April 29, 2009

Rooftop Israeli Independence Day Party
Giv'atayim, Israel and the Palestinian Territories

The start of a new day begins around dusk by Jewish calendar, and last night ushered the start of Israeli's 61st Independence Day festivities.

We were invited by a great pair of former CouchSurfing hosts (that 'surfed with in town before Tatiana and Aidric arrived) to attend a rooftop barbecue party atop the tallest building in the district. The invite, which I'd accepted long ago, promised plenty of good food and a view of city's fireworks in every direction, as each part of the city let off their own spectacular displays.

We walked to the penthouse apartment (owned by our hostess' hilariously playboyish father) and joined a large crowd of smiling faces sometime after dark. Lots of drinking (homemade mojitos, wine, beer, and vodka/Red Bulls being the drinks of choice), chatting, and eating were already well underway. Naturally, being Israel, we encountered the largest tub of hummus we've ever see (which was empted twice over the course of the evening).

The apartment was an absolute stunner (certainly worth over a million USD), and the firework displays outstanding—but not as great as getting Tatiana boozed up on mojitos (…good times).

If you take a close look at some of the images you'll notice an office building with their lights aligned to make out a "61"—Festive!

And in the image directly below, portions of this large Israeli flag illuminated slowly over the past few weeks, until completion. This is a blurb found from the same event, two years ago:

In honor of Israel's 59th Independence Day, "Elem-Youth in Distress" association constructed the Elem's Lights of Hope Flag, which was hung on Tel Aviv's Azrieli Tower. It is the biggest Israeli flag in the world, assembled from 590,000 light bulbs that are lit by donations from the public. Each donation, received by SMS messages, phone or credit card, lights a bulb of hope. The donations collected throughout this project will enable the Elem to continue its voluntary and professional work for the youth throughout Israel.

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