Friday, February 4, 2011

Fire and Water

I like it as it is, with its flaws and despite the criticisms. But then, I don't see it often enough to form a solid opinion about it. Anyway , it's going to undergo a big change. First, there will be a public opinion survey regarding its fate; I won't be asked my opinion about the options (renovation or back to street level) as I'm not a resident of the city,

The elevated Dizengoff plaza( square) , has been a love-hate story for the people of Tel-Aviv city since 1978. Named after Zina Dizengoff, the wife of the first mayor , Meir Dizengoff - the square (inaugurated in 1938) is located in the very heart of this lively city.
In 1978, in order to solve traffic problems in the area, the circular pedestrian plaza ( a meeting point of six lateral streets), was raised to a higher level and connected by ramps to the sidewalks ; the traffic uses the lower level.

traffic under the plaza

People walk up and down the plaza , ride bicycles, or sit on the benches for a chat; children feed the pigeons, or play outdoor games. All enjoy watching the fire and water kinetic fountain sculpture erected in the middle of the plaza in 1980. The sculpture created by Yaakov Agam , a renowned artist, has become a landmark of the city attracting tourists as well as locals . It streams fire, water and music as it rotates (it's operated at certain hours) ; it contains all the colors of the rainbow moving and changing. It is a colourful and beautiful piece of art . If the square will be restored to street level, the fountain might be transferred to another location.

the kinetic fountain

boy feeding the pigeons

nice legs

I'm not sure the survey is a good idea when it comes to such an important matter as the fate of a square. I don't think the public has the neccessary knowledge and understanding to decide on this. I'm for improvement and renovation of the square, and perhaps the residents of the city should be asked to offer suggestions on how to beautify the place, clean it and make it more pleasant and attractive.


  1. That is one unique fountain, I can only imagine it in action. You always bring us the most interesting stories about the coolest things! Thank you sweet Duta!

    God bless and enjoy your weekend my friend! :o)

  2. It looks like it good be a very pretty area if it was cleaned up a little. The fountain is cool, very different. I love sitting and watching birds, very relaxing to me. Enjoyed this post as always! Thanks for sharing.
    until next time... nel

  3. I think it was good to give people an area to sit and relax away from the traffic.To make it better seems a good idea,but if the planers are thinking of taking it down,will a survey make any difference to the outcome.??
    We had a similar dilemma with a monument the council wanted to remove or renovate.The towns folk wanted it renovated but it was removed anyway.
    The survey was to placate the locals,to make them think they had a choice,which of course they did not and never did have.
    An interesting and thought provoking post.

  4. Nezzy,

    The fountain is indeed unique. I don't think there's a similar one in the world.
    God bless you too, Nezzy!


    Relaxation is easily achieved here by sitting on one of the blue coloured benches, watching the passersby, the kids, the pigeons, and especially the striking fountain. You would have enjoyed it, Nel.

  5. matron,

    You may be right. The municipality wants the locals to think their votes will decide the fate of the square, but in fact it will be the planers' decision.

  6. I think that the cars should be kept away and the place be kept tranquil. But I am in aggreement with your response to 'matron' - the planers will win the day after, or course, saying that they 'listened to the people'.

  7. This is a unique plaza, being elevated in this way, and the fountain fits because it, also, is unique.

    A poll allows people to be heard, or at least, to feel that they have been heard. This is important. The difficulty is in trying to PLEASE those who express an opinion, since many will differ in what they think. I doubt there is a good solution to this dilemma.

    The wire on the post is called barbed wire.It is often used in my country to enclose fields in which animals are pastured. The barbs are supposed to keep the animals from leaning over the fence to graze outside it, which breaks the fence down very quickly. Some animals don't seem bothered by the prickles, but most respect them.

  8. Everyone will have an opinion and, hopefully,the best ideas will prevail. I love the uniqueness of this, and hope that any changes will be minor, and will only enhance the square.

  9. Vera,

    I'm too for keeping the place as tranquil as possible, and improve maintenance. That would do.


    Time will tell whether there is or not an acceptable solution to the dilemma.
    Thanks a lot for your detailed explanation on 'barbed wire' - the theme of the picture in your last post.


    I also hope for minor changes only that will "enhance the square", as it is indeed a special place with a unique fountain sculpture.

  10. I didn't spend much time in Tel Aviv, but I got a drab impression of it, with cement and industry prevailing over parks and trees. Jerusalem, with its lovely stone facades and its wide walkways, is far more beautiful.

  11. I'm glad at least that the residents are being asked--and I hope they come up with something that respects both the space and the people who use it.

  12. TallTchr,

    I think you're right; Jerusalem is more beautiful. However, Tel Aviv is closer to where I live , so, naturally I take more interest in what's happening in this city.

    JoLynne Lyon,

    Yes, 'being asked" is important. My hope is similar to yours with respect to the residents' contribution to the planned change.

  13. A fire breathing fountain. Unique, indeed! Whatever happens there, I hope it's a real improvement for the city. Although, Sometimes it's best to leave well enough alone.

  14. It's not always a great idea to open projects like this up to public opinion, but as you say, maybe it would be better just to ask for improvement and beautification ideas. I bet that fountain is gorgeous at night!

  15. Jayne,

    No doubt, the fountain is a major attraction; whatever change is planned it shouldn't remove this outstanding piece of art.


    Indeed, the fountain is gorgeous at night. You've given me an idea - I might add a night picture to this post.

  16. That is a lovely fountain. I'd be surprised if they get a good enough majority to agree or disagree. Have a wonderful day.

  17. I like your kinetic fountain. But I'm not sure what is the best idea to solve this problem.
    I think suggestions are always welcome.

  18. Donnie,

    You've got a point here. Either option might not gain a majority of votes. And then, what..?


    According to the News, the survey is about to start soon. I'm really curious as to the outcome.
    Suggestions, in this case , are indeed very welcome.

  19. Duta,

    At least by seeking public input there is the appearance of caring what the public wants. Sadly, I must agree that in today's world our leaders tend to go ahead and do what they want in the end without listening too closely to public opinion. I'm impressed with the fountain and would love to see a photo of it at night. Love your informative posts.

  20. It looks like a fun place to be, Duta. So often, citizens want to see improvements in parks and infrastructure, but don't want to pay the extra taxes to fund the work. Solutions never seem to come easy.

    I'd love to see the fountain in action. It must be fascinating to watch!

  21. C Hummel Kornell a/k/a C Hummel Wilson,

    Sadly, there are no leaders in today's world, only petty politicians.

    I would very much like to get a photo of the fountain in action by night, but I don't know the hour-schedule of its operation, and as I don't live in this city, it could be a bit of a problem. Anyway there's one on the internet, if you're interested.

    Lynda Lehman,

    Yes, it's a fun place to be and it's fascinating to watch the fountain in action. The only thing that bothers me about the place is the blue colored benches. I don't like the shape and the way they are placed in the square.

  22. Duta, I'm watching with great concern the events in Egypt today. Praying for you, for Israel & for U.S. God speed, friend.

  23. Susannah,

    Thanks a lot for your concern and prayers. We don't know what's going to happen next. Anyway, according to the press, many protesters were holding slogans such as: No USA, No Israel.

    Tapping World Summit 2011,

    True. I think, though, maintenance efforts should be increased.

  24. "...the survey is about to start soon".
    OK! Let us know the result of the survey when it will be finished.

  25. robert,

    I sure will, although we shouldn't take the word 'soon' too literally. Anyway, I'll be following the news about it, as I'm curious about the whole project.

  26. It seems very unusual to sit in a place of peace upstairs from a busy road. The fountain seems like an amazing structure and it's sad to know that 1960's and 70's designs were a little flawed in their longevity. Lets hope the right decision is made by not just having a split vote.

  27. J on tour@jayzspaze,

    Yes, it is unusual and the fountain is amazing.
    I share your hope that the right decision be made.

  28. That would be awesome DUTA...I would love to see a picture of it at night!

  29. Alicia,

    I tried to get a picture at night, but the fountain was not activated on my visit there. I don't know the day and hour schedule of its performance. In the meantime, you could see a picture of it on the web, by googling pictures of 'Dizengoff fountain', or 'Agam fountain in Dizengoff Square'.