Mel Gibson’s Photographer’s Driver

He came out of nowhere. It was a moment of weakness. Last Wednesday morning we had, once again, been out by 6:30 a.m. so that we could take advantage of the early light and avoid the Jerusalem heat for our video filming. To coax Lee Ann to keep trudging up the city’s steep inclines, I tantalized her with the bait of a lime-mint gelato followed by a nap. And then the switch.

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Never Turn Your Back On A Nun

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre ought to be the most sacred space on the planet.  It houses both the hillock where Christ’s cross was planted as well as the garden graveyard of our Lord.  All under one roof.  And don’t forget that more than a handful of the starring Christian denominations claim holy real estate there–from the Ethiopians to the Franciscans.  Think of it as the spiritual mall that time forgot.

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“Toto, We’re not in Kansas”

I couldn’t believe my eyes.  For that matter, I didn’t think I could trust them.  We’d been traveling for the last 26 hours and had ambled down to Jaffa Street in Jerusalem to find some solid food to make up for the airplane food, loss of all four pieces of our luggage, loss of my Kindle and my wife’s fractured toe.  I just wanted a greasy shwarma stuffed full of colorful varieties of salads and then to drown my sorrows with an ice-cold bottle of grape-flavored mineral water.   And it worked.  Maybe life wasn’t so bad after all.  It was a little before 9:00 p.m. and we still had a few minutes to shop for replacement shirts and underwear before the shops closed.  And that’s when I discovered for certain that Jerusalem is changing.

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Trees – No Trees – Hunting Park

Hunting Park Ave even in its best days never hosted a Street of Dreams tour.  In 1914 when the row houses were first built, new home owners were named Mario and Maria.  On early Fall evenings, the fragrances of simmering  spaghetti  sauce with meatballs coated the air like a culinary perfume.  Then things changed.  Old neighbors moved away.  People from other parts of the world moved in.  And Hunting Park became a residential Ellis Island that families passed through on their way to someplace else.     

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