Cafe Mersand

Tel Aviv is a city of cafes. All types. My favorites are cafes where you can sit and watch the passersby. 
 I chose to start with Cafe "Mersand", which is the most Tel Avivan of all.
Is not the most beautiful nor the most luxurious but if you want to feel the real pulse of the city - this is the place.
Grabbing an espresso on my way to the beach
 Mersand is located at the intersection of two busy streets, and although the bustle of the city , it is an island of peace and sanity.
 Sitting on the sidewalk outside, air conditioner freezing inside, the small menu , consisting of fine coffee and Austro-Hungarian cakes (augmented in recent years with toasts and breakfasts), the interior that remained almost completely intact from the fifties, and the crowd composed of cool guys, older women, hipsters, filmmakers , journalists,rich and poor , occasional tourists and pretty girls , all this creates the essence of Tel Aviv .

Austro-Hungarian cakes in the vitrine

The Girls
Until not long ago  a group of yekke (German-born Jews) women in their 80s - "the girls" used to visit Mersand cafe . Now their photograph is framed on the wall . 
The cafe was designed in the fifties by an Austro Hungarian interior decorator

On my way out, I met my colleague, the wonderful photographer Pavel Wolberg. He too often sits at Mersand cafe, when he is not shooting on location at the occupied territories or some wild night clubs .
 Told you - this is a place of cool guys .
Pavel Volberg
I chose to photograph at midday so as to keep the real essence of the place . Sure , it is prettier at sunset , everything is prettier at sunset , but Tel Aviv is a rough city , and on days like today , when it's 32 degrees and 80% humidity , you have to live with it and accept it .
You can occasionally hide inside but the streets are white and the light is strong .  

Like the words of the late poet David Avidan
הָרְחובות ממְרִיאִים אֶל הָאוֹר הַלָּבָן כְּמוֹ שְטִיחַ-קְסָמִים
The streets  take off to the white light like a magic-carpet.
When I travel I like reading a book from the place I am visiting .
 My recommendation for Tel- Aviv is the book "Past Continuous" by  the celebrated Yaacov Shabtai
which gives much of the same atmosphere as Cafe Mersand , besides of being one of the best books ever written in Hebrew .

As if to contradict my theory of the harsh light of Tel Aviv I saw this girl , as I was walking away .
 Fresh and colorful .


  1. zandberg used to buy home made cakes from mersand

  2. And this little movie was shot here not long ago