Tel-Aviv, Israel
Lyoka, 28
Future World Savior
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a bit about Lyoka

What are you working on?

Planning to start writing a Jaffa blog and guiding coexistence tours in Ajami.

What drives you mad these days?

Bus drivers. I always, ALWAYS feel dizzy in buses here. Usually I never take them but in winter with these rainstorms you just don’t have a choice.

What makes you happy?

Long and deep conversations with my friends, sea view from the window, bike rides in sunny weather. Sometimes though, just a feeling of being present and aware can make me the happiest person in the world.

When was the last time you cried?

Better ask me when was the last time I didn’t. I can burst into tears without any specific reason. Just because some things are too impressive or unbearably beautiful. I guess the last time was when I watched Amy – a documentary about Amy Winehouse.

What is playing in your earphones nowadays?

Usually I listen to jazz-soul-funk type of music but with this winter’s rainy weather, I have “dreamy” and “melancholy” playlists on.

What was the last movie you went to?

Ice and Sky – a beautiful documentary about Antarctic ice and climate changes.

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

My attitude to clothes totally changed after I moved to Israel. A while ago I used to dress in these nice Israeli designer clothes from stores on Dizengoff and Shenkin. After I started a new life in Tel Aviv I went cheap and explored a whole new world of second hand which sometimes I just take from my friends closets.

What’s your go-to café in Tel Aviv?

Albert for the morning and Puaa for the evening.

Where’s your favourite street or neighbourhood to wander in Tel Aviv?

I really love my neighborhood – Ajami. Narrow streets, old beautiful Arabic buildings, authentic noises and great variety of people in the streets.

What do you LOVE to do in the city but never actually do?

Take film pictures of the city and its citizens, start dancing “gaga” and earn money by singing on the streets.

Who’s your hero and where would you take them out to eat or drink in Tel Aviv?

French writer Romain Gary. I might take him for breakfast to Da Da & Da – a nice French cafe in the beginning of Rothschild blvd.: we will sit outside, eat our croissants and drink coffee, stare at the people around and talk about all kinds of things. Maybe I will even persuade him not to commit suicide.

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

If it’s a sunny winter day I would go to the Flea Market for breakfast, then walk down to Jaffa Port and from there I would take a bike ride along the sea towards Tel Aviv Port. Then I’ll stroll down HaYarkon Park and enjoy different kinds of activities there. If it’s a sunny summer day then I’ll probably spend a day in my neighborhood ’cause in summer the promenade and city center are too packed with people and bike rides just become a nightmare – every single second you bump into someone. I’ll wake up early to have a lovely breakfast on my balcony and meditate a bit in the sun, then go to my favorite beach, Givat Aliya, for a long swim and some sunbathing, then get some fresh juice at the Flea Market and will probably get stuck in Yafa Café with a book for some time.

It’s raining for days and you’re sick of staying at home – where would you go?

Albert, Little Prince or Sonya – a place where I can calmly read a book and feel cosy.

What’s a place in Tel Aviv you feel like only you know about?

There are some tiny streets in Ajami with beautiful houses that not so many people know about. Every day I’m discovering a new secret place for myself.

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

I would totally spend the whole day walking around the town taking some “mental pictures” and pretending I’m a tourist. I’ll look up at all these nice buildings I never payed attention to, sit on a bench on Rothschild and watch the people passing by, breathe deeply to save some salty air of Tel Aviv inside of me. And for sure will spend a lot of time at the seaside.

If you were given a choice, mayor of which neighborhood would you be?

I wish I could be a mayor of HaCarmel Market area which I would turn into a hippy party place at night, but honestly, I probably should start with at least organizing the mess in my own desktop…

What’s the place in Tel Aviv you’ll never be caught dead in?

Any club/bar/party where I will have to pay more than 50 NIS for the entrance and wear heels and tight dress to fit in the place. Allenby bars, Clara or The Block are not my type of places.

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

I wish I would be able to celebrate it with my family which is currently not living in Tel Aviv. It happened that Goocha became that “special occasion” place for me so I think I would celebrate the best news ever while eating a delicious seafood dish.

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

Meditating, wandering around unknown cities with a self-made map, swimming far into the ocean.

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

Anna Loulou, Kuli Alma or Alphabet.