Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Christmas is Coming

I am getting ready for my visit to the US and I've been Christmas shopping! There's no Christmas music playing here. There isn't a Santa at the mall. The weather was absolutely beautiful today - sunny and 70s as I ran all over Jerusalem. Not Christmas weather for me. Even though it doesn't feel like Christmas, I had a ton of fun today shopping for folks.

I don't want to give my surprises away but I'll share with you a little bit.

My first stop was at the "Dead Sea Gallery" at the end of Jaffa Road. It has the best prices on Ahava stuff in Jerusalem. The guy that works there is really friendly and gave me lots of samples. Then I headed to east Jerusalem to the Palestinian Pottery. I love this place! It's right across from the US Consulate in east Jerusalem. Click on the link for lots of pictures of their work and to read about their history. When I visited today I met Marie Balian. She was absolutely charming! Normally her son runs the shop, but he was in Amman for a few days. She was born in France and moved to Jerusalem after marrying. She's the main artist and has taught a group of very talented women how to paint highly decorative objects. Part of the pottery is a museum, another part is the gallery, and another the factory. Pieces came out of the kiln while I was there and I got to see the whole process! Marie shared with me about preparing her exhibits for the Smithsonian and how she learned this art. I can't wait to go back and visit with her again.

The following picture is from their web site. It'll give you an idea of the kinds of things I bought.

Then I went to the Old City to buy lots of little surprises. I finished up my morning having shawarma. Now, just to load my sleigh!


At 12/13/2005 10:33 PM, Blogger Savtadotty said...

When you come back, I'd love to visit the pottery with you.

At 12/13/2005 10:50 PM, Blogger John said...

Savtadotty - It is so much fun and Marie is a joy to talk to. She has lots of stories to share. I'll be happy to go with you.

At 12/14/2005 9:30 AM, Anonymous Shirat_HaSirena said...

What a fun entry! If you're really missing Santa a) I'm sure you'll see plenty of him in the US and b) you can always run up to Haifa and see him like I did.

Such a different culture in the different towns. I was quite surprised at all the "Christmas" that was happening in Haifa...it's the first I'd seen of it in Israel and this will be the third holiday season I'm here. Obviously not all in a row...but I've been here a lot in December.

Yay! I'm so excited for you to be going for a visit!

At 12/14/2005 3:20 PM, Blogger Sam said...

Glad you had fun Christmas shopping! I'm weird in that I love to shop, but Christmas shopping is not my thing. I do as much of it as possible online and then visit only one or two local stores.

Are ya excited?!?!

At 12/14/2005 8:28 PM, Blogger Adam said...

That is beautiful! I love handpainted pottery from the mediterranean regions. I think its so beautiful. The colors and patterns that they use are similar to the colors seen in Sicilian pottery.

At 12/14/2005 10:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the Shwarma link....yummmmm!


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