Since I’m still preoccupied with my daughter being in Israel, I thought I’d share some of my photos taken while walking around or sitting in cafés in Tel Aviv, providing a snapshot of everyday life. Here, somebody’s junk simply sat on the sidewalk, including a sofa.

I did peek behind a fence to snap this construction site; I found it charming in its own way with the pots and pans to fix lunch for the workers.

Recycling happens on the street. These bins for plastic bottles are found on all major streets and are often accompanied by another trash can for paper. I haven’t made up my mind yet whether I find these bins hideous, because sometimes they come across as kind of cool.

In Tel Aviv, laundry isn’t strung along sidewalks as it is in Shanghai, but still, laundry is hung out to dry in the heat. Why run a dryer when the outside pretty much is one?

Cafés are huge in Tel Aviv. From above: the antique furnishings in a café I hung out at while my daughter dealt with army paperwork; a sidewalk café close to where we stayed, and the beach café where we watched World Cup games.

Being a desert country, the vegetation is so different there! How about a cactus for balcony planting? And those bougainvillea trees! I would love to have one; I love that color, but sadly that plant would not survive Chicago frost. Even though Tel Aviv was planned as a garden city and features lots of greenery between buildings, there’s one thing that’s almost nonexistent: lawns. Green grass simply doesn’t make it.

“Our” rooftop deck