On our second day, we experienced both the old city and the new city of Jerusalem. When I say “we” I mean my friend Terri who is with me on this trip. This is her first time in Israel so she took a tour of the old city and I spent some time with my daughter doing some shopping in the Mea Shearim neighborhood. I’ll be sharing some of Terri’s photos with you in the next blog post but for how a little about the new city and Mea Shearim in particular. New city is relative since the “modern” city of Jerusalem probably began to grow at the end of the 19th century and once Israel was granted independence in 1948 it grew even more as Israel was deprived of access to the old city. After 1967 Israel captured the old city from Jordan and then of course additional territory that has made life complicated for all ever since.
Jerusalem is a modern Westernized city that still retains its early 20th century flavor and even earlier. This is one of those places where every step you take you are walking next to or stepping over history. There are always surprises. Almost all the buildings are built from a certain kind of stone called Jerusalem stone that glows pink at sunset. It’s pretty magical. The neighborhood you’ll see in the photos houses families that have lived there for centuries often in very small spaces with lots of children. Can you imagine living in a two bedroom apartment with 10-12 children? Somehow they manage.