Tel Aviv Never Looked So Good

The new edition of 'City Guide Tel Aviv' takes us from the port in the north to multicultural Jaffa.

In a week or so, the updated second edition of "City Guide Tel Aviv," the Tel Aviv guidebook published by Crossfields International in English and French, will be distributed to bookstores in Israel and abroad. The guide maps out Tel Aviv by districts and reviews everything from boutique hotels to designer stores, restaurants, clubs and bars.

Crossfields is a joint venture of three people including Mati Bourdo, the owner of the restaurants Brasserie and Coffee Bar, and the soon-to-open Montefiore Hotel, a boutique hotel. Also on board is Dalit Nemirovsky, a former dancer in Ido Tadmor's troupe and a film producer, who worked as a shift manager at Brasserie. The team is rounded out by the guide's graphic designer, Lahav Halevy.

The first edition of "City Guide Tel Aviv" was published in 2006 and was Crossfields' first project. "The initiative was born out of discussions with Mati Bourdo, who told me that he came across guides to all sorts of cities around the world that seemed less toured than Tel Aviv," says Nemirovsky.

She took a stroll through the streets of Neve Tzedek with a camera and prepared an outline for the guide. She then contacted Canadian journalist Lisa Goldman, who has lived in Tel Aviv for nine years and covers Israeli subjects for foreign papers, and asked her to write the guide's chapters.

That is how the successful first edition, which was distributed in Israel, the U.S. and Europe, came to be; Nemirovsky and Bourdo later sought to update the guide ahead of the celebrations marking Tel Aviv's 100th birthday. In the guide's expansion for the new edition, journalist Gal Uchovsky penned an introduction explaining the city's charms from a local perspective.

The information in "Tel Aviv City Guide" is divided by district, from the north including the northern part of Dizengoff Street, the Tel Aviv Port and Kikar Hamedinah, with a list of stores, among them Kula Banamal and Blue Bandana, and bars such as Whiskey a-Gogo. It takes us to the city center including Ibn Gvirol Street, the Tel Aviv Museum and Dizengoff Street, as well as South Tel Aviv, including the Electricity Garden complex and Harakevet Street, Neve Tzedek and Jaffa.

The Tel Aviv of "City Guide" is a visual delight - kudos to photographer Natan Dvir and graphic designer Lahav Halevy. Many good restaurants are reviewed in the guide, including Toto, Herbert Samuel, Foodart, Brasserie, Dallal (which receives a two-page spread) and Nir Tzuk's restaurants in Jaffa, of which there are also wonderful photos. The guide also reviews cafes such as Dizzy and Shine.

Some sites receive enthusiastic descriptions, which, although targeted to tourists, provide food for thought for locals, such as the description of Jaffa's Jerusalem Boulevard as "a thriving boulevard that combines bakeries and trendy items." There is also the description of the Ajami neighborhood as "the only place in the central region where Arabs and Jews live side by side in relative tranquility." It depends on whom you ask, of course.

The guide will be distributed to bookstores in Israel and the U.S. starting next week. Its price is 20 euros, or $25. According to Nemirovsky, Crossfields will soon publish a comprehensive art magazine in English and French that will present Israeli art to agents and tourists from abroad. In the coming weeks, "Tel Aviv City Guide" will be posted on the Internet in English and French.