Day 9: November 19—A day’s lag seems to hold a month’s worth of events

Trio on the Namal

Trio on the Namal

A day’s lag seems to hold a month’s worth of events: strolling the Shuk HaPishpeshim in Jaffa, cocktails at the Imperial Bar, zipping out to Ramat Gan to say hello to Philip Blau (with a few dazzling purchases off his rack), a walk (for me) from Tel Aviv Port to the Jaffa Port, lunch at Claro restaurant in Sarona. The last was an almost surreal experience, as it was a construction site on our last visit; Lin and I were guided through its future by chef/owner Ran Shmueli: “This is where the wine cellar will be. This is where the kitchen will be—the diners will surround it.” And it has panned out beautifully: a lively and beautiful place with wonderful food.

The most extraordinary event of the past day, however, was the gathering last night at Lin’s apartment of some of the luminaries of our project, from Lily Elstein to Ellen Graber to Adam Montefiore to Karen Tal to Michal Rovner to Neil Folberg—and many others, as well as members of Lin’s family. We realized as the evening began that some of them had surely never intersected before—their only common platform being The Desert and the Cities Sing. And yet as the prosecco and Castel La Vie circulated and hors d’oeuvres were passed, spirits rose and conversations began to sparkle. Our compilation video ran silently on a monitor, and several copies of the box were out for display and for playing with. Michelle had the brilliant idea to ask guests to sign one of the copies at the passages where they were mentioned, and we presented it to Lin at the end of the evening.

So grateful to Avital for orchestrating the event—it was not only seamless, but truly fun, and a great celebration of the project. It gave a sense of—not closure, we are not finished yet!—but a proper commemoration of this accomplishment.

Synchronicity: at nearly the same hour, in Miami, Sarah Arison was presenting the project at the Miami Book Fair. It was wonderful to think of all those good D&C vibes happening on both sides of the Atlantic! 

— Diana C. Stoll