News flash: There’s cheap rental housing in Tel Aviv. Dirt cheap. So cheap, in fact, that illegals from Ghana and Nigeria, Guatemala and Columbia, Thailand and Outer Mongolia, can afford it. But that’s not where the privileged children of the well-heeled classes wish to fulfill fantasies of Friends, Sex and the City or Gossip Girl.
Indeed, the Old Central Bus Station environs, like the Shapira or Hatikva quarters, aren’t Tel Aviv’s equivalents of somewhere-fashionable-in-the-heart-of-Manhattan – where latter-day bohemians reside in style while posing as suffering artistes and empathizing with the downtrodden masses of the Earth.
The equivalents are “Heart-of-Tel-Aviv” neighborhoods (like the swanky Sheinkin drag), even select elitist edges of Jaffa and that glorified-gentrified Florentin niche. But topping it all for prestige and desirability is Tel Aviv’s “Old North,” radiating from the upmarket Habimah Theater-Mann Auditorium hub.
At that posh pivot, trendsetters and groupies pitched their tent city to campaign for lower/subsidized rents. We, wage-earners in the rest of the country, are presumably required to foot their extravagant bills and make Israel’s Manhattan ambiance more affordable. Since Manhattan is so overpriced, the affectation becomes more attainable in the homeland, in conditions of comparable comfort and proximity to social focal points – where it’s all happening.
That, however, as elsewhere in the world, is where it’s most expensive to rent the proper setting for the pretentious pipe dream. It’s location, location, location – the greater the demand, the higher the price-tag. Continue reading