Tel-Aviv, Israel
Shachar, 36
Graphic Designer
see his Tel-Aviv city guide

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a bit about Shachar

What are you working on now?

What are you working on now?

What drives you mad these days?

Well, other than the heat which I already mentioned, I guess that like most common Israelis, whenever I hear or see (these days I try not to) anything related to our current government I just flip out. Seriously, it’s impossible to comprehend how this country is being run.

What are the things that make you happy?

For the first time in my work life I wake up to do something which is mine and that I have control of (well, one fifth anyway) and that feels better than I had expected.

When was the last time you cried?

Well, honestly, I don’t really remember the last time I really cried. It probably wasn’t when my grandma died, I’m sure I cried at some point after that but nothing comes to mind. However, I do shed a couple of tears every couple of weeks, usually on some emotional manipulation in some movie that doesn’t really justify the waste of a good drop of water.

What’s currently playing on repeat in your earphones?

I recently started listening to Tyler the Creator’s Goblin again. At the moment it’s usually my go-to when I walk somewhere, but old country tunes are what I usually have in the background when I’m working and need something chill to keep me concentrating on moving pixels around the screen.

What was the last movie you’ve watched?

Nina(my wife) and I went to see the last Mission Impossible a couple of weeks ago. It was good fun but nothing that stays in your head for a few days or comes up in conversation – unlike Wild Tales, the Argentinian blockbuster, which was a nice unexpected gem.

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

Well, these days I usually shop online. I tend to find a brand I like, grab a few items and then move on. This summer I fell in love with Chubbies – a new startup that puts an emphasis on shorts but started making really colourful shirts as well. Afends also came handy when I was looking for some decent monochromatic stuff. That is whenever I try to look a bit less like I’m on vacation.

What’s your go-to café in Tel Aviv?

I’m a hater when it comes to cafés in Tel Aviv. It kind of feels like everything is fake and everyone are trying to look like they’re in some important out-of-the-office meeting and the coffee is mediocre in most places. I usually don’t linger in cafés anymore but when I do though, I love the new Da Da & Da which serve some of the best coffee in town and have a ridiculous variety of bite-size sandwiches and pastries you just can’t have enough of.

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

One of my favourite locations in the city is Hissin St. The small square in the middle and the quiet serene atmosphere makes that place an ideal escape. I always go through there on my way to/from work to escape the main streets. The buildings there are almost unanimously minimalist and beautiful, all have lush, up-kept gardens and balconies and as if that wasn’t enough, the street leads directly to Ya’acov Garden, my favourite garden in the city.

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

I love going to the beach and I always hope to get up early enough to do it during the week, since the weekend is always too crowded. I never actually do it, but always hope to someday make it a routine.

Who’s your hero and where would you take them out for a bite or a drink?

Arnold Schwarzenegger. I don’t really have heroes anymore. I guess I grew up and stopped looking up to people, but I still love Arnold from when I was a kid. I was, and still am, a sucker for action films and even though he’s a Republican, it doesn’t really dent my love for him. He’s just the coolest dude ever. I’d take him to A Place of Meat to grab a big chunk of delicious meat and a good bottle of wine. I might be wrong but I imagine he’s a guy that would appreciate a good steak.

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

If I really had the whole day with nothing on my mind, I’d start off at HaCarmel Market and grab some fresh fruit and then go in to the East/West Shop and buy some weird asian drinks which is one of my fetishes – winter melon, grass jelly, aloe or even just coconut water. Then I’ll head down to the beach to spend a couple hours in the sun, until the heat gets too much to handle. Then, it’s lunch time. Depending on the hunger and what I feel like eating, I can either go for something light like a plate of calamari and greek salad at Kalamata or dim sum in Furama. If I’m already set for a good sit down, I might end up at Ronimoti and go for the daily special that can be anything from fresh zucchini salad to a good piece of steak.

If it’s raining outside but you feel like going out – where would you go?

I love it when it rains, even though Tel Aviv’s drainage system never really handles the load – which is good for you if you decide to step out, since everyone stays in and you have the city all to yourself. It’s a great time to wander in the streets if there’s a drizzle and if it’s pouring down, I just look for the first café with an open balcony and a roof, to dry out while I can still watch the rain wash away the endless summer off the streets.

Where’s your secret Tel Aviv spot?

Hands down, Ya’acov Garden is it. When I was just a kid – and Tel Aviv was more like a big village than a bustling city and 9-10 year old kids were staying out alone after dark – we were running around there, playing hide and seek in hidden tunnels going through the bushes. Then, due to neglect, the garden became home mostly to drunkards and junkies, smelled of urine and no one really wanted to go through it anymore. A few years ago, it was renovated and even though it changed a bit, it is a really special piece of architecture and one of the most beautiful urban gardens I’ve been to – especially beautiful towards the end of August when the wisteria vines blossom.

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

I think I’d probably just wander around in the streets, trying to cover as much of the city as I can, starting in Neve Tzedek and making my north through the Heart of the City, taking mental images of places I like as I go and then finish it off by cooking one last dinner in my apartment.

If you were given a choice, mayor of which neighbourhood would you like to be?

I know it’s a bit posh but I’d like to be the mayor of the Heart of the City, where I live in.

Where in Tel Aviv would you never be caught dead?

You won’t catch me sitting in the city’s bar chains like Auto and Mate. I never liked those kind of places and I prefer handing out in more chill places.

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