There are many ways to celebrate the start of February, not the least of which is accomplished with some downloaded flicks and 2014’s new TV shows or a good book (I highly recommend Donna Tartt’s “The Goldfinch,” a 784-page literary coup that I’m finding hard to put down) and a plate of chocolate chip cookies.
But there are reasons to venture outside, not the least of which is the very un-winterlike weather, which encourages any excuse to get outside and soak up the sun. (Yes, we need rain, but no harm in getting some Vitamin D, right?)
This week, five things to do, see, possibly buy and experience for the sake of February.
1) It’d be a shame to let these fabulous winter-end sales pass without at least a cursory glance. And it’s clearly necessary to take advantage of the end-of-season prices when thinking about what to wear next winter. One easy way to do that is by heading to the Zugot Yarid, the annual shoe fair being held this weekend at Tel Aviv’s refurbished train station complex. With a 10-shekel entry fee, you can make your way among more than 25 shoe designers (some for men as well), and accessory makers, from Thursday, January 30 — Saturday, February 1.
If you can’t make it to Tel Aviv in time, stop by your favorite shoe stores, all of which are offering significant sales right now. And if you’ve been looking for a boot that can be zipped up over thicker calves, Adi Kilav has a great pair in black or aubergine, with clever side buckles that can be adjusted to fit any leg.
2) If it’s February, it’s time for the Winter Noise Festival (Sheon Choref), Jerusalem’s annual series of weekly wintertime cultural events, taking place every Monday evening. Organized by the municipality’s Young City department, the events will take place in a different area of the city each week — the streets of Bezalel and Schatz during the first week, the stretch of Hillel Street the second week, over on Aza Road in Rehavia for the third week, and along the main street of Ein Kerem for the fourth and final week.
Each week will offer a variety of events, from chef demonstrations at local restaurants and dancers demonstrating techniques in local stores to learning how to write love letters in a local book store and DJs spinning tunes on the street. Entrance is free, just download the application or check the Facebook page for updates and schedules.
3) Looking for something to celebrate? Join the hordes who revel in International Ice Cream for Breakfast Day, usually celebrated the first weekend of February. It was started in the 1960s by a mother of two young children in Rochester, New York, who was looking to divert her kids’ attention from the dreary winter weather, and it worked. With celebrations now in Shanghai, Berlin, Jerusalem and New York, it’s anything goes for the ice creams served, as well as the toppings. Her kids and grandchildren put together this sweet little website about the day, and made sure to mention that it can be celebrated this weekend, or any day that works. The point is to eat ice cream, and for breakfast.
4) There’s a good selection of theater in this part of the world, and a nice chunk of it is in English, thanks to the active community theaters situated throughout the country. This month brings a fresh slew of productions, some only in Jerusalem, the Anglo capital of the country, and others that will be making their way from one English-speaking zone to the next.
Light Opera of the Negev’s “Man of La Mancha” which will be staged around the country throughout February and March, another one of their well-rehearsed productions by this veteran English language theater group that’s in its 33rd year. Check their website for tickets and dates. For something a little lighter, try Israel Musicals’ “Seussical,” the musical based on Dr. Seuss’s “Horton Hears a Who” and directed by Yisrael Lutnick. This production opens next week in Modi’in and will be running through March. More information on the Israel Musicals website. And in Jerusalem, the AACI/J-Town Playhouse theater project will present “Division Avenue” at the end of the month, about Brooklyn Hasidim as viewed by a Catholic Texan. Ticket information and dates available on the AACI website.
5) Demand was so high for tickets to see the beloved Deep Purple rockers that they added a second date to their vist, February 23, also at Tel Aviv’s Nokia Arena. But if you’re not going to make it to the February 22 or 23 concerts, tune in to Army Radio on Thursday, January 29, between 8 pm and 10 pm, for a two-hour Deep Purple special that will include an interview with Roger Glover, the band’s bassist. Next week, 88 FM will be hosting its own two-hour special on Friday, February 7, 3 pm – 5 pm, including an interview with Deep Purple lead singer Ian Gillan.