Starlight Market at Tel Aviv Port

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The Starlight Market at the Tel Aviv Namal (Port) commenced August 11 and will take place every Tuesday and Thursday from 6:00PM until 2:00AM through October 1. Entrance is free and the market is wheelchair accessible. One can peruse numerous stands selling jewelry, artwork, books, children’s toys, clothing and miscellaneous paraphernalia. However, there is truly nothing unique about the wares this market has to offer. One of the few proprietors of an actual handicrafts booth lamented and I would have to agree “most of the items on sale were made in China”. The majority of the stands were selling generic goods such as imitation designer sunglasses; dollar store variety jewelry and inexpensive lycra/cotton blend clothing.

There were a few booths that were selling handmade goods, such as “Through Time”, a jewelry stand marketing beautiful beaded, ethnic jewelry. Other interesting merchandise included wind catchers, fisherman style clothing and my personal favorite; bathroom accessories featuring rubber animals to hold your toothbrush, toilet paper and soap. Other available items for sale included wooden puzzles, gold and silver jewelry, clothing, books, hair wraps, toys and miniature dream catchers.

There were two booths that were dedicated to charities, OrphFund and ALYN, a pleasant surprise amongst the sea of chatchkes. OrphFund is a charitable organization that uses donations to help poor children around the world. Proceeds are used to provide food, shelter, education, health care, professional training, gardens and farms. OrphFund’s booth at the Starlight Market was selling donated goods, mainly records, and collecting donations for poor children around the world. The funds collected from the fair will be used to build orphanages and schools in Africa. For more information, go to www.orphfund.org.

ALYN’s booth was collecting donations for its child rehabilitation programs. ALYN Pediatric and Adolescent Rehabilitation Center is a non-profit facility that specializes in rehabilitating infants, children and adolescents who suffer from a range of physical disabilities. Children from all over Israel and the world have been treated at ALYN regardless of religion or ethnicity. For more information, go to www.alyn.org.

The Starlight Market is truly a missed opportunity; the Tel Aviv Port is a perfect location for local merchants to market their wares and provide the eclectic crowd of foreigners and Israelis that frequent the Namal with a unique Israeli flavor. Instead, the market is reminiscent of a Florida flea market, minus the senior discount.

Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/neilsingapore/2907412877/