What was once one of Tel Aviv’s top streets, one of its cleanest and prettiest, now remains a commercial hub full of low level businesses selling cheap clothes and even cheaper appliances, amid disintegrating dirty sidewalks and Bauhaus buildings whose best years were long gone even before most of us were even born.
But Allenby does have its set of attractions. It’s a launching pad for marvelous destinations such as Shenkin, Bialik, Rothschild and its surrounding streets, the Big Synagogue, Yemenite Quarter, Nahalat Binyamin and Carmel Market. Furthermore, even though the Bauhaus structures are decomposing, they’re still beautiful and are worth a walking tour.
The Allenby shops are also worth a visit, not so much for the shopping opportunities as for their steadfastness in staying in business for several decades, consituting an actual monument for the Tel Aviv that once was. While most TA establishments change hands every few years and inject new blood into the neighborhood, this street has remained unchanged for as long as anyone can remember. It’s almost like walking into a time machine.
Allenby Street starts by sea on the esplanade, then goes east and turns south to run parallel to the coast until it changes its name to Ha’Aliya Street at the intersection with Yafo Street. It was first paved with concrete back in 1914 and was a symbol of modern cities and times. The problem is nobody bothered to maintain it, so it has become an emblem of the neglected Tel Aviv areas. Add to that the fact that Allenby is one of the city’s major transportation routes, with a never ending stream of buses driving back and forth, and that’s a recipe for a not-so-pleasant-street.
Allenby can be divided into two parts – north and south of King George. The northern part is lively also after dark, with dance bars frequented by youngsters and out-of-towners. They’re mostly tacky and strong on the heavy electronic music front. The southern part goes to sleep once the small business owners go home and it becomes a half desolated plain making it borderline unpleasant to walk around there, especially for the ladies.
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