Prior to coming back to Jerusalem this summer, I had a very fuzzy but definitive picture of Jerusalem in my mind. It was built upon memories from the mind of 16 year old me. From the time I came to Jerusalem for the fall semester of my junior year of high school… 13 years ago.
There were landmarks in my mind… Ben Yehuda street, Hebrew Union College/Beit Shmuel, King David street, the YMCA, Jabotinsky street, Independence Park… along with less well known locales. The shouk on the corner that was open on Friday nights to sell us beer, the restaurant across the street that served the best pumpkin soup, that place on the corner where our tiuyl bus would always stop and we would run in the back door and get the best baklava ever, and that one street in that one neighborhood where the lady from Belgium sold the BEST waffles ever!
Here is the problem with all of these memories – over the years they have degraded a bit, as all sweet memories do and what remains was the fun and sweet parts not the challenging parts (like getting there). Also, most of the time they stuck us on a chartered bus or led us somewhere and we really weren’t allowed to go places alone, therefore, I never really learned how to get around by myself.
Coming back to Yerushalim (Jerusalem), I wanted to revisit the places of my child’s memory but I really didn’t know how to get started so I just let it flow. I got to know my new neighborhood and slowly started venturing out with other girls to further places. Currently we are located in the Katamon neighborhood near Emek Rafaim. Emek is a great and busy street with ice cream shops, super markets, tons of restaurants and coffee shops. The setup seemed vaguely familiar but one peek at the map and it seemed like King David street was miles away.
It’s been an amazing time, connecting past with present and present with future. I am just thankful for the opportunity to do that!