Tel Aviv- “The City that Never Sleeps”

February 20th 2011

White Night Festival

German Jews had style. You can’t deny it.  In the 1930s, German Jews trained in the style of Bauhaus from Europe’s top architectural schools, immigrated to what was then Palestine.  They were escaping the Nazis, but bringing the best of European art and culture with them.  On June 30th, in Tel Aviv, join in the city-wide celebration of what came from their determination to dress up their new homeland in architecture’s finest.

Over time, Tel Aviv-ites built more than 5,000 Bauhaus or International style buildings alongside the blossoming city streets of their new city specifically around the streets of Rothschild Boulevard.

But who cares about Bauhaus?   Apparently, a long of big wigs in the international world do. On 2003, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (affectionately known as UNESCO), saluted their hats to Tel Aviv’s architectural beauty, naming it a “World Cultural Heritage Site”. The list of other WCH sites is only 830 cities long, and the city must be deemed to be of “outstanding value to universal human culture”. Believe it or not, Tel Aviv is up there with the Taj Mahal and the Pyramids. Moses would be so proud.

So every year, in the last week of June, Tel Aviv celebrates this momentous honor with their White Night Festival.  A crazy, all night festivity.  We love Tel Aviv.

Back up a second before we go on to the party specifics – What is Bauhaus and what does it look like? Bauhaus was the name of the famous School of Art and Architecture in Berlin that educated in the Modernist style. Bauhaus and International Style ( fairly synonymous terms)  is minimalistic, getting rid of all decorative elements that serve no functional purpose. It also typically utilizes asymmetric composition and flat roofs ( these flat roofs can be found all across the White City). When you think Bauhaus, think white (hence the area in Tel Aviv is nicknamed The White City), simple, and cubic. Tel Aviv has the largest concentration of buildings in this International Style the world over.  If ever trying to impress someone on a date or interview in the future, pull out the expression, “Oh, that is SO Bauhaus…” and see what happens.

So what’s going to be at this White Night Festival on June 30th?

To begin, walk down the famous Rothschild Blvd, where the now famous Bauhaus-style buildings will be lit up in colorful, exquisite lighting. Street shows and theatre performance littered throughout. Most shops, markets, galleries and restaurants will be operating around the clock (special deals on food). Jazz, music, hip-hop events popping up at the beach and around every corner. Shows involving acrobatics, wall-climbing, and unbelievable special effects. Dance troupes, opera performances, rare films being screened, you name it  and they’ve got it. Most events will be free and open to the public.

Tel Aviv will officially become “The City that Never Sleeps” this upcoming June 30th, so take a break from your whirlwind tour in Israel, drink a lot of coffee, walk slowly, and join in on the fun!