Israel 2020: Day 1

So great today to be back in the Holy Land of Israel. 


Every time we come, we can literally see how the country has matured and built up even more since just the short time before. 


Of course, we arrived with a little jet lag but still managed to take a nice walk around the bustling streets of Tel Aviv. 


The restaurants, cafes, shops, theaters, and culture here is awesome. 


I guess the toughest thing is deciding what we want to do each day, but that is all part of the adventure. 


See you tomorrow! 😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Capital One Cafe Catastrophe

So I’ve seen the advertisement for Capital One (Bank) Cafes on TV for some time now.


Well I saw my first real one in Fort Lauderdale this week.


It was big, bright, comfortable and had children’s games and a host of meeting and breakout rooms. 


They even gave us two cards for some free coffee at the embedded Pete’s Coffee.


It was a corner store in a large, expensive space. 


It was great place to get some work done or relax. 


But aside for a cash machine or so, there was nothing that I could see having to do with banking in this place. 


Also, there were also almost no customers for the coffee.


Basically, it is totally confusing idea from a marketing and branding perspective–Is it a bank or a coffee house?  And why would I go to Capital One to get coffee or to Pete’s Coffee to do my banking????


While I think that Capital One has literally outdone Starbucks in building a great cafe space, I don’t think anyone will actually get what this is or why it is!


My guess is that whoever came up with this idea is going to be looking for a job within about 6 big money-losing months. 😉


(Credit Photo:  Andy Blumenthal)

Favorite Chocolate Pastries

So these are my favorite chocolate pastries. 


They are liked over-sized or really supersized Rugelach. 


When these come out of the oven, the soft, hot pastry dough interspersed with overflowing, dripping layers of chocolate are unbelievable!


This mound of chocolate pastries is from Mahane Yehuda Market in Jerusalem. 


OMG, I can’t wait to visit again and have one (or more) of these–totally lose all self control! LOL  😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Israel Style

Today we walked around Tel Aviv and went to the Art Museum here and also the stores, grocery, and cafes.


What I really liked was seeing it up close and not from the back of a tour bus. 


After just a day or so, I started to feel like I was really experiencing life here. 


Crossing Menachem Begin Road, we ran into these fashion-conscious ladies. 


The colorful clothes and hair, the tall blue shoes, the ripped leggings of the women on the left definitely stood out.


Juxtaposed is the lady on the right in the black dress, short haircut, bag, and glasses. 


This pair was a standout!


In a way, I miss the Holy lifestyle of Jerusalem here in Tel Aviv, but at the same time, I like the cosmopolitan and modern life here too.


Anyway, I feel like I am learning a lot and enjoying experiencing culture and religion Israel-style. 


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Cafe Barbie Debuts 2013

What an awesome idea for a cafe that can appeal to girls and women worldwide–a Barbie Cafe.

It opened in Taiwan last week and it is licensed by Mattel the founder of Barbie dolls (1959).

At 7,100 square feet and with $1.7 million dollars of investment, you get a lot of Barbie ambience–especially plenty of pink and frills (and calorie counting).

While some women may be turned off to the girlie stigma of a Barbie Cafe, there are probably many others who are enchanted with the dreamy image it bring from childhood and the ability to express a certain femininity, the Barbie way.

My prediction–in the near future, there is going to be a Ken Cafe opening up right across the street. 😉