Market Wise

Tel Aviv, the city that boasts it never sleeps, is the subject of a new guide book that is beautifully illustrated with superb photography.

tel aviv good 88 224 (photo credit: Courtesy)
tel aviv good 88 224
(photo credit: Courtesy)
WITH ITS centennial coming up next year, Tel Aviv - the first Hebrew-speaking city in contemporary Jewish history, and made famous by UNESCO, which designated it as a "white city" because of its large representation of Bauhaus architecture - is marketing itself as a tourist destination. Unlike Jerusalem, Safed and others parts of the Galilee, Tel Aviv does not have ancient monuments or even small relics to testify to centuries of Jewish history in this relatively small terrain. This, according to Gil Uchovsky - filmmaker, electronic and print media commentator on Israel's art and culture scene and frequent host or panelist on television programs - is the reason tourists were not previously attracted to Tel Aviv. Uchovsky was at the launch of the English and French editions of City Guide to Tel Aviv, a beautifully illustrated book with superb photography by Natan Dvir. It gives the visitor, and denizens of the pulsating city that boasts it never sleeps, a new perspective. Regardless of how well anyone knows their city, there are always places that one doesn't frequent or is unaware of. The book, researched and written by freelance journalist Lisa Goldman, a Canadian immigrant who has been living in Israel for eight years, offers insights to many places that even local residents did not previously know about. Published by Crossfields TLV, the book is somewhat different from regular tourist guides in that it doesn't feature cafes, food, fashion, night life, etc. in group order; it divides the city into five parts, focusing on each part and providing easy-to-follow maps. Restaurants are often described in detail - with one major omission: Some visitors to Tel Aviv would like to know whether they're kosher. Another omission, as far as both local residents and tourists are concerned, is a listing of public toilets. Though available in every shopping mall and hotel, there are also some in other places, and it's an important public service to let readers know where. The book, which markets Tel Aviv as being both hip and cool, also lists some of the events that will take place in Tel Aviv-Jaffa during the centennial year. A full list of events can be found on the centennial Web site ( or by calling (03) 725-3861. TEL AVIV may be known as the white city, but Shavuot has become the white festival. Noted as a festival for dairy foods, it has been purloined by the fashion industry, which features white apparel; the accessories industry, which is displaying white shoes, bags and belts; the interior decorating industry, which puts the focus on white furniture and furnishings; the laundry and detergents industry, which advertises how much whiter your clothes or your bathroom will be if you use their product; the paint industry, which advises to paint your walls white and offers a series of matte and shiny paints that can do the job; and the list goes on. Next Thursday in Tel Aviv there will be a cheese and wine festival sponsored by Gourmet Shop in Rabin Square from 5 p.m.-8 p.m. It will feature local and imported cheeses, including hard and soft, white and yellow, aromatically bland and those that will assail the olfactory senses - budget-priced and expensive. Some of the cheeses cost as much as NIS 700 per kilogram. According to Michael Rafael, owner of the Gourmet Shop chain, this is an opportunity for lovers of fine food to avail themselves of dairy products seldom, if ever, seen on supermarket shelves. The Gourmet Shop in Rabin Square is located at 17 Malchei Israel Street. NOT EVERYONE wants to be famous, but a lot of people do. That explains the popularity of television reality shows as well as talent quests such as American Idol. The whole idea of rising from relative anonymity to celebrity status seems to have an increasingly wide-ranging appeal. Strauss discovered that when it launched its "Face on Danona" contest with the aim of featuring faces of regular Danona consumers on the packaging of Danona products. Some 118,000 people sent photographs of themselves to the Danona Internet site. Of these, 700 were selected to meet with Strauss representatives to discuss with them what they consider to be a healthy life style. Ninety will be chosen to appear on Strauss Danona packaging throughout the year. The panel of judges is headed by Strauss general manager Gadi Lessin, and includes Strauss and Danona executives as well as representatives of advertising and public relations companies. IN ANOTHER Shavuot-related Strauss development, Strauss has entered into a cooperative venture with Lechem Erez, the baked goods company that specializes in gourmet breads. Lechem Erez will sell several of the Strauss cheese products in its stores, while Strauss cream cheese packages will feature Lechem Erez recipes that include cheese products. YOTVATA IS mounting a $2 million image promotional campaign in which it is not only promoting its brand name, but also the concept that milk is more satisfying and possibly healthier than water. Because Yotvata is located in a southern desert region, it was decided to remake the legendary promo of soldiers drinking milk in the desert. The remake of the 20-year-old commercial stars Michael Hanegbi. LADIES TOILETS in several bars and restaurants contain notices about sexual harassment and contact numbers for rape crisis centers. Now the same venues are being used by the Israel Cancer Association to make women aware of the dangers of smoking. The association is running a campaign for a "day without smoking" on May 31.