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Gay Guide Tel Aviv
With its fine restaurants, stock and diamond exchanges, shopping opportunities, beach, clubs, universities, and museums, Tel Aviv is not only the financial capital of Israel, but also its cultural hub. As the international community is waiting for the result of final diplomatic status talks vis-à-vis Jerusalem, most countries have located their embassies in Tel Aviv. With a population of just under 400,000, the greater metropolitan area boasts over 1.5 million inhabitants, and on weekends, Tel Aviv is the night life centre for all of Israel. As an immigrant society, its creative expression has absorbed numerous cultural and social influences, as the traditions of each group mix with those of other groups, confront Israel's recent history and life in the context of the middle east, and blend together to create a new culture unique to Israel in general and Tel Aviv in particular. Unlike the spiritual, ancient, holy city of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv (founded in 1909) is a modern city. Though much of the city's buildings are built in the plain cement style of the 1950's and 1960's, many buildings from the 1930s have recently been renovated to their original splendour. With the unique abundance of "Bauhaus" (International Style) buildings, in 2003 UNESCO recognized the "White City" of Tel Aviv as a World Heritage Site. During the month of June, Tel Aviv hosts numerous gay pride activities, many of them funded by the local municipality. As the GLBT cultural centre of the country, the ever-expanding annual pride parade attracts an audience of many thousands, lots of them non-gay - a sign of the growing tolerance towards gays in Tel Aviv. The gay scene spreads out from the bars and pubs of the Nahalat Binyamin district to the large dance clubs at the old Tel Aviv port. The highlights are parties that take place once a week at various locations (get the latest information in the bars, as it changes constantly).