as new businesses with different merchandise move in. Over the past year, a shop around the corner from where I live has been an infants' wear shop, a florist shop and is now a hat shop. The décor keeps changing and is currently very attractive - but who knows how long it will last. It occurs to me that if the Messiah comes, my late Jerusalem-born husband and his parents may not be able to find their way home. A reader writes: On the bus, people who put their feet on the seats opposite them should be fined. It is not only rude, inconsiderate and gauche, but it also soils and wears out the upholstery of the seats' edges. As a passenger, it is infuriating to have to sit and observe such uncouth behavior. Egged should not condone having its colorful new seats ruined by a bunch of ill-bred adolescents. If you have something on your mind, e-mail greerfc@gmail.com

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