Shalom Life | January 23, 2015

New App Teaches You How to be a Hipster in Tel Aviv

DIY Tel Aviv offers cool event listings for English speaking residents, tourists, etc.

By: Daniel Koren

Published: January 14th, 2015 in Business » Israel

Photo: Hipster in Tel Aviv


While this may seem like a surprise to those who are uneducated about Israel, the city's cultural capital, Tel Aviv, is actually chock full of hipsters, whether they're vegans, indie music enthusiasts, artists, bakers, etc.

In fact, the city's Florentin neighborhood was actually voted the 2nd Most Hipster Neighborhood in the World according to Thrillist, after New York's Williamsburg of course.

But, as the Times of Israel points out, it's often hard for the city's thriving English-speaking crowd to find out about what cool and interesting events are going on - and when - without having an adequate knowledge of Hebrew, until now. All thanks to a brand new smartphone app: DIY Tel Aviv.

Concerning the former, DIY Tel Aviv offers English speakers a chance to stray away from the huge mainstream events like Gay Pride Parade or Laila Levan (White Night), instead providing an up close and personal look at the city's oft forgotten nooks and crevices, home to local bars, indie music venues, art halls, etc.

In an interview with the Times, the app's creator, Shimrit Elisar, explained her process in developing the app. “I choose things that catch my eye, basing it on my experience,” Elisar said. “These are not necessarily the big events.”

Of course. Just like in Toronto's Kensington Market, or Amsterdam-Noord in the Netherlands, there are many out there who aren't as interested in when Taylor Swift or Pharell are coming to town but, rather, the next time Bonobo is spinning live at an after hours club.

Such is the information DIY Tel Aviv provides.

Elisar, abiding the never-spoken hipster code, makes sure to stay clear of mainstream events, particularly those attended by big celebrities. She also avoids all the big clubs the city has to offer, which are often infested with tourists and Birthright Israel participants. Be sure to know that when following DIY Tel Aviv, chances are, you'll never run into a tourist, unless, of course it's a fellow app user.

Shimrit Elisar, the creator of the DIY Tel Aviv app (Courtesy Shimrit Elisar)

Shimrit Elisar, the creator of the DIY Tel Aviv app (Courtesy Shimrit Elisar/Times of Israel)

The former nightlife editor for Time Out Israel, Elisar spends her time in both Tel Aviv and London. She created the app in the hope that English speakers who live in the city, and even hip tourists visiting the city, have the chance to check out the more interesting events that are taking place in Tel Aviv.

“I try to think of the kinds of things I’d be looking for if I were in a different city,” Elisar explained.“It should be something the locals would want to attend. Not the surface culture, but events that you need to dig around for in order to find. Events like punk shows, underground cafes and art shows.”

DIY Tel Aviv is based off Elisar's blog by the same name, and available for download on Google Play. It should be hitting the iTunes store by the end of January.

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