• LOCATION 5 | The Trail of Independence: Tracing the origins of modern Tel Aviv

    The First Kiosk

    The First Kiosk on Tel Aviv audio tour The Trail of Independence: Tracing the origins of modern Tel Aviv

    Stop in front of the kiosk.

    How did it come to be? Tel Aviv was planned to be a city, in and of itself, but still connected to the businesses that occupied the port city of Jaffa. In that sense, Tel Aviv was supposed to be a green and quiet suburb of Jaffa. To ensure the lack of commotion, no one was allowed to open up a shop or a restaurant or any place of business in Tel Aviv. But there was a problem - the first Tel Avivians were walking through barren sand dunes under the scorching sun. If one wanted to buy a cold drink, he or she would be compelled to walk all the way to Jaffa, just to get a beverage. So it was that one kiosk owner was allowed to put up shop here in Tel Aviv in its early years.

    To safeguard the calm atmosphere, he was forbidden to sell alcohol and had to close early in the evening. Nowadays, this area is the beating heart of the pubs and clubs scene, where no one goes to sleep before 4am, and alcohol pours like water. Tel Aviv sure has changed a lot. It has also become the business capital of Israel, with the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange not far from here, all the Israeli banks putting up headquarters in this area, as well as major multinational companies. Amazingly, this whole thing started from the First Kiosk.

    Facing the kiosk, look to your left. The building on the corner across the street is no. 9 Rothschild Boulevard. It's the white one with the black iron balconies.

    That used to be the house of my Great-Great-Grandfather. As I mentioned earlier, my ancestors didn’t leave me any real estate here, unfortunately. That’s the reason I can’t invite you in for coffee… My grandfather did tell me how as a child he spent time here, sometimes coming back from school, buying a soda at the kiosk and going to visit his grandfather at this house. That was his Little Tel Aviv. I wish I could go back to those simple times.

    Now, let's keep moving.

    Turn back to face the kiosk and continue on the brass stretch embedded in the pavement.

    We’re going to reach no. 16 Rothschild Boulevard. During springtime here in Israel, from April till June, the trees along this part of the boulevard boast a fiery-red blossom. If you’re here at the right time to see it - great! Otherwise - it’s a great reason to come back to Tel Aviv in May.

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The Trail of Independence: Tracing the origins of modern Tel Aviv