Israel – A History Lesson

Words by Shai DeLuca-Tamasi

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Church of the Holy Sepulchre – Photography by Noam Chen

Jerusalem used to be the centre of the world. An ancient New York City, Paris or Milan if you will. At one time religion trumped everything and Jerusalem was a mecca. People travelled to Israel for religious pilgrimage, but also for business, trade and the arts. Though at the time called Judea, Israel was part of the Roman Empire. As the years progressed it was captured by various empires. Each conquering civilization contributed its own style, design and fashion sense to the collective fabric of Israel.

Jump forward to 1948, post World War II; immigration to Israel was at an all time high, flowing in from all over Europe, North Africa and the Americas. With each swell of immigration, new design and style arrived in Israel.

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Rabin square, Tel Aviv – Photography by Dana Friedlander

Today, Israel has evolved and developed in ways that are often described as remarkable. Israel has its own unique design sense—a compilation of our rich history.

In October 2013 I travelled to Israel with my friend (and Cityline co-celeb) Kimberley Seldon. I was able to share the richness of Israel with Kimberley and the Cityline viewers. It’s a trip I won’t soon forget.

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Kimberley Seldon and Shai DeLuca-Tamasi film for www.cityline.ca

Though having spent my formative years in Israel, as well as serving for three years in the IDF, the experience of seeing the country through a camera lens was a life changing experience for me. It was a blessing being able to bring back footage for our Cityline viewers and Dabble readers.

I was fortunate to see how the design scene has surpassed even my high expectations. Needless to say, I couldn’t even bring back everything I purchased. Thank goodness for international shipping! I hope that all of our readers have the opportunity to visit Israel, but in the interim, I wanted to share some of my favourite Israeli products and design with you. Though I could fill the next year of issues with the amazing items, I’ve chosen my five favourite!

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Shop Israel with Shai in the May 2014 issue

Everything is Irie! A Special Thanks to Jamaica.

I fell in love with Jamaica.  The incredible people, culture and cuisine was surpassed only by the fragrant fresh air, gorgeous beaches and coastal plains that give you the feeling you’re standing as close to heaven as humanly possible.

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One of the biggest pleasures I had on this adventure was meeting new friends. The Jamaican Tourist Board went out of their way to showcase Jamaica’s best.

Symerna Blake, our fabulous guide, is a knowledgeable ambassador for Jamaica. Thank you Symerna for making the trip so special.

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I’d also like to thank our ultra savvy driver Jermaine Smith from Paradise Travels whose road warrior skills and panache got us through some tough terrain… always on-time and in-style!

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With endless gratitude,

Nicholas Rosaci and Team Dabble

 

Madagascar Unmasked

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Experience the wilderness of Madagascar in this travel post by guest blogger, Nellie Huang of WildJunket.com. Nellie was Dabble’s featured blogger in Issue 5‘s I Dabble In… profile.

There are few places as remote and wild as Madagascar, and even fewer that offer such fulfilling and authentic travel experiences.

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La Grand Isle (as it is known in French, meaning the big island) is like nowhere else on Earth: it is home to a unique group of endemic animals and plants which had evolved after the island’s separation from the African continent 165 million years ago. Only in this part of the world can you find cheeky lemurs, chameleons and ferocious fosas, as well as bizarre-looking baobab trees and spiny forests.

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We experienced the wilderness of Madagascar–sleeping in the forest, watching lemurs and chameleons in their natural habitat and flowing down rivers on dugout canoes.

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In the Kirindy forest, we saw the adorable grey mouse lemur upclose and personal and watched sifakas leap from one tree to another. At the Tsingy de Bemahara, we climbed sharp karst rock faces to get a awestriking view of the jungle from above. Back in the town of Belo-sur-Tsiribihina, we wandered through the colorful and bustling central market, taking in Malagasy culture. By the time we got to Morondava, we were thrilled to be feasting on cheap and delicious seafood at Chez Maggie.

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Kicking back at the laidback, empty beach town of Ifaty, where the ocean and spiny forests surround us, I’m writing this from our thatched-roof beachfront bungalow at the gorgeous Hotel Le Paradisier–the sun is setting before me and the ocean is turning from a shade of deep blue to golden. I’m blessed to be here, and can’t wait to see what more surprises Madagascar has to offer.

Madagascar is an excellent place to get in touch with raw, unspoiled nature. Read more about the wildlife, nature and beautiful people of Madagascar on Nellie’s blog, Wild Junket.

Top Wine Bars in Ottawa

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We covered the best design shops, travel destinations and restaurants in the latest issue, but here are the top 3 wine bars in Ottawa.

Nestled in the charming area known as the Glebe, sits a little gem called 107 Fourth Avenue.Small intimate setting
Decorated with the work of local artisans
Small, but well-chosen wine list
Small menu but each dish is tantalizing
***

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Located in a trendy area known as Westboro, Juniper is one of the hottest spots in the city.Canadian cuisine
Globally inspired
Produce harvested in Ottawa
Extensive wine list that changes weekly
Modern & elegant
***

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Housed in an 18th century stone building in the heart of the ByWard Market is a well designed space called Restaurant 18.Hip & modern with old world charm.
Blind tasting menu & wine pairings
Light bar menu
Wine sampling of over 50 wines
Worth the splurge
For more information on these wine bars, visit Sonya Kinkade’s blog, The TBBs.

Welcome to Ottawa

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In Ottawa, Canada’s capital city, politics play a leading role. The parliament buildings take centre stage downtown while the Prime Minister and Governor Generals’ residences face off on Sussex Drive. For a small city, architecture makes a big statement and yet, it’s the capital’s natural setting that leaves a lasting impression on visitors.

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With four season offerings for the outdoor enthusiast Ottawa is a year-round destination. But none can deny the magical charms of winter in the capital. Christmas lights emblazen the downtown core as temperatures drop, turning the lively Rideau Canal into the world’s longest outdoor skating rink.

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Dabble Does Barcelona

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Barcelona is a seaside town that’s more Miami than Malibu, as evidenced by the vibrant street life and constant hum of activity. Locals move with swift assurance, keeping pace to urban rhythms that would tire a Flamenco dancer, while visitors jostle for space on adjacent sidewalks, just to catch a glimpse of the action.

‘A decade’s passed since my last visit to Barcelona and so much has changed, yet nothing has,’ says Dabble’s Editor in Chief Kimberley Seldon.
The ancient city is even more boisterous and energized than in years past, but its constant charms are well-preserved. Joined by contributors Christine Da Costa and Simon Burn, our team agrees that exploring the historic city of Gauda, sustained by tapas (appetizers) and cava (Spanish wine), is a fine way to spend a week.
Read the entire article ‘Dabble does Barcelona’ in Issue 10 of Dabble.

Photography for Travellers

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Inspiration can happen anywhere. Don’t miss your chance to capture it.

Filled with inspirational photography, Photography for Travellers offers tips and information to make the most of each and every photo.

Photo of Nam Kham at Dusk from www.photographyfortravellers.com.

Budapest Architecture: Pest

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ABOVE: A distinctive onion dome atop the Moorish revival style Dohány Street Synagogue.

1. Admirers say Art Nouveau is stunningly beautiful, with its fanciful forms, shimmering colours and stylistic freedom. Detractors have a different opinion, suggesting the 19th century style is simply dreadful. Regardless of your position, Budapest offers some fine examples of the style which is frequently referred to as Secessionist. The Budapest Zoo is one such example, though some sections veer heavily towards kitsch.

Dabble Savvy: It’s worth a stroll to see the front gates if you’re in the neighbourhood anyway. Budapest Zoo is near the Széchenyi Baths, Gundel Restaurant and Heroes’ Square.

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2. Hungary’s most important church is St. Stephen’s Basilica (Szent István Bazilika). The 10th century neoclassic style church is named for Hungary’s first king, Stephen I. Avoid crowds and visit in the evening when the artfully lit exterior shames even a full moon. If you plan to do a daytime tour, there is a small fee.

Dabble Savvy: Fans of the macabre may want to pay an additional fee to have the lights turned on in the ‘Chapel of the Holy Right’, to view the mummified fist of King Stephen.

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ABOVE: Every detail of the Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace is memorable. The lobby’s graceful Peacock Gates are in the Secessionist style (Art Nouveau).

3. A stay at the Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace is a pampered experience. Every detail is perfection, every service exceptional—staff stand at attention as guests walk the hallway en route to rooms distinguished by carved walnut doors. Located near the foot of the Chain Bridge, the impressive Secessionist building has an illustrious history—first as headquarters to the Gresham Insurance Company, then a girls’ home for etiquette and, during World War II, as barracks for Soviet soldiers who burned the furniture for warmth. Restored in 2001, the renovated staircases, stained glass and mosaic tiles by Zsolnay create a lasting impression.

Top Picks for Springtime Travel

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Dabble’s Travel Contributors, Stephanie Gray and Jennifer Weatherhead, suggest the best places for springtime travelling.

Where: Paris

Why: While the weather might be fickle (you may see rain one day, sun the next), we bet you’ll quickly overlook any gloomy days upon seeing the gorgeous blooms and lush trees that decorate the already beautiful landscape. Not to mention the height of tourist season in Paris comes in the summer, so you’ll be in town when the locals are. For those who are tennis fans, consider planning around the French Open which occurs every May at Roland Garros.

Travel Tip: Beat any weather woes by dressing in layers and packing a chic umbrella.

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Where: Amsterdam

Why: There’s nothing that says spring more than tulips and Amsterdam in April is the month when this flower blanket fields all across the Netherlands. It’s also the same time you can experience the annual Tulip Festival held at Keukenhof Gardens. Running from March 22 to May 22, 2012, it’s a gorgeous park filled with more than 7 million flowers that will instantly put you in spring mode. If partying is a must (come on, you are in Amsterdam), consider staying on April 30, Queen’s Day, when the streets turn into a giant party.

Where: Arizona

Why: Visitors come to enjoy this state all-year round, thanks to the hot weather, stunning natural landscape and world-class spas, but if you’re hoping to save a bit of cash and beat the heat, a late spring trip is your best bet. In the desert areas like Phoenix and Scottsdale, the highest hotel rates are from January to April, so waiting a little later in the year can be easier on your wallet. Plus it’s a great time to see the Grand Canyon, as it’s not as crowded and the temperatures will be nicer too

To find out what other locales need to be on your Spring Travel list, go to Pretty Chic Travel

Check out Stephanie and Jennifer’s top picks for where to drink tea recently featured in Issue 7: Apr/May’12

Welcome to Budapest

Before politics compromised Hungary’s influence, its capital twin cities—Buda and Pestrivalled Paris as a centre for fine art and artistic and intellectual achievement. Though evidence of Budapest’s post-Nazi, post-Communist restoration is abundant, the process is by no means complete, leaving an opportunity for the curious traveller to witness the past while watching the future emerge.

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ABOVE: Romantically described as the Pearl of the Danube, Budapest is a city of extremes. Pest’s dramatic skyline features St. Stephen’s Basilica at its centre.

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Twin cities, Buda and Pest are divided by the Danube River.

ABOVE: The Gothic spires of the Hungarian Parliament building in Pest.

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ABOVE: Baroque sculpture on Buda’s Castle Hill.

Finnriver Farm

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Dabble’s Wine Contributor, Jameson Fink, spends one month at Finnriver Farm.

I spent an inspiring month living on Finnriver Farm, a 33 acre organic family farm and artisan cidery located on Washington State’s Olympic Peninsula. Staying in a small cabin, my sunup to sundown included (but was not limited to) feeding chickens and ducks, collecting and cleaning their eggs, pruning berry bushes, tending to winter vegetable plots, and bottling cider. While I really enjoyed the time I spent with the animals, like the beautiful chicken you see me holding, it was working side-by-side with the people of Finnriver Farm that was most memorable. The passion, commitment, and good cheer of everybody who works there, along with a network of community support and spirit, instilled in me a sense of the uniqueness of Finnriver. I appreciated hearing stories about the farm’s past, being a part of its present, and am looking forward to a bright future for a very special place.

If you’d like to visit, I highly recommend lodging at the Huckleberry House, located right on Finnriver Farm. It’s a charming two-bedroom retreat where you can sip cider during the quiet evenings and enjoy farm-fresh eggs in the morning. Fuel up on any other kitchen supplies you need at the Chimacum Corner Farmstand. If you’d rather not cook, the welcoming Ajax Cafe on the waterfront in nearby Port Hadlock is a great spot for a meal.

To read more about Jameson’s month on the farm, visit: Jameson Fink – Wine Without Worry.

History of Quebec City

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Did you know?

• Québec City was founded in 1608. In 2008, it celebrated its 400th birthday—and she’s more beautiful than ever.

• Kébec is an Algonquin word meaning, “where the river narrows.”

• Québec City originated as a fur trading post.

• The United States of America tried unsuccessfully to capture Québec City in 1775.

• Poutine originated in Quebec in the late 1950s and is now a staple dish across Canada.