He came from Eastern Europe to this scorching hot Middle Eastern city and fell in love, bought a small sails boat, rented out a room on a roof in the Yemenite Quarter and made Tel Aviv his home. Kristof, a writer, vegan cook, sailor and owner of a furless dog is no ordinary Tel Aviv cousin and he can map out the best vegan spots in town, Jaffa variety, gay bars with a twist, open air markets and unique shopping areas where you can enjoy local design and ancient history.
What are you working on?
I’m always working on dozens of projects at the same time – now I’m translating a children’s book from English to Hungarian, and planning an international version of my bestselling vegan cookbook written in Hungarian. I do my write ups for different magazines in Israel and Hungary – mostly for Time Out Israel and Cosmopolitan Hungary. And if all this is not enough, I also host vegan brunches and breakfasts on my little sailing boat in Jaffa port.
What drives you mad these days?
Hatred, ignorance, and discrimination of any sort. I live in Israel since 2009, and I had to discover that there is so much destruction, hatred, and ignorance out there when people mention the Middle East. I started writing my blog to show that by discovering the talented artists, and being a part of Tel Aviv’s blossoming popular culture we have the power to change the negative consciousness.
What makes you happy?
Sunshine, good food, sweet kisses, and good friends. Also, my stuffed bunny rabbit called Amand. I have him since I was 2, he is my baby. And my tiny, colorful American Apparel shorts. I have about 12 pairs of them. And in the big picture: books, films, theater plays and articles which can help people to learn, transform and connect to a higher source of energy.
When was the last time you cried?
I cry average 3 times a day. Everything makes me emotional, from looking at someone’s eyes who I love and loves be back to watching a scene of Pocahontas.
What is playing in your earphones nowadays?
Madonna all the way. I am one of those freaks who even know her unreleased demos.
What was the last movie you went to?
Zootopia – an animation movie dealing with the question of racism in society in a way which is deep, but not to heavy, so kids can get it too. And at the home cinema my last movie I watched was the Kurt Cobain documentary – he is such a tragic, beautiful genius.
When it’s time for a new wardrobe, where do you go to do your shopping?
I love vintage shops, second hand stores and flea markets. I usually get my “new” clothes from friends – and in exchange I give them something I’m bored of. But I’m also not ashamed of shopping at the Carmel market – sunglasses for me are like paper towels for others, I just drop them, loose them, forget them, so I proudly by my shades for 20 NIS instead of 2000.
What’s a place in town you feel like only you know about?
Jaffa in general – the oldest neighborhood of Tel Aviv, where I feel like I’m in a perfect little kingdom shared by good people of different backgrounds.
It’s raining for days and you’re sick of staying at home – where would you go?
The Tel Aviv Museum of Art – I’d drink some nice red wine at the bar, then I’d visit the exhibitions tipsy all the long.
Where’s your favourite street or neighbourhood to wander in?
The Yemenite Quarter, “The Kerem”, right next to the Carmel market – where old ladies wearing head scarves hang the drying clothes on the street, and chickens run around, while cool looking hipsters spoon their hummus and sip their beers in the shade.
What’s the thing you LOVE to do in your city but never actually do?
Going to Sarona city market – I rarely make it there, but every time I go I’m having a ball. It’s sort of an artificial experience, yet sometimes it’s fun to get away from the noise of “real Tel Aviv” into a world of street food and air conditioning.
Who’s your hero and where would you take them out to eat or drink in your city?
As Nicky Minaj Says: “There’s only one queen, and that’s Madonna… Biiiiiiiitch.” 🙂 I’d take her right to my boat to fix her my famous vegan breakfast.
What would make a perfect day in the sun for you?
Chillin’ at Ajami Beach, the south most spot of Tel Aviv, where burka wearing ladies and cool surfer kids share the waves.
What’s your go-to café?
Michelangelo Café in – ironically – Gaza street, Jaffa. Basically my second home.
If you were given a choice, mayor of which neighborhood would you be?
Central Tel Aviv – so I could spice up things, and turn it a little more colorful. I love the White City, but it’s crazy that sometimes it feels more European than Europe itself. I prefer the cultural diversity of the South neighborhoods.
What’s the place in town you’ll never be caught dead in?
Posh bars where people stand in line to to get in, and I have to beg to the hostess to put me on the list, while she is giving me the evil eye. Where I’m not wanted, I’m not going.
You’ve just got the best news ever. Where would you go to celebrate and with whom?
In the flea market, with loved ones and all my friends from the neighborhood – we are a great group of wonderful pals, mostly freelance creatives from Hungary. Then probably we’d end up on my boat, shaking our “tush” for “Anaconda” by Nicky Minaj.
What do you love doing the most that is not work, relationship or family related?
I love dancing. Alone, with friends, or at a club with people around, I don’t mind – but dancing makes me feel really free.
When you feel like going on a night out, what’s the first place you usually consider going to?
Anna Lou Lou bar in Jaffa, a strange little place hosting many different events, including Arab gay parties.