Shay and Andrey are product designers with their own Jaffa based studio. Outside of working hours, a perfect day in the sun for Shay includes a picnic in the park, while Andrey would rather spend it riding his bicycle. Shay’s favorite café is in Jaffa and he loves going there with his friends. Andrey prefers having his coffee on a Telavivian boulevard with his girlfriend. Those tiny differences don’t stop them from working together on anything from interior design to dinnerware design for restaurants, and many other cool projects. Check out their tips about their secret spots in the city, where to get the best Bulgarian food, unique design shops and much more.
What are you working on now?
S&A: It’s AndreyAndShay all day everyday! Just finished working on the interior for Cool Cousin’s first office in Tel-Aviv. Now we’re working on several commissioned projects such as designing the dinnerware for a new restaurant alongside some exhibitions that we are participating in. This week we host a parallel studio of three designers from Paris who came to see Tel-Aviv and the way we work.
What drives you mad these days?
S: I want to, but can’t really tell.
A: Douchebags and stupid people. Luckily I don’t know so many of those.
What are the things that make you happy?
S: Mixing business and pleasure at work. I am lucky to work in a profession that I love and that challenges me on a daily basis. Every once in a while our clients become good friends of ours and then it’s like hitting the jackpot.
A: Having the chance to work with cool clients, ones who have a certain vision about their business so it’s a pleasure to design for them.
When was the last time you cried?
S: Every time I watch Forrest Gump and he cries over Jenny.
Every f***ing time.
A: It happens once a week. My friends know me as a tough guy but I cry when they are not around to see.
What’s currently playing on repeat in your earphones?
S: Lately I’ve been letting the radio play it’s magic at work. Also “Contra” by Vampire weekend.
A: Kanye West! He’ll be landing in the holy land by the end of this month and giving one show only. I have tickets for the silver ring so I must get in the mood.
What was the last movie you went to?
S: Last movie I went to see was Amy Schumer and Judd Apatow’s “Trainwreck” and I was laughing my ass off. I love everything Apatow.
A: The last movie I saw was “Wild Tales” by Damian Szifron. Great piece, 6 short stories that were created by twisted Argentinian minds. By the way, I think Argentina has been producing great cinema in the past few years.
When it’s time for a new wardrobe, where do you go?
S: I do most of my shopping when I’m on vacation. That’s when I buy the expensive stuff because I’m in a spending mood. I try to buy less items and focus on the quality. I also try to buy the basic stuff that is not too trendy, such as Dr. Martens shoes (6 years in use) and Levi’s denim.
What’s your go-to café in Tel Aviv?
S: I go to Cafelix in Jaffa almost every Friday with friends and sometimes on the way to work because it’s close to my office. They have the best coffee in town and the place is really sweet with its nearby playground and young families that come with their kids or dogs.
A: About once a week before work time my spouse and I love to grab a coffee from Cafe Habima. It׳s a small coffee place in the center of Tel Aviv, located in an alley, and what I love about it is that you can sit on the street’s benches and chairs and have your coffee.
Where’s your favourite street or neighbourhood to wander through in Tel Aviv?
A: Our studio is located on a very special street in Tel Aviv, Yehuda Hayamit. It is the only street in the city that’s arranged in blocks like in European cities. Also the street offers a mixed culture and ends at the 5000 years old Jaffa Port.
What’s the thing you LOVE to do in Tel Aviv but never actually do?
S: I want to wake up at dawn for a swim session at Gordon Pool and then take a shower and go to work before the city wakes up.
A: Every summer I want to take a surfing class. I don’t want to be a pro but to do it at least one time in my life – not going to happen.
Who’s your hero and where would you take them out for a bite or a drink?
A: Arnold Schwarzenegger has been my hero since I was a child. I grew up in the USSR so Hollywood movies were illegal at the time, but my friends and I still found ways to watch them. I would like to have a dinner with him and tell him about this experience. I’d probably take him to Agadir, which is a burger place. It’s been around for many years, nothing special, but they always do it the right way. So this is where we’d be going because the man has to eat and I can’t disappoint him.
What would make a perfect day in the sun for you?
S: A picnic in the park. It can be Hayarkon Park, Independence Park or Jaffa’s Downhill park (Park Midron Yafo). I’d go to buy some cold Pilsner beers; some artichokes, salmon and bread from the Delicatessen; and fresh tomatoes and kohlrabi from the market. Everything goes for a picnic in the park.
A: A morning ride makes my day better. On Shabbat, the earlier I wake up for the ride the better my day is going to be, and waking up on Shabbat is no easy task.
If it’s been raining outside but you don’t feel like staying in, where do you go?
S: I’d wear my best outfit and go have dinner at the Coffee Bar followed by some whiskey somewhere in Levontin 7.
A: If it’s raining outside, it’s time for good hot food! so I’d probably like to go with all my family to Vitosha. It is a Bulgarian traditional restaurant in Jaffa. They only serve traditional dishes and the focus is not on the interior design but on the food, so you should be aware of what you are coming for.
Where’s your secret Tel Aviv spot?
S: There’s the Eden Cinema building on Lilienblum street. It was the first movie theatre in town but now it’s deserted. It’s beautiful on the outside same as on the inside. I need to find a new way inside since they blocked the only one that I knew about.
A: My and many others’ secret spot is Independent Park near Hilton Hotel, where you get a gorgeous view over Tel Aviv. Many people go there to watch the sunset. The magical thing about this place is that everyone feels that it is their own secret place.
If tomorrow was your last day in Tel Aviv before you left for good, how would you spend it?
S: Falafel at Ha’Kosem (The Magician, in hebrew). For dessert, I’d have a cold beer at the Minzar bar in daylight. Beer tastes better when you wear sunglasses.
If you were given a choice, which neighbourhood would you like to be the mayor of?
S&A: No, thanks. Too much bureaucracy.
Where in Tel Aviv would you never be caught dead?
A: If I come to a place and there a people waiting in the line to get in, I usually give up. Not because they are bad or good, but because there are so many other places I can be instead of spending my evening waiting in a line.
What do you love doing most that is not work, relationship or family related?
S: Eating fresh vegetables.
A: After work Shay and I love to work out at Gordon beach. It is a good closure for a hard day at work. There are fitness facilities right on the beach and many people come there to move their bodies after work. The atmosphere and the view are great and it is 100% free of charge 🙂
When you feel like going on a night out, what’s the first place that you usually consider going to?
S: Evenings like that usually start with drinking a beer with a friend on one of the benches on Rothschild Boulevard.
You’ve just received the best news ever. Where would you go to celebrate and with whom?
S: I’d invite everyone I know for a Bloody Mary at the Imperial Cocktail Bar.
A: Usually there are no special celebrations but if me and my spouse Moran get any good news during the day, by the end of it we might find ourselves eating an ice cream at Tamara on Rothschild Boulevard.