This and That

Random bits of my life

Big Bambú by Day

Posted by Avital Pinnick on September 10, 2014

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The Big Bambú is an interactive installation at the Israel Museum. Twin brothers Mike and Doug Starn have created Big Bambú installations in New York, Venice, and now Jerusalem. If you haven’t seen it yet, there’s still some time, because it has been extended to the end of October. Admission, in addition to the general admission to the Israel Museum, is 10 NIS for adults and 5 NIS for children (museum members get in free). You need to book in advance because the numbers are limited. Make sure you read the rules before you go, because you can’t wear flip-flops, clogs, or high heels (sandals seem to be OK). Full photo set on Flickr.

It’s the size of a small apartment block, with many different levels. I think the best time to see it is around dusk, so that you can see the sunset and changing lights. At night, the Big Bambú is lit. According to the Israel Museum site, this installation took:

10,000 bamboo poles, 80,000 meters of climbing rope, 25 rock climbers, 7 weeks, 350 hours, and not a single architectural sketch. American artists Mike and Doug Starn were invited to use the Museum’s Art Garden to create Big Bambú – a 17-meter high installation built entirely of bamboo. The artists chose to name their Jerusalem installation 5,000 Arms to Hold You.

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View of the top level, from below. People are sitting on couches.

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The larger levels have comfortable areas for sitting and enjoying the view.

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The Vort (Engagement Party)

Posted by Avital Pinnick on September 10, 2014

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My son is engaged! Here are some photos from the Vort (engagement party). The mothers break a china plate (inside the pillow case) to symbolize the finality of the commitment. We broke an ordinary side plate, not the painted one in the photo above. Full photo set is on Flickr.

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Power failure in the middle of the evening. They’re used to it.

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The young people sat outside in the heat, while the oldies (like me) were inside with the air conditioning.

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Posted in Israel, Judaism, photography | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Jerusalem Wine Festival at the Israel Museum

Posted by Avital Pinnick on September 10, 2014

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This year was our first visit to the Jerusalem Wine Festival at the Israel Museum. We tasted some good wines, some bad wines, wandered around and had a good time. There was plenty of food to go with the wine–cheese, sushi, preserves, and pizza. Most of the wineries were kosher. The ones that weren’t were clearly marked and clustered together, so navigating wasn’t as difficult as I’d expected. Most of the wineries were the large ones like Recanati, Tishbi, and Carmel. I had hoped to see some of the smaller companies, like Saslove, but alas.

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The Big Bambu sculpture had free admission during the wine festival. The catch is that you’re not allowed to climb if you’ve been drinking alcohol, so you have to climb before you start sipping.

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Posted in Food, Israel, photography | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Hutzot Hayotzer 2014: Tav Cafe Trapeze Act

Posted by Avital Pinnick on August 31, 2014

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The trapeze act is part of the standard repertoire of the Tav Cafe but it’s always enjoyable. The last time I was here, I was seated almost directly below the trapeze, almost impossible to photograph or video. This time I was in a much better position, at a table in the center of the cafe. If you get there early enough (around 7:15) and can choose your seat, try to snag a place in front of the stage. The floor section with tables is for paying guests (a beer will last you a long time if it doesn’t get knocked over by a juggler). The seats on the outside are for people who don’t want to order anything to eat or drink.

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Hutzot Hayotzer 2014: Balancing at the Tav Cafe

Posted by Avital Pinnick on August 31, 2014

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The Tav Cafe show doesn’t change a lot from year to year but it’s still enjoyable. This woman is balancing on ordinary bottles, set into a wooden base on a table.

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In the photo below, she steps from a steel cylinder to an ordinary glass bottle.

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Now on one hand….

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Hutzot Hayotzer 2014: Mexican Beadwork

Posted by Avital Pinnick on August 28, 2014

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I love the bright colours of Mexican beadwork. I didn’t buy anything this year, though. The prices were somewhat higher and the designs were more mundane. Last year, there were a couple stunning necklaces that I photographed and then kicked myself for not buying on the spot. I bought one of the floral necklaces last year and I hang it on the wall.

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Hutzot Hayotzer 2014: Eli Avisera and the Wood Craft Center

Posted by Avital Pinnick on August 28, 2014

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Eli Avisera was back this year, giving wood-working demonstrations. He founded the Wood Craft Center in 1988 and gives courses. One of my coworkers took a course from him and enjoyed it very much. I’m always fascinated by how he can take a block of wood and turn it into a gorgeous box within minutes. His work is magical (check out the video below).

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The wood is poplar.

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Hutzot Hayotzer 2014: Eviatar Banai

Posted by Avital Pinnick on August 15, 2014

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One aspect of Hutzot Hayotzer (Jerusalem International Arts & Crafts Fair) that we always look forward to is the concerts. For 65 NIS (less than $20), it’s a bargain (if you don’t want to hear the concert you can buy a cheaper ticket for 50 NIS). The last evening we went (Aug. 11), I wasn’t able to visit the craft stalls at because we went to two performances: Tav Cafe, followed by Eviatar Banai. Eviatar Banai is a 41-year-old hozer betshuvah (returnee to Judaism) with a clear tenor voice and a soft rock/ballad style. He belongs to the Banai family,  which has produced a large number of Israeli performers.

The concert was sold out, another reason to buy or pick up your tickets early. Mayor Nir Barkat, in his opening remarks, said that each night of Hutzot Hayotzer was dedicated to a different division of the IDF. (We were wondering why the Armored Corp insignia was displayed on the screen before the concert.) He was followed by a high-ranking officer from the Armored Corp, who gave a short speech about how life has to go on (that division lost a lot of soldiers in Gaza) and we have to keep singing.

I made a short video of one of songs near the end. Around the 45-second mark, he segues from rock to a hassidic nigun and lots of people got up to dance. It was good to forget the war for a while.

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Hutzot Hayotzer 2014: Flamenco Natural

Posted by Avital Pinnick on August 14, 2014

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Flamenco Natural, led by Sharon Saguy, appeared on the small stage of Hutzot Hayotzer (Jerusalem International Arts & Crafts Festival), May 11, 2014. Flamenco is quite popular in Israel. If I were tall, skinny, and blessed with excellent coordination, I’d sign up for classes immediately. <sigh!> Flamenco is beautiful to watch and tricky to photograph without a tripod.

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A Dear Friend’s Loss

Posted by Avital Pinnick on August 10, 2014

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I don’t know how many of you know Pam Harris, who has been like a mother to so many craft bloggers around the world. She was tireless in her encouragement and support of novice bloggers. She was my first photography mentor and gave me so much advice and encouragement over the years.

Her dear husband of 25 years, Kirby Harris, died suddenly of a heart attack. Kirby was a very special guy, a great photographer with a wonderful sense of humour. Sadly, he had no life insurance, so Pam has been left with a lot of expenses. Her daughter Diane (of CraftyPod) has set up a fund to help defray costs. So if you knew Pam and have lost touch with her, I’m sure she’d appreciate a note or a donation.

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