Tag Archives: jerusalem

Israel Diaries: Jerusalem International Film Festival

5 Aug

One of the best experiences I’ve had this summer living in Israel was getting to attend the Jerusalem International Film Festival through my internship at an international film financing company. I was also really excited to travel to Jerusalem and stay with one of my ADPi pledge sisters who recently relocated here. I arrived in Jerusalem on a Sunday evening and after stashing all my stuff in her apartment/dorm at Hebrew University, we took the light rail into the Jerusalem city center for a nice dinner at HaSpaghettim (literal translation: The Spaghettis.) The next day, I was on my own to get myself to the film festival to catch my first screening. To say that Google Maps led me astray in my journey to the Jerusalem Cinematheque might be an understatement. Long story short, I ended up on an all Arab-Islamic bus headed to Bethlehem via the West Bank. And I was wearing a sleeveless, backless blouse (which albeit chic, didn’t quite go with everyone else’s hijab.) Thankfully, the bus driver spoke a little English and agreed to drop me off right in front of the Cinematheque before continuing on to the Palestinian territories. (Side note: Dear Google Maps, if you could invent an “avoid imminent danger” or “circumvent awkward cultural differences” filter in the near future, it would be greatly appreciated.)

Jerusalem Cinematheque

View of the valley of Jerusalem as seen from the Cinematheque at night

After that little adventure I finally made it just in time for my first screening, a feature length fiction film financed by my company! The acting was great and I loved hearing the panel with the director afterwards. Later in the day I met back up with my friend and we went to another screening. After the film, we walked to the old central train station which has recently been renovated into a cool urban hang out with lots of bars and restaurants. We couldn’t resist a little dessert and some girl talk :)

Cafe Landwer

Cappucino, nana tea, and molten chocolate cake with ice cream at Cafe Landwer

On Tuesday, we spent a leisurely morning getting some work done at Aroma (the Israeli version of Starbucks) and then the latter half of the afternoon lunching and shopping. That evening we met up with our friend Haley, another Arizona grad, for dinner near Ben Yehuda at Focaccia Bar, which was super different and seriously delicious. We spent hours catching up before heading back to Mt. Scopus for the night.

Arizona girls at Focaccia Bar

Arizona ’13 grads at Focaccia Bar

On Wednesday afternoon, Rachel and I said our goodbyes and then I headed back into the city center (I managed to stay on the Israeli bus line this time) to the Cinematheque. I saw two more screenings, including the latest documentary produced by Morgan Spurlock and Eve Ensler, before heading to the central bus station to catch the last bus back to Tel Aviv. I finally arrived back at my apartment around midnight, completely exhausted, but loving every second that I got to spend with friends in Jerusalem.

Have you traveled anywhere neat this summer? When was the last time you got to catch up with old friends?

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Ziplines, Challah Baking, and more of Israel

10 Jun

The bad news is that I’m still eating my way through France, the good news is that my wallet is considerably lighter! Haha just kidding, I’m definitely enjoying the food aspect of my trip as well as all of the other fun things I’m seeing. I’m very excited to show you all pictures from Paris, but in the meantime here are some more cool photos from the two and a half weeks I just spent in Israel! Also, don’t forget that I’m moving to Los Angeles this upcoming Monday and looking for all the help I can get; please and thank you :)

All dressed up for Shabbos (the sabbath day) in the Har Nof neighborhood of Jerusalem

Me learning how to bake challah bread. So. Delicious.

Me and the boyfriend about to go ziplining on the second longest zipline in the world, in the Judaean Hills outside Hebron

Short and sweet today, coming up first thing on Monday will be pictures from a weekend trip to Sfat and Tiberias in Northern Israel. Happy weekend :)

Bisous,

Rachel

You Shuk Me All Night Long

8 Jun

As you read this, my cousin and I are traipsing around Paris getting into all kinds of trouble. But you’ll hear about that probably next week. Until then, here are some photos from “the shuk,” a crowded marketplace in the center of Jerusalem where you can buy almost anything. Literally, the freshest food and smells and most random things I’ve ever seen. Enjoy!
P.S. In case you didn’t catch the news from Monday’s post, I’m moving to Los Angeles in less than a week! Any tips you have for someone new to the city would be absolutely wonderful and greatly appreciated.

Tons of wonderful smelling spices and seasonings

Fresh produce

Wrapped candies, sweets, and honey sticks

Delicious dried fruits and snacks

Straight from the oven Challah breads, bagels, and other yummy pastries

I know I’m a nerd, I always have to take pictures of food! I think I’m secretly quite the fatty on the inside. I definitely think I’ve gained a trillion pounds since leaving the U.S., and let’s not even start talking about all the amazing things I’ve been eating in France. I can’t wait to share more of my adventures with you, and don’t forget to leave some advice about my big move to L.A.!

Bisous,

Rachel

 

Fresh From Israel

6 Jun

Greetings there strangers! This is about the first time I’ve truly had extra internet time in almost 3 weeks. Yikes. I just spent the past two and a half weeks in Israel, and now I’m in Bordeaux, France, visiting my cousin. In other exciting news… when I get back to the states next Monday I’ll be moving to LA for the summer to work for an entertainment company! WOO! I’m so excited and having a blast abroad. Without further ado, here are pictures from the beginning of my trip to Israel :)

Step 1: Get off plane. Step 2: Settle into hotel. Step 3: Get dressed up and go out to the bars on Ben Yehuda street in Jerusalem

Me and one of my sorority sisters at the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem

Israel is quite possibly the only place where the phrase "mall food court sushi" sounds like the greatest idea in the world. I didn't even remember to take the picture until I'd already eaten half of it.

Another night out on Ben Yehuda. Just for the record, the boyfriend and I are not matching on purpose. Bars and clubs in Israel generally come with free hookah and shots when you order drinks, interesting fact.

Well that covers the first 2 days… stay tuned later this week for a pictorial of The Shuk on a Friday afternoon… aka, a crazy hectic market place full of wonderful foods and smells during peak rush time.

Bisous,

Rachel

My Top Eight… Favorite Places I’ve Been

25 Feb

As you may have noticed from my last few posts, I have travel on the brain. Without further ado, here are the first half of my top 8 favorite places I’ve been and some favorite photos from those trips. (In no particular order.)

1. Paradise Island/The Bahamas. This past summer, my parents, best friend, and I stayed at the Riu on Paradise Island, right next door to Atlantis. We spent a fabulous week hanging out by the beach, visiting the water park (and PURE night club) at Atlantis, and snorkeling.



2. Chicago. I’ve been here several times now for various reasons, but the most time I’ve ever spent was a few summers ago when I lived at Northwestern University in Evanston for a summer theatre program. The city is fun and has some great performance art going on… although living by the lake in the summer still made for quite a chilly July!

Navy Pier at night, from the top of the giant Ferris Wheel.

The female half of my cast, the show we performed was a stage interpretation of Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette movie.

The lake outside of my Northwestern dorm at sunrise.

3. St. Maarten (The Dutch side.) By far my favorite Virgin Island, I’ve now been there twice and the beach never fails to satisfy. My cousins and I love lounging on the soft sand, and walking down the row of shops and restaurants mere feet away from the waves. The water taxi there is also a fun ride.

These things are everywhere in the Caribbean. I think they’re pretty creepy.

My cousins and I on the water taxi.

4. Israel. I can barely describe the 2 weeks I spent there last summer in just a few sentences, so there might be more on this later. But essentially, Jerusalem has amazing history, Tel Aviv has amazing beaches and night life, Northern Israel is basically a giant green orchard, and the Dead Sea was super fun :)

The old city of Jerusalem including the Dome of the Rock, the Western Wall, and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

Tel Aviv- The beaches, business, and night life of Israel.

The Negev Desert… not a whole lot to look at, but there are camels. Continue reading

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