Udi is a creative director, writer and true footballogist, through and through. Despite his distaste for crowded places — he always shows up to support his favorite team. Respect! His map for Tel Aviv will take you on a wild afternoon climbing all the stairs in old Jaffa and end with a relaxing respite on his favorite bench on Ben Zion Blvd, watching bypassers and neighbors on their porches, smoking their problems away.
What are you working on ?
It’s been great for me lately, honestly: four short tales and anecdotes of mine got published in a new book named “What About The Youth Team?” The book engages with football culture, history and love. Another great project I’m working on these days is a huge campaign for the refugees in Syria and Europe, by one of the biggest and most well-known brands in the world. Should be massive.
What Drives you mad these days?
Mosquitoes. Oh, and bad content on TV. That’s why I cancelled my cable. All the rubbish there is just nonsense.
What makes you happy ?
Blue skies. It sound basic but It’s like that. I think I’m a bit out of the ordinary: when I go to sleep I prefer to open the windows so I wake up in the morning with sunlight and just see the clear skies. I’ve also been sleeping with quiet music for years now so the combination of these two really makes me happy.
When was the last time you cried ?
May 15, 2010. We were in Jerusalem for the final fixture of the season between Beitar Jerusalem and my beloved team, Hapoel Tel Aviv. At the 94th minute we managed to score the cracker and win the league and the Israeli Cup. It was an emotional moment, we were just going mental there. Two years ago I didn’t cry, but I felt like I’m going to, when I heard for the first time the original song “Monica” by The People’s People. It was sampled by DJ Shadow on “What Does Your Soul Look Like” – I had sex for the first time listening to this one – and I’ve never heard the original track before. Everything there is damn perfect; very rough, yet very gentle. Definitely a masterpiece.
What's your Latest Musical Obsession?
I’m a real music addict so it would be a lot of bands, songs and genres. The notable ones are Bob Dylan’s “Blood on the Tracks” album, Alex Turner’s “Submarine” soundtrack and the “6 Feet Beneath the Moon” album by King Krule. Massive tunes by the last one I mentioned.
What was the last movie you went to?
The Guardians of the Galaxy. We were a bunch of friends there, at the cinematheque in Tel Aviv, and we laughed loudly at every “I am Groot!” line. It was a good time, even though I prefer documentary.
When it's time for a new wardrobe, Where do you go?
I am a big hater of outside shopping, I must say. I buy all my stuff online, mostly at ASOS. Sometimes, when I’m in a relationship with a girl, I go buy things at Dizengoff Centre, but It’s very rare. I’m not a big fan of crowded places.
What's your Go-to Cafe in Tel Aviv?
I just moved in to a new apartment near King George street and discovered Bacho Café for the first time. It was early in the morning, I felt a need for a strong black coffee, so I came down to this small café and the song that was playing there at the exact time was “Sweet Water” by Meir Ariel, one of the biggest Israeli songwriters and definitely my personal favorite. It was love at first sight for me. They have a great breakfast deal and soft bread. So soft.
Where's your favourite street or neighbourhood to wander in tel aviv?
The old port of Jaffa. Inside the upper neighborhood there is a great history and architecture. Every stairway could lead you to another part of this great ancient urban area. there is some jewelry shops and galleries spread around if you’re interested, and even some good restaurants. The view is nice as well: boats floating peacefully over the water, the Mediterranean wide-open in front of you and the dominant smell of fish… it is almost impossible to leave.
What do you love to do in the city but never actually do ?
A walk in the park. The way I see it, Hayarkon park is a true diamond, but it’s in the “far” North so I’ve had very few chances to visit there. I mean, there is no such thing as “far” in Tel Aviv, but for most of us Tel Avivians, your own square mile is called home and the rest is the rest. I need to visit there more often, maybe even transport my daily jogging from the beach to there.
Who's your hero and where would you take them out to eat or drink in tel aviv?
I’m really inspired by two: Serge Gainsbourg & Arik Einstein. They’ve both changed the way we interact with music and shaped the kind of music we hear today. The most important thing for me in an artist is something that they both had: a concept. If Serge were in town I would definitely take him to Par Derriere so he can show me his magic tricks on women. The place is a quiet French-oriented bar located on King George street and hidden in a small back yard. They have good wine from all over the world. Just pick one… wine. And a girl.
What would make a perfect day in the sun for you?
“Every party is a bachelor party – if you are a bachelor”, the most interesting man in the world once said. So, to paraphrase, every day is a perfect day if you are a Tel Avivian. I was born and raised in a small town in the suburbs of Tel Aviv, and my relocation to the city was a complete game changer. Nothing like it.
It's raining for days and you're sick of staying at home-where would you go?
Raining outside for days in Tel Aviv? Never. But if something weird like that happens, you’ll find me at the Tangier. It’s a bar on Yehuda Halevi with good vibes and nice people. The atmosphere is great and the name Tangier always reminds me of a hot sunny place.
What's a place in tel aviv you feel like only you know about?
Under the bridge of Ayalon highway, in Bavli neighborhood, there is a piece of green grass to sit on and watch the stream of the Yarkon river. My first girlfriend introduced me to this place and since then it’s been our secret place.
If tomorrow was your last day in tel aviv before you left for good, how would you spend it?
Sitting on a bench on Ben Zion blvd, for sure. People underestimate the power of observing; they find it boring. It’s not. It’s an inspiring process and It’s very relaxing. Tel Aviv has a unique superpower: its people and its vibes. The energy here is high, you know. Just watching dogs pass by and people on porches smoking away their problems, feeling the wind blowing, smelling the sea – this is the meaning of Tel Aviv as I see it.
If you were given a choice, mayor of which neighbourhood would you be?
I don’t have time for politics. People complain all the time about everything. I would stay a resident.
What's the place in tel aviv you'll never be caught dead in ?
You’ll never ever ever ever see me in gate 11 in Bloomfield. There are some red lines you just don’t cross. Being there means let go of my principals and views.
What do you love doing the most that is not work, relationship or family related?
That’s easy: collecting and listening to records. I used to be a DJ and from the age of 12 I’ve been collecting music – tape-cassettes, vinyls etc. – and even today I love going to some record stores, such as Auerbach Record Saloon and B-Side Stereo/Coffee/Records on Nahalat Binyamin street, to find those hidden gems. I also love the act of sleeping. Really. the truth is I’ve never woken up naturally, but with guilt.
When you feel like going on a night out, what's the first place you usually consider going to?
For the music It’s RADIO E.P.G.B. They know what music should sound like. The girls there are the coolest in town. There’s nothing like a girl who appreciates good tunes.
You've just got the best news ever, where would you go to celebrate and with whom?
On my balcony with my mates. The thing with being a Tel Avivian is that you’ve got to have a balcony. Everybody is sitting on their balcony, smoking and talking and basically porching. It’s a brand new Tel Avivian verb I came up with just now.