first photographs from israel
February 4, 2006 9:36 PM   Subscribe

cool, thanks
posted by FeldBum at 10:48 PM on February 4, 2006

Outside of the other interesting stuff, it is fascinating to see a city being built from scratch. They have a photo from 1909 of the sand dunes on which Tel Aviv was to be built being allocated, then the sand dunes being leveled by oxen and plows. Then they have views of the same street in 1911 and 1920 - I located one from recently, also, the buildings are larger, but less picturesque.
posted by blahblahblah at 11:15 PM on February 4, 2006

blahblahblah, if you want a better sense of "tel aviv haktana" (small tel aviv) or "tel aviv shel pa'am" (tel aviv of yore), as it is known to old-timers, you should really see some of nahum gutman's touchingly naive watercolors of tel aviv. many of these were illustrations of his children's book on tel aviv as it was, called "ir ktana ve'toshavim ba me'at" ("a small town with few inhabitants"), which is quite wonderful to read.

you can see some of his works at the virtual nahum gutman museum. on the page, click on this image for a flash presentation of some of his tel aviv watercolors:

the neighborhood that best preserves a sense of "tel aviv haktana" is neve tzedek, initially a separate settlement outside jaffa. pics pics pics

the tallish building in the last photo (the one partially obscured by the palm tree) is called the "Shalom Meir" -- 'shalom' being both a greeting and a first name -- my father, whose name is meir, used to tell me it was called that because there was a guy who shouted this greeting at my dad every morning as my dad went to work, while the building was being constructed. i was born a short walk from the backdrop of the pictures you posted, but a number of decades later :)
posted by ori at 12:04 AM on February 5, 2006

shalom ori, Ma nishma
It's quite surreal to look at places that I've visited, for example- I went to a salsa party here (or thereabouts).
posted by dhruva at 12:13 AM on February 5, 2006

Wow, this is the post of the week. (OK, it's Sunday, but it still sets the bar high.)
posted by caddis at 6:26 AM on February 5, 2006

priceless, thanks everybody
posted by matteo at 6:54 AM on February 5, 2006

Fascinating stuff; I had no idea the region was so undeveloped just so recently.
posted by brownpau at 7:34 AM on February 5, 2006

Another way to see what an undeveloped Israel looks like: Cross the border at Taba into the Sinai. As fas as the eye can see: nothing.

Then cross back into Eilat.
posted by FeldBum at 7:30 AM on February 6, 2006

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