Consumer culture

Orange You Glad I Didn’t Say Pelephone?

April 3, 2012

Last week I wrote about my new iPhone 4S on the Israelity blog. I took a rather crafty approach in obtaining the phone. The local cell phone operators – Orange, Pelephone and Cellcom being the largest – are more than happy to give you a phone for “free” along with a plan with a minimum price of […]

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Sunk Costs on the Road to Tel Aviv

November 3, 2011

The evening was intended to be a gala celebration of the partnership between Tel Aviv and Los Angeles. 400 Angelenos, in Israel on a Federation mission, along with another several hundred local Anglos of Angeleno-descent, filled the Smolarz Hall on the Tel Aviv University campus. There was a program planned with glamorous entertainment: opera, performance […]

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Modern Minimalist Train Brings Steve Reich’s Music to Jerusalem

July 11, 2011

Steve Reich’s Different Trains rumbled into town this past week and the results were stunning – one of the must-see concerts of an already overflowing Jerusalem summer. Reich is the godfather of the modern minimalist music scene, patron saint to more art/pop-oriented artists like Phillip Glass and Brian Eno. His compositions are highly repetitive: the […]

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Hairdresser Offers Unkind Cut

January 6, 2011

I’ve written before about how our family has become addicted to GroopBuy, the Jerusalem-based knock-off of the uber-popular Groupon in the U.S. (which just raised a ton of money this week). The GroopBuy service offers a single “deal a day” with a big discount – say, a coupon for a NIS 120 meal at a […]

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Life as a Board Game

April 8, 2010

Our life has become like a board game. Specifically, one that I created 38 years ago. When I was in sixth grade in 1972, my friend David Saunders and I decided to create a Monopoly-like game with a dice, play money, and various cards which players would pick from a pile and then act on. […]

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Life Without Chocolate

March 16, 2010

Have you ever tried to go off chocolate? I can tell you from first hand experience, it’s no mean feat. My banning of chocolate has to do with a book I’m reading called Insomniac by Gayle Green. The author, like me, suffers from chronic insomnia and, as with anyone who is sleep starved, she has […]

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Meditations on Being Alone

February 16, 2010

My wife left me this week. Don’t worry – it’s nothing serious. Jody is participating in a week long meditation retreat at Kibbutz Hanaton in the Galilee. That means I’m home alone with the kids (not a problem) but also alone in the kitchen (bigger problem). I have never been much of a whiz as […]

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Fruity Beer in Petach Tikva

December 30, 2009

How did a non-beer drinker wind up in a micro-brewery this past Saturday night? That’s a question I was asking myself as my wife and I joined our friends Debbie and Eliot at Jem’s, a hot new gourmet beer factory in Petach Tikva. Jem’s was established by two immigrants from the U.S. – Daniel Alon, […]

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The Paradox of Choice: Consumer Lessons for the Holiday Season

December 22, 2006

In his fascinating and compelling book “The Paradox of Choice,” Barry Schwartz describes the process of buying a pair of jeans. At his local Gap, he tells a saleswoman that his size is 32 waist, 28 length. “Do you want them slim fit, easy fit, relaxed fit, baggy or extra baggy,” the saleswoman replies, then […]

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