The Best Kebab in the World

The Old City of Jerusalem is a nostalgia trap for me. As a newly arrived art student at Bezalel in the early 70s, I used to spend Saturday mornings inside Jaffa Gate, with a clothesline full of watercolor sketches of Jerusalem types that I hung on the fence of the mysterious grave - traditionally that of the architect of the walls, decapitated by sultanic decree to safeguard his secrets - and sold to tourists for pocket money. I didn't have a peddler's license, and when the city inspectors would approach, the shebab (young boys) who hung around the market would run up to me and tip me off. "Ya rassam! Bakah! Bakah!" (Yo, Artist! Insbector! Insbector! - there are no p's in Arabic) my souk irregulars would cry - my first experience of Jewish-Arab cooperation. That was decades ago, and living on the coast as I do - an hour's drive away - I rarely get to the Old City. But my New Yorker son was here for a quick visit and needed a condensed dose of exotica, so we piled into the jalopy and climbed to the capital. For full story please subscribe to The Jerusalem Report click here to subscribe.