We had national elections in Israel this last Tuesday, 9 April. Elections days are public holidays in Israel, so we took advantage of the day off to have a family outing. We decided to head to the Eretz Israel Museum in Tel Aviv.
I had been to the museum a couple times with our kids, but this was the first time we all went as a family.
There’s a lot to like about this museum. There are a number of static exhibits, and new exhibits that arrive from time to time.
By the time we arrived at the museum, it was almost lunchtime, so we had an early lunch at a restaurant just outside the museum called Anina. The food is pretty good, albeit it a little pricey.
The museum is more like a campus comprising various buildings housing exhibits, with a number of outdoor exhibits too. We started off in the Kadman exhibit that basically traces the origins of money both in the region, and in general, leading up to the New Israeli Shekel that we use today in Israel.
The Glass Pavilion is pretty impressive too. We pretty much had the hall to ourselves. There was a fun exhibit documenting aspects of Israeli society with glassware, along with a variety of other pieces.
One of the highlights of this exhibit was a suit of armour made from glass.
The photographer, David Rubinger, the Israel Prize laureate for Communication who died last year was one of a small selected group of photographers whose works are etched on local and international memory. His endeavor began at the end of the enlisted “Zionist photography” period, that dominated the local photography scene until the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948.
I really enjoyed this exhibit. Looking at his photographs, I’m reminded that you don’t need the best of modern cameras to create meaningful, even profound, images.
We had an interesting experience when we stepped outside the exhibit. I took a little longer inside, and my wife and kids were waiting for me on a bench outside. I wanted to take a photo or two of the three of them on the bench, and we were interrupted by the exhibit’s usher who wanted us to rather take photos with some flowers she planted in the background.
This turned into a bit of a “lost in translation” family photo opportunity when the usher took my camera, and then spent a good 10 to 15 minutes getting us into position. My wife wrote about the experience on her blog:
One of the benefits of this experience with the usher was that she pointed us to another exhibit I hadn’t visited before. The Ethnography and Folklore exhibit is is a rich exhibit of Judaica that includes a recreation of an 18th century Italian synagogue, complete with its original doors, and ark.
We wandered through a couple of other exhibits along the way, including a flour mill, an olive oil press, and a few outdoors features.
It’s easily one of my favourite vacation destinations. There are a couple of other really great museums in the area, so if you’re looking for something to do, definitely consider spending a few hours at the Eretz Israel Museum.
One of my colleagues shared this awesome, interactive history of WordPress. I remember the first release version. There was something about it that I really liked, compared to the other options that were available at the time.
I suppose Twitter still has its good use cases. Tweeting to preserve history isn’t one of them. I came across this fascinating Twitter thread by Marina Amaral about the Sami people, who’ve been living in what’s now Finland for thousands of years:
The thread runs for several tweets, and it includes wonderful resources such as maps, old photos, and more recent photos that illustrate how these people have adapted to a modern world.
As much as I enjoyed reading Marina’s wonderful overview of these people’s history, I couldn’t help but wonder why she chose to tweet this, instead of blogging it? She has a remarkable blog that covers a range of historical events, and themes.
When it comes to digital preservation of these sorts of cultural and historical legacies, surely publishing it to a blog would be a far better medium?
I love James Ball’s colourful photographic history of computers.
These machines are grossly under-powered compared to the devices we use today. Still, they’re a wonderful reminder of how far we’ve come, and what lies ahead for us in technological terms. This Telefunken RA770 (circa 1970) is one of my favourites:
Every Tuesday night, Lillian Tomasino laces up her roller skates, puts her arms around her partner, and glides in sweeping circles across the floor of Moonlight Rollerway. Holding each other like ballroom dancers, she and Tom Clayton move effortlessly to the jaunty, classic tunes played live on a Hammond organ above the Glendale, California, rink.
I love stories like this one about the Moonlight Rollerway by Lisa Whiteman. Mostly I enjoy the photographs of what seems to be to be fragments of Americana/American nostalgia that speak to a very different time.