Cameri Theater, Damascus Gate, Semi-Pro.

Robert Stone shows the pull Jerusalem has on many different people in Damascus Gate.

We had a relaxed day here in Tel Aviv, shopping again at the Carmel Market, walking for hours to find the Cameri Theater that our dear friend, Holocaust survivor and writer Ava Kadishson Schieber helped found 60 years ago,  and visiting with her daughter Shira, son-in-law Rami, and their four children.

Aidan plugged away on his research paper comparing Upton Sinclair and Andrew Carnegie’s responses to industrialization while we were roaming the streets and, at night, had a unicycle lesson from Shira and Rami’s adopted son, Nimrod, our tour guide for Hebron and some of the West Bank settlements.

After the lesson, I continued reading Damascus Gate, Robert Stone’s panoptic look at Jerusalem’s inexorable pull on an enormously wide range of people.  The book is set in the early 90s, during the first intifada, and follows a wide range of characters who all in some way are seeking spiritual or political or moral direction in Jerusalem.  I’m not sure if I’m going to make it to the end, and it has been a lot of fun to read about places we have already been or plan to visit soon.

We also caught the end of Semi-Pro, the Will Ferrell flick about an ill-fated fictional team in the pre-merger ABA.  In The Book of Basketball, Bill Simmons includes some information about the league and some of its top players like Dan Issel and Artis Gilmore in his five-leveled pyramid of the 75 greatest players in basketball history.

Our time here is winding down, the inevitable return to the Chicago winter beckons, and I am feeling some sadness on both accounts.  Nevertheless, we will make sure to get as much as we can out of the next two days-I’m getting my unicycle lesson tomorrow night after we return from Jerusalem-and my strong sense is that we will return.

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