Running at 7:30am in Jerusalem is much better than running at 10:30am in Jerusalem. Holy cow, it’s hot!
But…sleeping until 9:00 is much nicer than sleeping until 7:00. What’s a girl to do?!
In other news, I have thoroughly enjoyed my first week and a half of exploration through my area of Jerusalem. I am living in the Baka neighborhood – southeast of the old city.
There are a lot of French and American immigrants in Baka, and it is neighbor to another Anglo-area, HaMoshavah HaGermanit (the German Colony). The German Colony has a lot of Americans, Germans, and Europeans in general, and the cafes and languages heard on the street in both areas reflect peoples’ roots.
Both neighborhoods are fairly upscale and trendy, and the two areas are connected across a pedestrian walking and biking path called the rekevet. Rekevet means train in Hebrew, and the path is a tracks-to-trails project.
Derech Beit Lechem is the main road in Baka while Emek Refaim is the primary thoroughfare cutting through the German Colony.
While both are lined with cafes, restaurants, shops, and falafel joints, Emek Refaim is more bustling and has more establishments lining the road.
This week, I went for lunch with a couple friends at The Grand Cafe – a lovely spot for any meal of the day. The cafe is right on Derech Beit Lechem in the middle of Baka, only a couple of blocks from my apartment.
My friends both ordered the green shakshuka.
Shakshuka is a popular food in Israel and throughout the Middle East. Traditionally, shakshuka is made by poaching eggs in a tomato sauce, often with onions, spices, and perhaps a little cheese on top. There are several variations, however, and this green shakshuka included spinach, leeks, and roasted tomatoes. The meal also came with a heaping basket of bread:
Everything on the menu looked good, but I went with a fruits and vegetable salad that came with fresh fruit, roasted nuts, fried gnocchi, cheese, and a balsamic drizzle:
The real reason I didn’t get shakshuka though was because I had plans to cook shakshuka with a friend later that night!
We made a more traditional version with tomatoes, yellow pepper, and onion. Good food, good friends…yeah, I can get used to living here. 🙂