TEL AVIV NOTES – Insider Travel blog for Tel Aviv
Naomi’s Insights

I fall for you Venice Beach

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Los Angeles is huge. Everything. And when I say huge, I mean gigantic. Just around the corner from our Airbnb, there’s a “Ralph’s” supermarket. I wanted to get some soy milk for my coffee but couldn’t find anything smaller than three liters. The city has got me. I love the vastness, the scale, the desert climate. Only as a pedestrian do I feel lost. Yesterday, I went for a quick walk to explore our neighborhood before I eventually gave up in front of a six-lane freeway. No one stops at the crosswalks, cars flash by as if you were invisible. Luckily for me, a daring skater showed up and jumped right onto the crosswalk, stopping the cars and guiding me safely to the other side.   

Abbot Kinney, my favorite

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Abbot Kinney is my street. Each shop is better than the one before here. Laid-back flair, hipsters, hippies, graffiti, second-hand shops, young designers, vegan food temples all over the place. Hungry, we opt for The Butchers Daughter and I’m spellbound. Its interior is one of the nicest I’ve ever seen. A large bar, a patio, a restaurant and lots of succulent plants hanging from the ceiling, which make the place really special.

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Best avocado toast at The Butcher’s Daughter

We have a divine avocado toast for brunch at the bar. When it comes to courtesy and service, it seems to me that Israel and Europe can definitely learn a thing or two from here. It feels so good to be pampered by friendly waiters. For Lou, who can’t eat gluten, LA’s a paradise. Here too, Tel Aviv can learn something.

Reinvigorated, we stroll through the boutiques, treat ourselves to a cold-pressed juice, sit down on a window sill and watch the casually styled people. In the evening, we finally go to the beach. It’s also enormous, I can only guess at where the water starts behind the sand. Venice boardwalk is colorful, the shops are somewhat trashy, homeless people sleep in tents along the roadside. There are many homeless people in LA, which I already noticed on the very first day. Under bus stop benches, in front of supermarkets, in parks and at the beach.

Street artists, homeless people, joggers and skaters


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Gillespie doesn’t have a roof over his head either. The sign he’s carrying and his smile immediately appealed to me. We talk briefly. He’s an artist and his paintings are meant to keep the memory of his 10-year-old cousin Michael alive, who was fatally hit by a bullet when he and his friends were playing with a gun. We wander along the beachfront, which vaguely reminds me of Tel Aviv. Yet I prefer the renovated one in Tel Aviv with its wooden benches and steps. The atmosphere is similar: joggers, bicycles, families, street artists, musicians and lots of skaters as opposed to e-bikes. We wait for the sunset and then order a Lyft driver to drive us home, happy.

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translation: Catherine Bradshaw

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