Daily Archives: June 14, 2009

UNESCO World Heritage Site #64: White City of Tel-Aviv

Posted by on June 14, 2009

UNESCO World Heritage Site #64: White City of Tel-Aviv

UNESCO World Heritage Site #64: White City of Tel-Aviv

From the World Heritage inscription:

Tel Aviv was founded in 1909 and developed as a metropolitan city under the British Mandate in Palestine. The White City was constructed from the early 1930s until the 1950s, based on the urban plan by Sir Patrick Geddes, reflecting modern organic planning principles. The buildings were designed by architects who were trained in Europe where they practised their profession before immigrating. They created an outstanding architectural ensemble of the Modern Movement in a new cultural context.

I try to take at least one representative photo of each World Heritage site I visit. I had a difficult time even knowing what I should be taking a photo of in Tel Aviv. It is by far the most ambitious World Heritage site I’ve visited. There is nothing which jumps out at you. There is no one single building or even collection of buildings that says “this is what we are talking about”. I searched on-line and the one building people mentioned as an example of modern architecture in Tel Aviv was the Cinema Hotel which wasn’t too far from where I was staying.

The White City of Tel Aviv now holds the position of the lamest World Heritage site I have ever visited.

Paris Part Deux

Posted by on June 14, 2009

Suffice it to say that my Paris experience has improved dramatically since the weather improved. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the last several days wandering around the streets of Paris, eating in the restaurants, and seeing the sights. Unfortunately, that hasn’t let much time for blog updates, especially considering the hotel I got moved into does not have any sort of internet.

I met up for drinks with Chris Carriero from iKangaroo.com who lives in Paris. He took me to a Basque restaurant and a local expat pub where the England vs Andorra World Cup qualifying match was on TV (yes, Andorra has a national soccer team). Chris is a former tour guide and is working on some audio guides for cities you can listen to on your iPod. He has recently released an audio guide to Rome following the sites from Angles & Demons. If you are going to Rome, or even if you aren’t, you should check it out.

I’ve also been able to visit Versailles, which totally made me understand why the French had a revolution. It was the most ostentatious thing I’ve ever seen in my life. I’m surprised that the British monarchs never had quite anything so large and gaudy as the French monarchs did. That might explain why they are still around and the French kings are not.

Today I’m going to the Eiffel Tower, which I actually haven’t bothered to do yet, and hopefully Sacre Coeur.

Like Rome, there is no way I can see everything there is to see in Paris in a single week. You have to come here with the assumption that you will return. I’ll be leaving in a day or two for the Motherland: aka Luxembourg. I’m one of the few Americans, along with my brother, who can claim to have ancestors who come from all three of the Benelux nations: Belgium (my father’s, mother’s family), Luxembourg (my mother’s, mother’s family), and the Netherlands (my mother’s, father’s family). I assume that Luxembourg is the rare card in the set.