Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Secret Garden

One of the best parts of being in a new city is tantalizing your senses with new stimulants. You see new sights, smell new scents, hear different sounds, taste new foods, and you feel a different type of air on your skin. It's a break from the monotony and comforts of back home, which don't get me wrong, are easy to miss. But there's something thrilling about waking up each day, knowing that there is an entirely new city to explore, full of unknown and novel discoveries. It keeps you on your feet. 

The other day, Rafi and I decided to take a stroll, two-blocks down, to Ben Yehuda Street during his break from classes. His university, Hadassah College, is fortunately very well located in the center of town, making it easy to take a hiatus from class in the bustling city center. After lunching and drinking up some warm cappuccinos, we started to head back to campus when I suggested we take a detour onto a new street. Rafi was not too keen on the change in routine, but he went ahead with it anyways. That's what you get when you agree to marry someone with gypsy feet! 

Upon turning a corner, I saw a sign that read: "Ticho House" with an arrow pointing straight ahead. Naturally curious, I insisted that we go take a look. Rafi grimaced, then complied with a "yes, dear" type of smile. We took a few steps forward and peered our heads and bodies around the bend to discover this beautiful garden:

Ticho House Gardens

For anyone who doesn't know, I am an arboretum lover; and flowers and gardens make me very happy! I love anything lush and green and floral (if you could not tell from my wedding locale, now you know). Needless to say, I was pleased to discover this beautiful little setting right in the middle of the city center. It really encapsulates the feeling and look of old Jerusalem. Apparently, the Ticho House used to belong to the Ticho family, who ran an eye clinic out of the house on this property. It is said that they also used to entertain frequently on the landscaped grounds and so there was always laughter, music and chitchat in the background. The last Ticho family member to live in the house bequeathed the property to the city of Jerusalem, and so, the house is now used as a museum and gallery (most of the artwork is that of Mrs. Ticho who was a Jerusalem sketch artist) while the grounds are used for entertaining, teas, as well as small events and receptions (especially during the summers).  It would make the perfect setting for a small and intimate wedding or perhaps a wedding or baby shower, if you ask me. Here are a few photos of the property:

A view of the front of the Ticho House

Lunching on the patio

Set up at night for a small event

Another view of the garden trail
That's me in the garden
I made Rafi pose with the wrought-iron gate
I am excited to see what other gems lurk behind undiscovered corners in Jerusalem and throughout Israel beyond! Happy Thanksgiving to all and wishing I was home feasting with family and friends for one of my favorite times of year.

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