Sunday, December 20

Phoenix Torcina

About 2 weeks ago "Torcina" was more or less demolished on court orders.Usually demolitions are carried out by police protected bulldozers. The bill for which is later presented to the unhappy previous owner of the building/current owner of the rubble pile.
Mr. Torcina decided he would do his own demolition, in order to save paying the municipal bulldozing bill and salvage some of the building materials for recycling. And "recycling" he did.
On Kedem street, opposite the Hasan Arafe School, "Torcina" had become an institution.
Water pipes, coffee, tea with nana (mint) in summer and maramiye (sorry, no idea what it is called in English) in winter, tales and sheshbesh, it had become the all male sanctum for Jaffa's intellectual crowd.
I didn't write about the demolition, because it was obvious. Torcina is not something to be destroyed. The flimsy glass and wood building was never much to look at. The dense smoke probably supported it from collapsing to begin with. As did the tall tales told by some of its more notorious famous clients.
Not a location for the faint nor the faint of heart. Books and stories were written in and about the place.
I mostly passed by saying hi to this one and waving to the other. Not a place for women. Why? No idea, it simply wasn't and isn't. But i pass by almost every day.
Usually demolitions in Jaffa are quite final. Not Torcina: The smoke goes on, the smell of sweet strong coffee and the stories told by this client or that one, Torcina is back again. Business as usual.

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