ask Mai about
Street Food & Snacks • Bars & Nightlife • Outdoor & Attractions • Arts & Culture
a bit about Mai
What are you working on these days?
Chilling in my city as much as I can before leaving it to travel.
What drives you mad these days?
Electric bikes. They came out of nowhere and immediately changed all the cycling rules in the city.
What makes you happy?
Good art. Something that hits you in the heart or face, that is not about taste as much as about truth or honesty. The type of art that when you see it – you know.
When was the last time you cried?
A few days ago. I was riding my bicycle and bumped into some guy by mistake. He yelled at me and I got very offended.
What’s your latest musical obsession?
Acid Rap by Chance the Rapper.
What was the last movie you went to and was it any good?
I went to Haifa Film Festival and watched a lot of movies. The last one I saw there was Tangerine – a great low-budget film, shot only with an iPhone 5. Features funny ladies in their hard, sad reality.
When it’s time for a new wardrobe, where do you go?
I don’t like shopping. Vintage stores or big brands make me very confused. I like to pick my clothes very carefully.
What’s your go-to café in Tel Aviv, to meet a friend or use as your base for all your meetings?
I don’t drink coffee and don’t really do meetings. I would go for a coke on a bench with my friends or have a “mitz petel” (raspberry juice) at Beta ve Grega. It’s quite cheap and has a great, authentic and not-always-pleasant outdoor street section.
What’s your favorite street or neighborhood to wander through in Tel Aviv?
Ahad HaAm st. It’s such a basic street and many people don’t like it at all. Many of its parts have been renovated in a fancy kitschy way and its road is bumpy and not that nice for cycling – but it’s the alternative way to go if you want to avoid Rothchild blvd, which I usually do. And to me, Ahad HAm always sounds like an old, sweet love song for the city.
What’s the thing you LOVE to do in Tel Aviv but never actually do?
Strolling around, finding new spots and secrets in the city.
Who’s your hero (alive or dead)? Where would you take them out to eat or drink and why would you choose that place?
Leandra Medine from the Man Repeller. She doesn’t give a damn about the rules of fashion and dressing up. She’s creative and funny and not very classy so I would take her for a girls’ night out at Mi VaMi restaurant, one of my favorite places in town that is old fashioned and most authentic. We would have some hummus on the bar, as well as some fries and lemonade and talk about Paris fashion week like two fancy ladies.
What would make a perfect day in the sun for you?
Start my day swimming in Gordon Swimming Pool. After getting a decent amount of sun I would go starving to Shlomo and Doron Hummus in Kerem HaTeimanim, and one I feel full as hell I’d roll myself up the street for a beer at HaMinzar.
If it’s been raining outside for days and you’re sick of staying at home – where would you go?
Tel Aviv Museum of Art. I love this place – a weird, ugly pretty old building and a weird, fancy new building. I’d wander through them, saying hi to my favorite Israeli art pieces and feeling both cozy and sophisticated.
What place in Tel Aviv do you feel like only you know about? Where’s your secret spot and what makes it special for you?
My very secret spot is so secret that I can’t tell you about it (cause then it won’t be a secret anymore and it may be illegal as well), but my second secret spot is in a 6-floor parking lot on Begin rd. The 6th floor is open-air with a great view of the city. This place always makes me feel like a rebellious teenager, as my friends and I used to sneak in like we had a car and roll down the 6 floors sitting on skateboards (scary as hell but it felt cool nonetheless).
If tomorrow was your last day in Tel Aviv before you left for good, how and where would you spend it?
I would probably cry a lot but if I tried to enjoy it I would go to the beach, eat hummus at Abu Hassan, sit on every bench i saw, climb the triangle statue in Rabin Square and eat again at Orna and Ella.
Given the choice, mayor of which neighborhood would you be?
My own – the East side of the Heart of Tel Aviv. Almost outside of the city center, where the roads start to take you towards the central bus station but also 2 minutes from Rothschild blvd. It’s quiet, charming and full of secrets, history and crazy interesting people. I was born here and I won’t be surprised if I die here as well.
What’s the place (or places) in Tel Aviv where you’ll never be caught dead?
Tel Aviv Port. On paper it may sound like a nice place for shopping and partying but this place has nothing to do with Tel Aviv and is lacking its charm.
What do you love doing the most that is not work, relationship or family related?
Sitting on my rooftop staring at the urban landscape in front of me and drawing/thinking.
When you feel like going on a night out, what’s the first place that you usually consider going to and why?
I would say Port Said. Good food, good location and filled with everybody I know (for good and bad).
You’ve just got the best news ever. Where would you go to celebrate and with whom?
I’d go to Orna and Ella with my sisters or Hanoi with my friends.