To prepare for a night of club hopping in Tel Aviv–Yafo, take a nap and set your alarm for 11 p.m. Put on a little extra makeup and your most comfortable shiny sandals, and take yourself down to Sderot Rothschild—the city’s beautiful tree-lined central boulevard—to watch and take part in the promenade of people starting their evening.
The evening air is refreshingly cool after the heat of the day. A stream of pedestrians stroll beneath the night sky, the streetlights’ glow mottled by trees. Couples abound: a shy young boy and girl hold hands, blinking at a dazzling transvestite unicyclist coming their way. A woman in unthinkably high heels strides along with as much apparent ease as her partner in high-top sneakers. (Israel is famously casual: while some people dress to the nines, most are comfortable in shorts and flats.) A pair of grandparents proudly pushes a stroller down a path; perhaps the baby’s parents are having a night out and the older couple wants to enjoy the pleasantly cool evening air and the many gratis performances on the boulevard. A small crowd surrounds two street performers doing an acrobatic hybrid of the Wobble and the NaeNae, accompanied by the propulsive beat of a recorded drum. All of it helps put you in mood to explore the city’s many nightclubs.