No one need ever go naked in Tel Aviv! Bezalel Market situated off King George Street near the commotion of Shenkin Street, offers a unique buzz of it’s own. This market selling outerwear, underwear, swimwear, dresses, shirts, shoes, accessories, home/kitchen wear & toys, is the bargain basement of all souks in Tel Aviv. Surprisingly, the quality is not all bad since most of the products are ends of lines, rejects from branded names, leftovers from seasons long passed or perhaps a shipment or two from unknown sources. At prices starting from an incredible five shekels, it does raise the question of the substantial profit margins regular retail outlets draw in. Of course, there is a lot of garbage, gaudy colors, unwearable fabrics , horrible styles or stuff simply older than me (vintage?)
But, for those of you who have a little time to spare, lots of patience to rummage and a positive, determined attitude there is definitely a bargain to be had. In addition, there is the amusement value. How about reading the handwritten signs with bold statements such as the” latest fashions from Italy” or watching the woman haggling over one item priced at ten shekels pulled from a pile of clothes stacked as high as Mount Olympus. Obviously, this is not posh shopping but it is eye opening and sometimes worthwhile. Where else can one find new cotton/lycra t-shirts for same price as a cup of coffee or a boldly printed beach dress in 100% fine cotton for less than a sandwich (apologies for the food analogies )
Yesterday, I was shopping in the Carmel market for fresh vegetables and herbs. In bright sunlight but sweaty heat I decided to walk some distance towards home and civilized air conditioning. It was then trudging down King George Street, that I noticed the Bezalel market, a place that I have not visited since my children were babes in arms. Always ready for a challenge, I stepped inside the canopy shaded street into what in essence was a blast from the past. I left my sophisticated self behind, struggled with my veggie shopping whilst whizzing through merchandise that had seen better days and many hands! Digging dip but fortunately not in financial terms, I went on my cheapo shopping spree….
If you are touring the Carmel market or Nachlat Benjamin pop across the street to this bitty bazaar- even just to bring back a few memories!
King George St corner Allenby St.