Tel Aviv was the city that never stops — till coronavirus

by Rona Goren

The city of Tel Aviv has become, in the last 20 years, a world-renowned center of gastronomy and culture. Not only Mediterranean tastes have been introduced, refined and brought to perfection. International standards have been met as well. Restaurants include Vietnamese, Thai, Italian, Georgian, Bulgarian, Greek and Ethiopian food at the highest levels. Music, theatre and dance festivals from Europe, North America and Asia flood Tel Aviv and audiences respond with fervent enthusiasm and appreciation. In short, a hyper-active, dynamic scene in all seasons of the year.

And so it happened that my beloved city, where I have lived for six years, has been internationally labeled “the city that never stops.”

The Corona virus has brought Tel Aviv to a stop. From a rowdy, cheering , boisterous and somewhat unruly population, Tel Aviv individuals and families, young and old have come to somewhat of a silent standstill .We are witnessing a much more disciplined and law-abiding group of citizens than we ever expected. It is clear to all – the pandemic, world-wide, is a most serious business.

And in this country, ”survival” has always been the name of the game.

I live in Tel Aviv, in a complex of high-rise modern buildings, 12 buildings to be exact, with a green area in the center. Last Saturday evening, as the Shabbat ended at sunset, a DJ was invited to the central garden area and he played loud, lively music with neon lights and disco rhythms, for all to be heard. This was a Dance Party. We were urged to appear on our respective balconies and dance and sway to the music! And we did just that! The first number to be played was “AM YISRAEL CHAI”. So there you are- the Vitality and the Resilience of our city is surviving. And that evening, the spirit of my city Tel Aviv was alive and kicking.

That spirit is now on hold, temporarily no doubt.

Rona Goren is the sister of Irwin Block

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