The ancient port city of Jaffa, just south of Tel Aviv’s bustle at then end of the pedestrian beach promenade, has been no stranger to the creep of gentrification, a challenge for this multicultural neighborhood that is home to both Arabs and Jews. Jaffa was the original gateway to those who emigrated to pre-state Palestine, many of whom lived and worked in the crowded streets of the city, amid the mix of Moorish, Christian and uniquely Levant-styled architecture of the buildings and byways of Jaffa. (See the recent and critically acclaimed film, Ajami, for a more thorough picture of Muslim life in the city today.)
Take a walk through modern-day Jaffa and thrill to the unique mix of old and new, gritty and scrubbed, artsy and defiantly low-brow. As Yaacov Fried, founder of Da’at puts it, “Jaffa was a sleeping beauty that is waking up in a dramatic way.”
This is a neighborhood that is good for flea market shopping, used industrial kitchenware and appliances, fashions and accessories for hipsters and tasty treats of all sorts from the many restaurants that line the narrow alleys and streets. Come hungry, bring some cash and your walking shoes for maneuvering up and down the curbs of this end of the city.