In the past few weeks I've visited Neve Sha'anan a couple of times, with my sketchbooks, fountain pen and some good company. Few times before I came there to taste the "local cuisine", whether it was Eritrean, Chinese or Indian. But never before have I sketched there. The first sketching visit was with a good friend, also a sketcher. The second time I came was during the sketchcrawl with a much bigger group. In both occasion I felt an unease regarding my act: coming to a neglected part of town as a spectator, an outsider, in a sort of "expedition" to capture the life of the "other" residents of Tel Aviv. But both visits turned to be quite great: Bar hopping from one Romanian pub to the other, becoming ourselves an attraction of its own right, having crowds of locals towering above us, looking at our sketches and sharing their critics about our art.
Though the sketching experience turned out to be great, I can't escape the feeling that also in the future times I'll visit there it'll be in the shoes of a tourist, a visitor and a mere spectator, not as a resident of the same city.