Following Shabbat at my cousins in Ra'anana I went to Herziliyah-Pituach on Sunday morning to learn more about the Israeli economy and recruiting practices at the Technion. I went to the office of JobInfo, a recruiting firm that helps place new graduates and experienced Israelis into mostly hi-tech and banking positions. The conversation went quite well, and it gave me several ideas on how to expand my connections in Israel and one day build an office or practice in Israel. Here's some photos from that building:

After the meeting, I took a Sheirut to the Central Bus Station in Tel Aviv, then took a bus to the Yemenite section, home to the "Carmel Markets". I perused the markets for a little bit, looking at fresh produce, fish, and meat. Unlike in Jerusalem, the products here are less Jewishly ethnic, with foods from Korea, China, Thailand and elsewhere highly visible. Additionally, there is a large market for knockoff clothing products. Here's a few photos (including one of the ever-important "candy man"):

After the markets, I decided it was finally time to spend some time at the beaches of Tel Aviv. As you may or may not know, Tel Aviv has some amazing beaches, with some variety relating to the waves/current and clientele. I did a quick walk starting from the "Jerusalem Beach", going north along the water to the Sheraton Beach. I stopped a few times along the way to take quick photos and sit and grab a cold Goldstar beer. Unfortunately, since I was flying out of Tel Aviv that evening, with no guaranteed shower prior to that, I did not swim in the water, but did go up to my knees. Here's some photos from the beach:

After the beach, I met a friend of mine from Cornell, Batya, at PizzaFino (on Ben Yehuda, parallel to the beach). We reminisced about old times and discussed her lifestyle in Israel. Life in Israel is tough for the young architect. Unlike engineering/hi-tech, banking, diamonds/precious stones and tourism, where jobs are easier to find, architecture is particularly difficult to come by. That being said, I think she is enjoying Israel and was happy to move here a few years back. Batya gave me one nugget of information that I figured i'd share: The buildings in Israel are mostly made of Concrete, not steel, due to two reasons: 1) Steel is expensive and hard to come by in the region 2) As in 9/11, Steel will melt/buckle under high temperatures, making it a greater terrorism threat

The downside of concrete construction is buildings that are less sleek and more difficult to build (you'll see in the next set of pictures for the Azrieli shopping mall how the building has walls of windows with frames).

After lunch, I headed over to the Azrieli shopping mall, where I was going to have dinner with Adam Farber later that evening. We decided on dinner at a South American, kosher all-you-can-eat restaurant, Papagaio. Prior to dinner, I grabbed a pair of sandals at Naot, the Israeli sandal company. I also grabbed a few shirts at "Pull and Bear" (yes, that is random), since I needed something light to wear on this trip to Egypt.

Dinner was excellent. We had a variety of 11 types of meat, including beef ribs (w/ and w/0 bones), steak (spicy and regular), chicken (w/ and w/0 bones), liver, sweetbreads, lamb kebob, beef kebob, and spicy sausage. To say the least, it was a great time.

After dinner, I ran over to the Tel Aviv Opera House to see Il Trittico with my Aunt Riva. The theatre is quite lovely and the performance was top notch. Il Trittico is a series of three short operas (tragedies of course), in Italian: Sour Angelica, Il tabarro, and Gianni Schicchi. Having spent a fair amount of time at the Met Opera in New York, I can tell you that the performance was definitely on par, with excellent scenery, musicians and performers/singers.

The storyline for Sour Angelica was a bit weak, focused on a nun's turmoil over the child she had out of wedlock (her wealthy family sent her to the convent 1 hr after giving birth to her son and avoided communicating with her for 7 yrs). Her aunt arrives one day and tells her that her son has died. It's a very disturbing scene as Sister Angelica allows her torment to overcome her.

The storyline for Il tabarro involves a ship captain and his wife, who is unfaithful. When he learns of her infidelity, he exacts revenge on her lover (one of his crew), sneaking up on him and murdering him. Then, keeping the corpse concealed in his cloak, he meets his wife and has her admit to the affair. At the last moment, he shows her the corpse.

Very powerful stories. Unfortunately, we were not able to stay for the third section, since my flight was at 1:15am to Cairo, and I needed to get to the airport. Here's some photos from the Opera house: