Image everything that make Jaffa and the White City culturally unique: incredible museums, wild and wonderful art galleries, bustling bars, and chef quality restaurants. Now imagine them mixed together in a cultural melting pot, all under the same roof. This was the dream of power couple Amir Erlich and Arianna Fornaciai when they stumbled across the Jaffa palace-like building that once belonged to Aaron Kandinof, the son of the minister of finance of Muzaffar Khan, ruler of Bukhara.
Set just a bit off of Tel Aviv's grid to the south, lies the antique area of Jaffa - a gem in all its historic and contemporary forms that harkens way, way back to the Second Temple Period of 530 BCE-70 CE. The ancient port city has been on the come up for years, and lately, with its vibrant flea market area (Shuk HaPishpeshim in Hebrew), art and design studios open by day and its rowdy bars, alleyways and top-quality restaurants filled to capacity by night, attracting a young and decorative crowd- Jaffa has found its rhythm in its own right. A stone's throw away from a quiet and pristine coastline, and a 5-minute walk to the American Colony, an up-and-coming residential area that holds true to its historic architecture, Jaffa is well-positioned for pleasure-seekers, history buffs, and art lovers. It's a gobsmacking juxtaposition of old school and new school; its timeworn foundation of Jerusalem cobblestone, its commanding clock tower - one of seven built during the Ottoman period, the cacophony of the muezzin's call to prayer, and the immersive aroma of Abulafia's freshly-baked Arabic pastries all mingle with the neighborhood's constant daily hustle.