Wednesday, July 06, 2005

upscale shuk

Things are changing in Jerusalem. The once, rather "primitive," ok, quaint, open market, Machaneh Yehuda, is evolving.

Over the past few years the Jerusalem municipality has been putting a lot of money into it, with a new "roof," street drains, etc. The natural economic principles have also played a major role. When we first made aliyah 35 years ago, food was weighed in old scales with labeled weights (at best instead of stones, for which you had to trust the peddlers) and now you can only find the electric digital ones.

Years ago you put your produce into a tin tray, wide bowl, for weighing, and then it was dumped into your shopping bag. There were no plastic bags. I remember my husband complaining about it and being told that the plastic made the produce sweat and rot. Now even melons which really should never be packed in plastic are bagged unless the rare consumer refuses.

Disposable products in Israel didn't exist. No one would waste money on something that could be used only once. Now the shuk, itself, has stores specializing in such items.

But the biggest change is in the stores themselves, cleaner, fancier and just stores! There's a high quality coffee shop. Who would have imagined? And there are fantastic cheese stores selling gourmet cheeses. Of course pastry shops and the most exotic fruits and vegetables and kitchen supplies are plentiful.

Now, there's a gorgeous, high class boutique selling designer clothes, right in the middle of the shuk, on Rechov Egoz, Walnut Street. I bought myself a special jacket and then brought a visiting cousin from the states who got herself some really special outfits.

So, now you see that the shuk isn't only for carrots and apples and onions.


Esther said...

I loved going there and hearing your retelling of the experience, makes me want to head back ASAP. Now if I could just find a job to raise the

Batya said...

Hurry back and I'll show you around.

Marcel said...

I'm glad you didn't forget about the pastry shops. My bags was always full leaving there.

Batya said...

something for every taste