Monday, July 18, 2011

Street performances (lots of pictures!)

First, of course, a dinner shot: We weren't really sure what to do with our stale laffas (sort of like pita, but bigger and thiner... like a mix between a tortilla and a pita, sort of?). So we tried to make french toast, only it's not sponge-y like challah is, so it doesn't really absorb the egg stuff. It came out kind of like matza-brie. Not bad. Also, we carmelized apples, and fried a nectarine. Yum!

 We made dinner quickly so we could head out to the shuk for "Balabasta," a festival with music, puppets, art, food, dance, etc. that happens every Monday in July at Machane Yehuda.  After Sam and Leah left, I stayed for a while to do some browsing and wandering. Here are some pictures from what we saw:

Not really sure what he's doing. Lounging, naturally, but why?

Making portraits out of beans (kindergarten, anyone?)! David Ben Gurion (left) and Golda Meir.

The open-air part of the shuk. Strung with Christmas lights. Also, this does not accurately represent how packed it was, as it is toward the exit to the shuk. 

mmm, lychees!

Foosball (sp?) table in the middle of the shuk. There were a bunch of Magen David Adom (Israeli Red Cross) volunteers playing before these kids

A giant bird on top of one of the buildings in the shuk. They were doing a play called "מתוך הביצה", "From inside the egg"

A band playing on top of the shuk.

Giant puppets. This was great. I took this picture, and then the puppet said to me, "You know, every time you take a picture you have to tell me something about yourself." So then I did, and I had a whole conversation with the puppet. The old man standing behind me did too--in falsetto. Before this photo, I took a picture of a girl talking to the puppet--I turned around, and whose child had I taken a picture of other than the Segal-Weinbergers, who I've run into on Emek Refaim and at Anna B.'s house! Good thing, since they don't own a camera...

I love dried fruit. And colors.

Tours of the shuk!

mmm, rugelach! (Although I prefer cinnamon to chocolate. Interestingly, I haven't seen any poppyseed ones). 

Jazz in one of the alleys of the shuk. (Imagine the severe gapers'-blocking that occurred throughout the night. To say that I was not the only one photographing things would be a huge understatement).

 I decided to at least start walking back home (rather than attempt to fit on a bus). I figured it would be a good time to do some tchotchke shopping (which I failed at), so I walked to Town, where there were so many groups of street performers I can't possibly put up pictures from all. I'm putting up five from my favorite:

I've seen this woman (sitting, to the right of the person playing) before in Town, but never really stopped to listen. I took this picture from afar, and the man standing came over to me and said, "You know, you're not going to get good shots from that far away. Come closer. You can't be afraid to get in their faces." So I went up close. You'll see.

The man who's playing is from Holland. He's taken a couple of lessons at home, and he asked the harpist if he could sit down and play. She taught him the chords from Pachelbel's Canon. I like this shot because you can see her pointing out to him where to pluck next. The gentleman from the previous picture, meanwhile, is instructing me: "Shoot from down here. Good, now move in close. Get the teacher's hands. Excellent. Now from above...". I've always been intimidated to do street documentary photography because I have a point-and-shoot camera; somehow, people are less afraid of people who walk around with SLRs, and aren't weirded out (for the most part) when they're in an SLR photograher's shot. Because they seem more "real." So it was really great to have that guy encouraging me. I got some great video, too. 

He was so happy playing! And then he played Hatikva (the Israeli national anthem), which I have recorded. He played this prompted by his wife. I can't imagine that they're Jewish, although who knows, there are Jews everywhere. And they (at least the wife) did know some Hebrew...

Just really like this

This might be my favorite. He was jubilant. There is no other word. And hilarious.


  1. I love that guy telling you to get closer!

  2. I feel like I am there -- love the photos. When I post our camping photos, maybe you'll feel like you are with us too -- except you don't have to sleep in a tent in 90 degree heat with three kids. :-)