Saturday, January 29, 2011

Rediscovering life afer 10pm

I grew-up next to the Mediterranean, where nightlife meant actually enjoying life at night… Leaving the house late in the evening, meeting with friends, having dinner, or sitting at a café sipping a drink and chatting. We often returned home well after midnight.

Another late evening activity my wife and I enjoy is taking a walk. Once the evening chores are done, it is nice to get a breadth a fresh air, stretch our legs and have time to discuss issues we face or simply share our day.

Walking the streets of Silicon Valley at night felt like being in a ghost town – there is hardly anybody out there. Aside from a handful of places, all restaurants and coffee shops close on or before 10pm. Silicon Valley is home to many immigrants, many of them come from countries with similar nightlife cultures. This self-imposed curfew has been a mystery to me.

On our first week in Israel we decided to take a break from organizing the house and take an evening walk. It was well after 10pm when we left the house.  The main street was busy with people walking; coffee shops were open, as well as some restaurants.  And mind you we live in a suburb, not Tel Aviv downtown... Someone didn’t get the memo that tomorrow was a workday.

Yesterday we decided to venture into Tel Aviv for the first time since we arrived. We called a couple of our old-time friends and asked them if they’re up for a night on the town. Sure they said, call us after dinner.

We finished the Friday night dinner around 9:30pm. It’s getting kind of late I told my wife – let’s give our friends a call and make sure they are still available. “No problem” said our friend on the phone, “We’re still eating. Come over whenever”.  We arrived at our friends’ house well after 10pm. My California “social clock” started sounding its curfew alarm, but I ignored it and knocked on their door… After some catch-up chat, we left their house and headed towards down town Tel-Aviv. 

It was after 11pm and the streets were crowded.  We drove around a bit and settled on a place called the “Station area” – a reconstructed old train station which has been converted into a bustling restaurants and café center.  It was almost midnight when we joined the line for those looking for a table at the popular “Vicky Christina” Tapas bar (named after the Woody Allen movie). Within 15min we were seated amongst a crowd that enjoyed the background Spanish guitar music, the Tapas and the drinks.  We left after 1:30am after discussing life, politics and the future of our kids and drove back home to get some well-deserved sleep.

It is scientifically proven. There is indeed life after 10pm.

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