Sunday, August 27, 2006

Shopping on Sheinken

Joey's Bar
Originally uploaded by holylandhipster.
It's 2:30 pm in Israel and I've had quite a busy morning! I decided today was a good day to explore Sheinken, which I've been told is the Tel Aviv version of Soho.

As my Israeli friends would say, KehEloo (English translation as "like, but not really).

Of course, I consulted my map before leaving the apartment and thought I had a basic understanding of where I was heading. I walked up Allenby and kept looking for the street on my right. I walked past a number of bars and pubs until I hit the Shuk HaCarmel and I decided to take a look at the shuk before I hit Sheinken.

The shuk was pretty interesting, a little different from the one I'm used to in Jerusalem. At the top of the shuk are a lot of clothing, accessories and souvenirs (sp?) while the food kiosks are clustered near the bottom. I saw a lot of head covering (Israeli shmata's as my friends at home call them) and was going to pick up a bunch for my sisters, but decided to just wait until October. I'll take my parents there when they come to visit and my Mom can buy my sisters whatever she thinks they would like.

Anyway, I kept walking up Allenby (remember, I'm coming from the very bottom of Allenby by the water, so for me I was walking up) and kept looking for Sheinken, to no avail. What I did find was this huge Russian liquor store. I walked in looking for a very specific bottle and brand of vodka, but since I spoke no Russian, communicating with the store clerk was a little difficult.

So the long and short of the story is as follows. A few years ago, my cousin Meir, his girlfriend Andrea, and I met up for dinks in Soho at Casa La Femme. The restaurant/bar has since moved North and out of Soho, in case my US readers want to check it out after hearing this story. So, I had just moved in with my Grandfather on the Lower East Side (Meir's grandpa too) and had found a box of Cuban cigars that belonged to my Great Uncle in the back of my closet. I brought them with us to the bar because I wanted to share the find, even though we all don't smoke cigars, but it was pretty cool that something my Uncle Benjy brought back from Cuba years ago managed to last this long! So, I had the box of cigars on the bar, and we were all chatting, when the bartender sidled over and struck up a conversation. We told him that story behind the cigar box, and then he made up this amazing shot that has chocolate and passion fruit and all sort of yummy stuff. Andrea, meanwhile, had been drinking his chocolate martinis (if I go out for martinis, I stick with the same kind. In my book, you just can't go wrong with an Extra Dirty Ketel One martini) all night long. When she asked him for the recipe, he proposed an interesting trade. One Cuban cigar, for the secret recipe. I accepted.

The secret to a great chocolate martini, in addition to using Godiva chocolate liquor is Kremlyovskaya chocolate vodka. Of course, after he gave me all of the measurements, I scouted out the city looking for a bottle. Turns out, you need to special order it, and it wasnt cheap. Well, I had talking about this bottle at work for so long, that my friend Jill decided to surprise me on my birthday and ordered the bottle for me. And, it sat unopened in my freezer, aging gracefully, until the day I moved out of my apartment a month ago. I finally opened up the bottle and toasted my friend Josh, who got a great mix and the bottle as my goodbye gift to him.

So, back to the Russian liquor store. I'm hoping that I'll be able to find this particular brand of vodka because I would love to make chocolate martinis if I ever have that housewarming party. At this point though, I have plenty of time to get my act together.

Before I go on with shopping on Sheinken, I have another observation about Tel Aviv. Apparently, everyone in Tel Aviv thinks I'm Russian. They don't speak to me in Hebrew, or English, just Rusian. I find that really interesting! In the States, everyone thinks I'm Hispanic, and I'm constantly fielding queries posed to me in Spanish. My friend Bracha, who is Russian, would enjoy this latest development. I think I'm going to have to call her to find out how to say: I don't speak Russian in Russian!

So, I backtracked and figured out where Sheinken street really is, as I had walked a lot farther than expected. I was looking West for the street, when in reality it was on my left (East). Sheinken is really cool, and they have some great shops. I found Enter to really hit home and cater to my Mod sensabiities. They even have this great Japanese anime painting that I think would go great in my bedroom. I also liked the store Maly's which had some great cooking gear. Since my apartment has literally nothing in it, I'm going to need to pick up a number of things to stock my kitchen, living room, office and bedroom!

What really excited me though was a Fresh store at 28 Sheinken Street. At first, I thought it was an extension of the Fresh store in New York, where I get everything from my Claret lip gloss to my brown sugar body polish. Sadly, it's just a knockoff of the logo and idea, and doesn't have nearly the same kinds of items I'm used to. I give them an A for effort though!

I walked in and out of so many stores, I can't even recall them all. I saw Orna and Ella's, a cafe right across the street from Enter, and thought about going in but it was super crowded. I kept going and decided it was time to head back to the apartment for a quick bite to eat before I go out tonight.

Observation #2 about Allenby - the street is full of pubs and bars. I walked by Freeland, which is between Sheinken and Magara and apparently has some good live music, Cheer's bar n the corner of Allenby and Magara, Joey's bar, Chaser, Cocoa, Rojer's and Dream Bar. The Dream bar had the funniest sign in the glass window saying that Thursday night was Ladies night, because girls just wanna have fun. Hmmm, does that mean they only play Cyndie Lauper music??

I'm looking forward to stopping by and checking out the local bar/pub scene. If anything it should be great fun.

I'm finally paid up with my landlord here, which is good, that's another big weight off of my shoulders. Other than that, I'm just relaxing and getting ready for school.

Weather report for the day: not nearly as bad as last week. It's hot, but not sweating through your shirt hot.

Song of the afternoon: Let Forever Be by the Chemical Brothers. Cause sometimes you need a little electronica music to get you moving through your day.

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