Take a walk through one of the world's most interesting neighborhoods
Our writer discovered that street art is what gives Florentin its unique charm.
Florentin, in the Mediterranean city of Tel Aviv, Israel, is full of creative types who have shaped the neighborhood to reflect their own distinctive style. Having drawn comparisons to Berlin's Kreuzberg and New York City's Williamsburg, it is today recognized as one of the world's most compelling urban enclaves.
I recently visited and can confirm that the reputation is well founded. Florentin has all those things – cafes, galleries, interesting restaurants –that cultivate and nurture a creative crowd. But it's the street art, present here in epic proportions, that truly sets the neighborhood apart from pretty much any other you're bound to come across.
The style of street art found here is diverse, to say the least. From images-as-inside-jokes to more literal messaging, each work tells its own story. The above wall sits opposite a small park in the neighborhood. The image of the "27 Club" – counting as its members famous artists such as Amy Winehouse, Jimi Hendrix and Kurt Cobain, all of whom died prematurely at the age of 27 – is probably the most popular work of art in the neighborhood.
Bauhaus architecture in Florentin. (Photo: Guy Yechiely/Flickr)
Many of the buildings in the neighborhood are consistent with the Bauhaus style seen in much of the surrounding city. While many similar neighborhoods around the world have fallen victim to gentrification, I found Florentin to be most unique in that it has largely avoided such a fate, both demographically and architecturally.
The below sign indicated the street on which an exhibit was being held to celebrate the neighborhood's storied street art. The western edge of the neighborhood is filled with industrial buildings still housing welders, carpenters and the like. The alleyways that snake through this section of Florentin are, without fail, covered from top to bottom with street art.
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Related Topics: Architecture