My Birthday Photo Essay

fleamarket shirts
vintage shirts

July 1st was my birthday, I started the day like off at the flea market. Going to the flea market has been a yearly birthday ritual of mine. I went by myself this year which made it a quiet, reflective and enjoyable trip.

quaint apartment
apartment overlooking the flea market

This is a beautiful, old apartment overlooking one of the main streets of the flea market. When I see interesting homes, I like to imagine who lives in them and their lives might be like.

smoking vegetables
nargila shop

I wandered through the crowded streets, looking at the old, vintage/junk items for sale. This year I wasn’t as excited about being in the flea market as in previous years; I found everything was messy and crowded together, which hadn’t bothered me in the past. I felt a need for order and peacefulness as I manuvered through the market.

old building
an old shop with lots of character

I left the flea market and crossed the street into the old city of Jaffa. The old city is on the sea, I felt the need to be by the sea. I’ve been to the old city so many times that I challenged myself to to see things differently, so my photos would be new and fresh.

jaffa church tower
funny, tall trees next to the Jaffa church tower

The first thing I encountered as I approached the old city was a dilapidated building, as I passed it I heard very loud chirping. ! ?  I turned around to peer into the glassless windows to see what was making so much noise. The crumbling, vaulted ceilings were COVERED with little bats hanging upside down. There were four owl bodies hanging down from the ceiling, obviously they were meant to scare the bats away, but it wasnt’ working at all. There were so many of them that the ceiling appeared black and undulating. I continued on.

boats
Jaffa port

I ate lunch at a seaside restauant that looked Greek. After lunch, I continued on my way down the smooth, ancient and winding stairs of the city, into the port area. The Jaffa port is authentic, it’s dirty, the boats are working boats, there are piles of fishing nets topped by florescent buoyies, there are no fancy yachts. There are no chic boutiques lining the port area as there are in many other ports I’ve seen (the Tel Aviv port being one of them), but there is a  fish restauant and a bars/art galleries in the old warehouse spaces which appealed to me very much. There is art all over the port inside and out.

outside art
giant murals cover a warehouse

One warehouse in particular was covered in huge murals, all the characters appeared bleak and many offered to mutilate themselves for something in return, I think it was the opportunity to be taught something. All the graffiti and art I saw was depressing. Is that the state of affairs of Israeli-Arab artists? I suppose it could be, Israel is an intense and often depressing place if you live in reality here. Many choose to ignore what’s going on around them, it’s how you live a more peaceful life.

warehouse bar
huge bar/gallery space

I found a huge bar/gallery space in the port. Such large spaces are rare. The walls were covered by wire sculptures.

wire sculpture
man trying to fly?

This figure seems to be trying to fly or he is floundering in some way-interesting, but depressing-again.

old building
crumbling Jaffa building

I noticed that I had a bit of a sunburn, so in the late afternoon I started heading back home.

time to go home
heading home along the sea

I was pleased with my day of photography and the moments I’d captured. It was now time to go home and take a birthday nap!

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