Sheinkin Online

Ronit Roccas
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Ronit Roccas

The Sheinkin Street Web site (www.sheinkinstreet.co.il) crashed a few hours after being launched last week. The network could not handle the flood of surfers responding to the announcement of the site on the two most popular Israeli portals, Walla and Ynet.

This crash, which was very quickly repaired, reflects not only the tremendous interest in the Sheinkin Street site, but also the lack of patience among surfers, who had only to wait a little for the site to upload.

"Sheinkin Street is more than a shopping street or a district in Tel Aviv," write the site's promotion people. "It is a place that has come to represent Israel's urban spirit, reflecting the atmosphere, attitude, style and colors of that spirit.

Before the site was built, it seemed that Sheinkin Street's prestige had long been on the decline. Interest in the site, however, indicates Sheinkin is still full of life, or at least "colorful urban spirit."

The site is the brainchild of Michael Simkin and Yuval Abramovich. Simkin is a British Jew with a background in advertising (He fell in love with an Israeli woman, stopped loving her and fell in love with Sheinkin Street.) and Abramovich is a writer for the weekly Pnai Plus leisure guide and an actor in "Hashir Shelanu" (Our Song). The site targets Israelis and surfers from overseas. It offers articles in both Hebrew and English on everything still happening on Sheinkin Street, and an opportunity to visit the street's stores and even buy clothing, jewelry and housewares online.

Simkin and Abramovich say that about half the enterprises on the street have joined the Web site project so far, including fashion designer Ronen Chen, shoe and bag designer Daniella Lehavi, jewelry designer Michal Negrin and the second-hand clothing and accessory store Shtaim. These stores are so far represented only via catalogue photos, sometimes accompanied by promotional text.

Among the items already offered for sale at the site are jeans from Shandan, presented with very unflattering photos, and jewelry from Inbar, whose photos look much more enticing. Presumably other stores will eventually join the site.

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