Friday, January 29, 2010

A Visit to the Pisgat Zeev Mall

Cross-posted on me-ander

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.


Anonymous said...

another ode to jlem. way to go.

Batya said...

I trust that's a compliment, thanks

JDL London Canada said...

I could live off the salads alone, what a nutritious meal. I always come back healthier after eating in Israel, although last time I caught a cold in Shiloh, that was the down side of the trip.

Keli Ata said...

Fancy restaurants for a mall. I like it:)

OT but are salad "bars" at all popular in Israel? I think they would be.

Batya said...

JDL, there's nothing like Israeli salads. It's so easy to find healthy food here.

Keli, that's not considered "fancy." Things have really gone up here in Israel. That's a large coffee shop chain with great food. And it's not the best. I've had better in other chains.

Anonymous said...

Batya said...

JDL, there's nothing like Israeli salads. It's so easy to find healthy food here.


Are you ready to lose your appetite?

Batya said...

For those who don't understand Hebrew, you should know that it's an expose` about bacteria counts in hotel breakfasts.
I may sound like a peculiar grandmother, but if it was as unhealthy as it sounds, all of us who have ever eaten in those hotels would be dead. Calm down, Shy, please.

Anonymous said...

Um, no. The question is the risk. An ecoli infection is not pleasant if it manages to outfight your immune system.

The point of the film is you are potentially upping your risk of illness extensively when dining in places like this.

There used to be a wedding hall in Jerusalem where the morning after we would eat there for dinner, we would always either throw up or have serious digestive disorders. When it happened 3 times in a row, we refused to touch anything there ever again, except for sealed bottles of drink and from disposable cups only.

It turned out we were far from the only ones.

Here's something for you all in English and it applies worldwide:

Hotel Glasses (1)

Hotel Glasses (2)

Batya said...

I saw the piece about the hotel bathroom glasses and rinse them first before using.

Generally, I avoid all salad bars unless I have no choice. We made aliyah when food poisoning and dysentery were part of the absorption process. We were told that the younger you get it the better your immunity.

I don't share my water bottles. If someone wants mine, I tell them to keep it:
"I don't need it; you can have it."

For the four years I was the cook at our local day care center there were no food borne illnesses.

As infected as today's food is here, I have no doubt that it's cleaner than it was decades ago.

Hadassa said...

I can honestly say that I've never heard anyone complain about food poisoning from an events hall or restaurant in Israel. I believe everything reported here, but does anyone have statistics? Shy Guy did you and your acquaintances report that wedding hall to the health authorities? Was that why it closed?
We were in the Paradise Hotel (later the Golden Tulip - I'm not sure what it is now) in Be'er Sheva for six months, with 50-70 other families, three meals a day. No-one reported any cases of food poisoning. (OT: The kashrut supervisor probably never had so many kollel students grilling him about details.)

Hadassa said...

P.S. With Neve Daniel fairly close it's easy to think that Neve Ya'akov is also a yishuv. And well, Pisagot sounds like the plural of Pisgat (Ze'ev).

Batya said...

Hadassa, did you mean Kochav Yaakov?

Hadassa said...

Nope. I meant that Neve Ya'akov SOUNDS like the name of a yishuv.

Batya said...

Ahh, Hadassa, it once was, decades before the establishment of the State of Israel.

Unknown said...

I have searched online for some time and cannot get an answer to my question. I hope you can help me. I have been to the Mall in Pisgat Ze'ev a couple of years ago but not on the Light Rail. I am bringing two ladies who cannot walk distances - so I need to know if the Light Rail has a stop anywhere close to the Mall so I can take them there for lunch... I loved my own experience in the mall and with a lovely pasta dish I had at the Cafe... My email

Batya said...

The lightrail stop is across the street from the mall.