ask Itamar about
Outdoors • Coffee • Food • Other
a bit about Itamar
What are you working on now?
This great new startup called Cool Cousin, aimed at disrupting how we travel.
What drives you mad these days?
What drives you mad these days?
What are the things that make you happy?
I am actually at my lowest when I wake up in the morning. I was never a morning kind of guy. I’m the happiest at about 1 AM, when I can relax on my armchair with a drink and read on my iPad.
When was the last time you cried?
My mom moved to Mexico City last year for work, and each time she visits Tel Aviv, or I visit her, it’s hard on me. I drove her to the airport last week, and right at the border control, when she hugged me goodbye, I started to cry.
What’s currently playing on repeat in your earphones?
Dr. Dre’s latest album: Compton, and “Live at the Sands” by Dean Martin.
What was the last movie you’ve watched?
Marathon Man, 1976, Dustin Hoffman at it’s peak. It doesn’t really have a straightforward story but it’s really thrilling.
When it’s time for a new wardrobe, where do you go?
I buy most of my basic stuff at American Apparel, mix it with a items from a local chain called Story and also do lot of online shopping. One brand that I especially like buying online from is Samsøn & Samsøn – a Danish clothing company that has great service, prices and style.
What’s your go-to café in Tel Aviv?
Cafelix on Shlomo Hamelech Street. It’s a 3 minutes walk my home and they have the best baristas in town. You can choose your blend from a great variety and there’s a very calm atmosphere. The café is located on a quiet street which makes you feel like the city is empty, and you can do whatever you wish.
Where’s your favourite street or neighbourhood to wander through in Tel Aviv?
The American-German colony dividing Tel Aviv and Jaffe. It’s the oldest neighbourhood outside of Jaffa, and it has amazing architecture – from small village homes to a great old cathedral. It’s worth a stroll at night with a bottle of cold beer. My favourite street is actually Ibn Gabirol. It’s definitely not the prettiest, but it’s the liveliest. There’s everything there – from the great Rabin Square to the 24-7 Brasserie, with hundreds of business and some renovation works done in recent years – it’s my favourite.
What’s the thing you LOVE to do in Tel Aviv but never actually do?
Tel Aviv has a north port and a southern on at Jaffa. There’s a lot of old school fishermen there at mornings, sitting there quietly, waiting for the fish to take the bate. I wish I would wake up early enough one day to do that and join them.
Who’s your hero and where would you take them out for a bite or a drink?
The journalist Hunter S. Thompson. He was a crazy motherfucker. He invented Gonzo journalism and redefined the way we look at writing. But that’s not why he’s my hero, I love him because of his routines. He used to wake up at 3 PM with a glass of Chivas and then he’d do a few lines of coke, then a cup of coffee, and some more coke. At 7 PM he’d go out to eat and would grab tacos, cheeseburgers, onion rings, beer, fries, bean – enough for 4 people – and a bunch of ice cream. Then he would grab a glass of Chartreuse and some more coke & cigarettes. At about midnight – Hunter would be ready to write. He’d then, with all those drugs inside, write masterpieces – and drink more. I’d love to take him for a night out in Tel Aviv and join his routine for one day only and see if I survive.
What would make a perfect day in the sun for you?
Go out early to the beach, probably Geula beach or Kedem beach at Jaffa. I am not one of those beach boys who can stay all day long, so I’d go there for 2 hours, wash up and then head out to eat at Zika restaurant in Jaffa. They prepare great local food (I always grab the lamb chops with tehina). After that I’ll grab coffee – if it’s in Jaffa it’ll be café Margoza, if not – then Cafelix.
If it’s been raining outside but you don’t feel like staying in – where would you go?
The Imperial Craft Cocktail bar – the best cocktail bar in the city. It’s my favourite place indoors, hidden in a regular hotel by the beach. Inside there’s a small bar with the best bartenders in the Middle East.
Where’s your secret Tel Aviv spot?
At Shlomo Hamelech street there’s a wonderful building that used to be an artists residence. If you climb the 5 floor staircase you can reach the rooftop that’s almost always open. The view from there is stunning, directed at the Mediterranean, with no one to bother you.
If tomorrow was your last day in Tel Aviv before you left for good, how would you spend it?
I’d go and eat at Shlomo & Sons, my favourite falafel stand on Nordau Blvd and the corner of Ben Yehuda. I’ve been eating there since I was 6 years old and their falafel reminds me of those times. Then I’d go to my old childhood park, “HaNeviim” garden (Translated into “the prophets”). It’s pretty big garden in the center of the old north, with a variety of landscapes. After that – I can’t leave the city without going to the beach one last time. So I’ll head to Metzitzim beach, grab a beer and sit at the breakwater for the sunset.
If you were given a choice, mayor of which neighbourhood would you like to be?
Definitely the mayor of the heart of Tel Aviv, from Rabin Square to the end of Rothschild Blvd. That’s where everything happens.
Where in Tel Aviv you won’t be be caught dead in?
The Tachana compound. It was supposed to be a promising urban project: It was an abandoned & historic railway station, and had great potential. But everything there looks and feels fake, and it became another shopping center, with OK shops and OK restaurants and OK crowd. Most telavivians don’t set there foot there because of that.