Up until three years ago, I still lived in the heart of Tel Aviv’s hedonistic area. I rented out a moldy bachelor pad and was content with life. The apartment building looked like an abandoned structure, peeling all over, which would scare even the most skilled cleaning professional. Not a single night went by without me having to yell at a drunk to get out of my parking spot. But the partying… ah, the partying, the dating, the living it up like there was no tomorrow. Of course every day was the ‘tomorrow.’ Eventually, life took me to the periphery of the city. My home today is like many other nice and clean Ramat Gan apartments. The (one) woman I am with, makes sure the place is spic and span, just the way I hate it. My neighbors, once pretty young college students, are now old Romanians, and the music, which used to be bass-filled, is now classical concertos. For three whole years, I have been out of the loop.
My woman took initiative and decided that we should peel off the signs of age (32 for those who care), the fatigue, and sluggishness by which we have been marked so mercilessly. So, she put on her sexiest outfit, and I put on my regular clothes. We drove out to the old Industrial Zone in Rishon LeZion, which is, so we heard, the hottest area for nightlife.
From the moment we parked, we were shocked by the endless choices laid before us. A wide mosaic of restaurants and caf?s covered the area. The time was already 10:30pm, but the street was packed with people, as though no but us had to go to work in the morning. We looked at each other, and she burst out laughing “life is out there! Come on, I’m starving, let’s find a bar!”
We discovered O’Connor in a dark corner – an Irish pub in every sense of the word. We walked into a spacious interior. Behind the barkeeps were giant shelves laden with all types of alcohol: dozens of faucets pouring draught beer, bottled beer, Irish whiskey, cocktails, liqueurs, and wines. As is befitting an Irish pub, whose main offering is beer, the menu boasts Irish, German, Australian, Spanish, Japanese, and even Thai beer – and this is only a partial list. Colorful arches adorn the walls and Irish lamps, flashing ultra-violet light the space. O’Connor has 2 levels: the lower level is a bar, intimate tables, and a massive knight’s table, made of solid wood. The upper level is a more secluded and quiet area, appropriate for hosting private events. Seated at the bar were a group of men, situated in the best possible position for scouting the incoming women. Eclectic music kept the people moving and shaking. Alcohol poured like water in to the glasses and young people in Irish garb hopped from table to table. O’Connor is definitely a lively and spirited place. The nice thing is that it does not cater to a specific age group: 20 year olds mix with those twice their age, and all have but one goal: end the day and kick start the weekend with a carefree mind. The atmosphere is happy, warm, relaxing fun, and not overtly that of a pick-up bar. This did not stop me from pulling my woman away from the hunters gathering in the dark corner and take her to the upper, calmer, level of the bar. “We can view the bar from above, up here,” I told her, knowing that she isn’t buying it. The upper balcony did give us a nice view of the place, but I really wanted to know when I was going to eat.
To get our appetites going, we kicked things off with some beers: a peach Kriek 3.3% for her and a Gordon Finest Gold 10% for me. After a few sips, we were ready to chow down. Eight tortilla triangles were laid before us, and we enjoyed every bite.
After a short break, I ordered chicken wings in chili sauce. She, who is usually dozing off on the couch at home about this time of night, decides to lose all inhibition. So, she gets another round of her excellent peach beer and a giant hamburger with steak-fried on a bed of lettuce and cherry tomatoes. The burger was thick and juicy