Tel-Aviv, Israel
Meir, 58
Creative Director
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a bit about Meir

What are you working on?

Working on campaigns for my clients, like HP and Arcosteel. Trying to get back to my routine after the exciting holidays.

What drives you mad these days?

Arab businesses in Israel are suffering unjustly from the right-wing government population. There’s even some fascism involved and I can’t stand it. It hurts all Israelis.

What makes you happy?

I just got a tattoo with my son for his 16th birthday, and my eldest son just premiered his first short film. My 17 year old composer son got a great scholarship. And my youngest just started art school as a drummer. I am the happiest father there is.

When was the last time you cried?

When I lost my best friend and business partner five years ago. From that night of weeping, I wrote a book. It’s called “save the robot”.

What is playing in your earphones nowadays?

David Bowie’s 5 years. Maybe it’s because of Yafit Regev, my friend who’s been gone for 5 years now.

What was the last movie you went to?

“Interstellar”. It was fantastic. I loved the totality of fatherhood displayed there.

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

For about 30 years now I only wear black. Black shirts, black trousers, black underwear, black socks, black shoes, black glasses, black sheets, and even black towels. I think black is the most elegant color. That way I don’t have to think about fashion (even though I made some of the largest fashion campaigns in Israel, like Levis & Factory54). It’s like people think I was born this way. Five years ago I wore a white T shirt and everyone told me to take it off. So I buy my black wardrobe in Zara, Banana Republic, Gap and Doctor Martens. And I buy a dozen glasses every 3 months, from a place in South Tel Aviv. I always lose, forget or break them.

What’s your go-to café in Tel Aviv?

I have several: near my office in “HaChasmal” neighborhood it’s “Beta & Grega” which is on Levontin St at the intersection with Allenby St. They have simple dishes with great coffee, and you’ll find a lot of young Telavivans there as well as older people, hipsters with yuppies, Arabs with Jews, and everyone can feel comfortable. Near my home, next to King George St, I go to “The Streets”, which is great to grab something at 2am, because it’s open 24-7. There was a long period in my life when I used to go to “HaTachtit”, which has a lot of great food with a “laptop” crowd.

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

I was born in South Tel Aviv but most of my life I’ve been living in the Heart of the City. Yet, the South is what makes this city work. “HaChashmal” neighborhood offers both the busy vibe of the city center and the “rough” feeling of the South. I walk through the Levinsky Market area, which has more and more restaurants, cafés, bars & delicatessens ranging from Greek, Bulgarian, African and also Eastern European Jewish food. Walking a little bit down South will expose you to Shapira neighborhood, where the new hipsters are living. Its main street, “Mesilat Yesharim”, has a great bakery called “Merkaz Asia” (translating to: center Asia). There’s also Getzel Café, which I visit often. I love Shapira because I was born there, my grandparents were the first to live there and I spent most of my childhood there. Also, my son just moved there, which I absolutely adore.

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

Swimming at Gordon Pool every morning, 365 days a year. It’s an amazing pool that’s been around for 60 years but was recently renewed. It’s great because it has salty water from the Mediterranean. When I was a kid my father was a good friend of the owner of the Kiosk, who was nicknamed Mr. Ice.

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

Sid Vicious (Sex Pistols) & Nancy Spungen. I’d take them out for a night to remember at the K Bar, which is my favorite place that was recently opened by the owner of the Shesek Bar (a Telavivian establishment of 15 years until the real estate sharks tore it down). It has great alcohol and the best DJs in Israel & Europe. You may know how your night there begins but you never know how it’s going to end or what you’ll remember the next day. I think Sid will love that, and Nancy will clap from behind. Then I’ll send them to the “Tachana Merkazit” (Tel Aviv’s drug infused Central Station) so they can continue on to what they like the most.

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

I have to go to the beach. I grew up on the beach and that’s how I raised my children. I even go there in the winter or after rough nights of drinking. The power of the beach restores my energy and brings me back to life. So when there’s sun – I have to head to the beach. When I was younger and had time to kill, I used to sit at cafés and watch the people go by, especially at Mersand Café on Ben Yehuda. On friday mornings there’s great music and people there.

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

I go to the Next Door, a smokers bar connected to the meat restaurant “Meat-Bar”. Great wine store and also fantastic whiskey. They serve comfort food, from salads through club sandwiches and soups. Once I’m stuffed and drunk I’d grab a taxi and go to 4 Herzl St to K Bar and wait for the rain to stop – and here in Tel Aviv it always stops at some point. In rainy mornings I’d run to the Mitzutzia (a juice bar) whose owner, Itzik Mitzik, makes the best juices for detox to the night before. Tell them Meir sent you. My sons have to go there 3 times a week to fill up on vitamins, and they love it. Say Mazal Tov to Itzik – I introduced him to his wife whom he just married.

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

In the heart of the city between Helena Rubinstein Gallery & Habima Theater there’s Yaakov Garden. There’s a huge ancient tree there. You can use the steps to climb up and relax underneath its branches. At the time my sons adored Batman, when we relaxed there, Tel Aviv was their Gotham. Be careful walking down.

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

In the morning I’d go to the Karmel Market and buy fresh fish from the Mediterranean. I’d find out from Mussi (the best fisherman there) what’s fresh and buy a few vegetables and some other goodies. I’d head to Florentine neighborhood and stop at “Haim Refael” deli to buy cheese and pickles. I’d go through Hen Blvd, buy some wine at the Meat Bar, then head to the beach, open everything up, and eat, drink and swim. I’d go the Nahum Gutman Museum in Neve Tzedek neighborhood and then grab a pizza from Beccafico, a Sicilian restaurant with an amazing backyard in Neve Tzedek, a beautiful neighborhood in the heart of the city. After that, I’d relax at my house and go out to the “Sillon” bar (jet, in Hebrew), followed by Kuli Alma and finally – the Breakfast club. With my last breath, I’d grab my suitcase and head to the airport.

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

HaChasmal neighborhood, for sure. But I’m already the unofficial mayor. So it’d just make it official.

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

Allenby 40, a horrible sex bar that abuses women and men.

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

Manta Ray restaurant offers the best location – right on the beach, and with fresh seafood. I’d make sure to sit on the balcony with my four sons. If I receive the news in the morning, I’d grab breakfast there.

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

To feel the beat of the city – and how it never stops for anything or anyone. I love its wind and breeze. When I was a kid I’d open my window (there was no AC) and just enjoy the breeze.

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

Geula Bar, managed by a lovely couple with great food, rocknroll music, and a different DJ every night. You can sit outside and enjoy all that with the breeze for free. There’s also a great happy hour.