Monday, October 24, 2011

The Gates of Jerusalem

I have to admit, I am rather captivated by doors and gates. I find them
artistically beautiful, architecturally intriguing.....and I am certain that if they could speak, they would have fascinating stories to tell.
Jerusalem is full of enchanting doors and gates. One of my dreams of owning my own home here in Jerusalem is to have a bright blue fence and gate or door ..somewhere at the edge of town but not too far out..a little garden.  In my dreams for sure.

Most stories about the Gates of Jerusalem are about the Old City Gates (e.g.. Jaffa Gate) or about historical gates of Jerusalem. Some are about the artistic gates of places like beautiful Ein Karem.

This story is about everyday gates in my neck of the older untouched part of the City..(although that is changing a little...the neighborhood is slowly becoming "gentrified" and soon some of the interesting charm of yesteryear may disappear.)

The area is not economically poor but it is not upscale or well to do either..just common everyday homes and streets of Jerusalem - mostly a community of  Jewish immigrants who fled neighboring Arab countries such as Iraq. There once was a train running just at the edge of the apartment buildings...the tracks and emek (valley) still there. Often on a Shabbat afternoon, I walk the length of it. On Lag B'omer, it is alight with bonfires and at other times, simply a gathering place for fun.  In the next neighborhood those tracks and grasses have given way to beautification; it does look very nice and modern, and I think we are next for the development - one reason I wanted to capture some of the common but charming pictures of my streets before they disappear.

Many of these gates are afterthoughts. In the earlier days it seems there was only a low stone wall at the edge of a property. When it became necessary to gate the property, the arch to hold the gate, the gate itself, and the subsequent fencing on top of the stone wall were all added later and of different materials.

Some gates and walls have been remodeled and are stylish but some are very makeshift - funny and funky. Additionally, there are those that are thought out and symmetrical with the whole landscape and those that are innovative and modern.  Each is unique - almost no two alike and all are interesting.  Each innovative creation (or lack thereof) gives a snaphot of the various owners (though not necessarily the current one).  As I walk though my area, I often wonder what the story was for this one or that one. I surely  wish these gates and walls could talk. oy voy voy...what would we hear??

I have included a few here on the blog main page, but please go to my picasa website for a slideshow and/or album of many more.   Enjoy !

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