Michael, 29

“The Middle East is Truly a Cool Place”

Michael is an actor director & musician working on his 3rd album with his hip-hop duo “Cohen@Mushon”. Born and raised in Tel Aviv, Michael knows how to appreciate the delights of his hometown. If you’re looking to find amazing old records or discover where Batman would have lived if he was a Telavivian super-hero, your visit to the city won’t be complete without Michael’s crazy good spots for his Middle Eastern hometown.

This is how Michael rides. At Hayarkon Park

This is how Michael rides. At Hayarkon Park

What are you working on these days?

These days I’m working on my hip hop band’s, “Cohen@Mushon”, third album. I also get to direct some clips and commercials, which is a new thing for me. Lastly, I’m into photography so I try to do that whenever I have some free time.

What drives you mad these days?

Many things that I would define as lack of communication.

What makes you happy?

Creative collaboration with friends, buying records, and expressing myself in an adequate and complete way.

When was the last time you cried?

I see crying as an important, liberating action and see it as a blessing. It happens to me especially when I’m listening to music, I get very moved.

The juice stand at the park

The juice stand at the park

What’s your latest musical obsession?

Travis Scott, Beach House and J Dilla

What was the last movie you went to and was it any good?

The Martian. I’m a fan of Blade Runner and Ridley Scott just really disappointed me this time – a horrible boring movie.

At Hamor records, a rather new vinyl store located next to Dizengoff square

At Hamor records, a rather new vinyl store located next to Dizengoff square

When it’s time for a new wardrobe, where do you go?

There’s a really cool shop named “Jin-G” in Tel Aviv and they bring all the stuff I like to put on myself. On top of that, I have a designer friend named Pilpeled, and I try to suck up to him so he brings me clothes.

What’s your go-to café in Tel Aviv, to meet a friend or use as your base for all your meetings?

Nechama Vachetsi – Definitely an excellent place and close to my house. Sitting there is always convenient and I always meet people I know coincidentally.

A view from the outside of the Dizengoff Center

A view from the outside of the Dizengoff Center

Where’s your favorite street or neighborhood to wander in Tel Aviv – the street or neighborhood that you won’t mind taking a detour for, just to walk through it?

There are many neighborhoods I’m happy to get lost in, from Florentin to the Old North, but I’d surely choose Neve Tsedek and Kerem HaTeimanim, where I always discover new things.

Apparently, the commercial dock -3 floor is a bat cave!

Apparently, the commercial dock -3 floor is a bat cave!

What’s the thing you LOVE to do in Tel Aviv but never actually do?

Swimming in the sea really early in a morning. It’s always been my dream but I never turn it into reality. We have access to an amazing sea and we should take advantage of it.

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Who’s your hero (alive or dead)? Where would you take them out to eat or drink and why would you choose that place?

Robert de Niro is probably the artist who’s influenced me the most and I’d be happy to sit with him at Port Said for a drink. I’d choose this place because I see it as presenting the ultimate Tel Aviv vibe: the food, the music, the people, the impressive record collection. After a few drinks we’d get lost in time and reach the conclusion that the Middle East is truly a cool place – look at what they made out of this place!

What would make a perfect day in the sun for you?

A bike trip to HaYarkon Park complemented by a photoshoot using an old reflex camera. Also digging at “Hamor Records”, the incredible new store on Dizengoff, and getting a natural juice at Tamara, the best juice stand in the world.

At his home studio

At his home studio

If it’s been raining outside for days and you’re sick of staying at home – where would you go?

I really like the rain in Tel Aviv and I think those are the most beautiful days in the city. I’d go to a museum and explore it during the day and at night I’d go to Peacock, the neighborhood bar and the one I frequent the most, and enjoy an excellent meal and alcohol with my actor friends.

What’s that place in Tel Aviv that you feel like only you know about? Where’s your secret spot and what make it special for you?

At the end of the day Tel Aviv is a small city and it’s hard to keep secrets in it. I also move around with my motorbike, with is the most convenient way here, so I always feel mobile. Almost every secret place becomes everyone’s place, but everywhere there is a spot that is yours. There’s a small park called Dvora Park close to Gan Ha’ir and that’s the place I like to escape to. My dad used to take us there in my childhood an I sometimes get there, turn my phone off and fall asleep.

If tomorrow was your last day in Tel Aviv before you left for good, how and where would you spend it?

I’d look for a really cool rooftop overlooking the sea and invite all the my friends there. There’s something incredible about Tel Aviv rooftops. Later, we’d go watch a show at the Pasaz and then to Kuli Alma for a couple of drinks and good DJing. In the morning I’d be upset that the night is over.

Vintage posters in his room, one of which starring his father, actor Moni Moshonov

Vintage posters in his room, one of which starring his father, actor Moni Moshonov

Given the choice, mayor of which neighborhood would you be?

I think I’d choose the Old North and try to turn the neighborhood into a much cooler and more accessible place than what’s there now.

What’s the place (or places) in Tel Aviv where you’ll never be caught dead?

Haoman 17.

Michael with his counterpart at Cohen@Mushon, Michael Cohen

Michael with his counterpart at Cohen@Mushon, Michael Cohen

You’ve just got the best news ever. Where would you go to celebrate and with whom?

That’s very easy: at Peacock, my neighborhood bar, with my best friends. That’s the place where I feel at home. And I’d also take over the stand, which is truly a dream of me, and play my favorite stuff.

What do you love doing the most that is not work, relationship or family related?

Watching a movie at Rav Chen theater. Unfortunately we’ve been seeing less and less small movie theaters inside the city and Rav Chen is pretty much the last one standing. Also, it’s the theater where I watch the first movie in my life and the one where I’ll always want to watch movies until my last day.

When you feel like going on a night out, what’s the first place that you usually consider going to and why?

Usually the Teder when it’s active in the summer season. It is the perfect pop bar that’s always fresh and exciting. But there are so many places to go to in the city that I think it really depends on the music and the event.

In front of Hamudi's nargila place in Jaffa

In front of Hamudi's nargila place in Jaffa

 

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