Friday, January 29, 2010

A Visit to the Pisgat Zeev Mall

Cross-posted on Shiloh Musings

Pisgat Zeev is a Jerusalem neighborhood, a very big one, especially if you take into account that it's connected to Neve Yaakov.  Those two neighborhoods combined are larger and more populous than many Israeli cities.  Nothing can rile a resident of Neve Yaakov or Pisgat Zeev more than someone visiting saying:

"Now I'm going to Jerusalem."
"Mah pitome?!  What's all this?!  You're in Jerusalem!  This is Jerusalem!"

Yes, it is.  Residents vote in Jerusalem Elections, and there's even a local political party with a representative in the City Council.  The mess you can see in the street is from the the construction of the Jerusalem Light-rail.  It will whisk residents and those from the Shomron, like myself, to downtown Jerusalem by avoiding the sedentary traffic of cars, buses and trucks.  (At least that's the plan.)

As you can see in the picture, there's a lovely modern mall in Pisgat Zeev in addition to lots of small neighborhood shopping areas.  In addition, there's a very good Matnas Community Center with a wide variety of activities, including the Neve Yaakov Pool, which I try to get to weekly.

The mall has the same variety of chain stores and restaurants you'll find all over Israel.  A couple of weeks ago, I met Voices Editor and good friend, Sharon Katz, for lunch and a tour of the neighborhood.  Sharon's from Efrat, and even though she had passed Pisgat Zeev many times she wasn't really familiar with it.

We had salads in Cafe` Cafe`, as you can see.  They were delicious!  All of the Israeli restaurants and coffee shops seem to be competing for creative salad ideas, which is great for those of us who love vegetables cooked and raw.

The Pisgat Zeev mall is a real meeting place for Israelis of different backgrounds and cultures.  It's no secret that many Arabs from northern and eastern Jerusalem also shop and work there.

For me and my Shiloh neighbors, there's really no need to travel to the much larger and more distant Malcha Mall, because, whether by car or public transportation, it takes barely half the time to get to Pisgat Zeev.  Many of my neighbors also work in Pisgat Zeev and Neve Yaakov in all sorts of jobs. 

I must admit that I don't really know all of the Jerusalem neighborhoods.  For me, Gilo is as foreign a place, if not moreso, than Pisgat Zeev-Neve Yaakov is for many.  Yes, Jerusalem is a big city.

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