How did these office buildings in Jerusalem get cursed? and tips on rockin’ your corp look!

Today we’ll be exploring the dark secrets behind two somber commercial buildings that ominously protrude from the quaint neighborhoods surrounding them. Located on Jaffa road, the places themselves are not particularly interesting sights worth spending your time on; however, while visiting the sites in their vicinity or while riding the light rail, you can’t miss them, towering over the ornate limestone buildings and courtyards common to Jerusalem.

Both of these buildings were developed with big plans and high hopes for a better future. Still, through a strange twist of fate, they both turned into dismal monuments of the abyss, half-empty and neglected, ghostly semblances of their intended glory, amidst the bustling Mediterranean capital.
The reason for their failure and bad luck might be sought in bad architectural planning, one that doesn’t go well with the vibe of the city, poor management, and perhaps even some dark secrets entombed beneath, a curse or some unrest below their foundations hold these buildings, prisoners, to their unfortunate doom, Mu-Ha-Ha!

Since we are already on the topic of cursed office buildings, there is another even more significant curse lingering over the topic: dress code.
So stay close, and I’ll try to lift this dreaded curse from upon us.

Eini Building or as it’s commonly known, The Cursed Building


We have always been told that opposites attract; however, this is not the case with architecture in Jerusalem. Walking around the bustling Machane Yehuda market or the quaint neighborhood of Nachlaot, filled with hidden courtyards, narrow lanes, and stone buildings, adorned with a variety of interesting plants and off-beat trinkets, you can’t miss the foreign polished stone giants surrounded by the picturesque late 19th-century architecture. Structures such as the Eini Building, Clal Center, Shukmall, City Tower, and many more.
While we might know the reason behind the first two buildings’ bad luck, the rest are still to unfold.

Let us begin by telling the tale of the Eini Building on Agrippas street, across from the entrance to the Mahane Yehuda Market, a place you definitely must visit while traveling in the city.
The legend tells of a Rabbi, the head of one of the Yeshivas in the area, “Nahar Shalom,” whose name was Mordechai Sharabi. On a bright and sunny morning, the Rabbi discovered that a new building had been erected alongside his Yeshiva, blocking the morning light from him, thus preventing him from reciting his morning prayers. The Rabbi approached the contractor, Moshe Eini, and asked him to stop his architectural endeavor. But the director had no mind for such a request and promptly rejected it. Perhaps he wouldn’t have been so bold if he knew that this venture would bring a curse upon his enterprise.

Ever since the opening of the building, businesses and residents weren’t eager to move in. Those businesses that did open went bankrupt soon after or were forced to close down. The ghostly offices soon turned into apartments, and shady tenants moved into what was meant to be a thriving office building. Some claim that Rabbi Sharabi, having been scorned by Mr. Eini, cursed the building, believing that the legend came true.
When asked about the curse, the Rabbi denied it, saying it was nonsense, and the contractor claimed a popular journalist invented it. With only a few businesses thriving in this place, we might never know the real reason behind the buildings’ bad luck.

So is the building cursed? We might never know. However, it sure attracts curses, as it seems from our attempt at a photo shoot at this place. As mentioned in my previous post, Friday afternoon is a great time to walk around the city center. Public transportation shuts down, most businesses close, and as the city inhabitants go home for Shabbat, the city essentially becomes a ghost town. Therefore, Friday afternoon is the best time for a photoshoot. We planned to shoot at the Clal Center, and from there, head to the Eini building and, once finished, have a pleasant dinner at a burger place in town.
But the cursed winds of this ghostly town apparently had other plans in mind…
By the time we got to the Eini building, our oldest boy was already having a tantrum about being hungry (of course, the entire kitchen we had brought with us, except the sink, wasn’t good enough for him). As we arrived at the place, we found out that our camera’s battery had died, and so did all the spare batteries we charged before, leaving us with only a few shots left.
But wait for it…
As I was posing next to the cursed building, some shady creep, covered in blood and bruises, made his way toward me while mumbling unclear, garbled sounds, immediately alerting Sarel, who told him to leave us alone and go his way and seek help. He looked beaten and under the influence of drugs. Sarel advised him to go to the nearest hospital, but the dude kept mumbling and coming closer to our kids. Alerted, we decided to skip the shoot and leave, but the vagabond kept coming after us blabbing jibberish and at some point began yelling curses at Sarel and the kids. My boys got freaked out and started crying. While I was calming them down, Sarel called an ambulance for the poor wretch.
On a brighter note, after my boys calmed drown from the whole fiasco, they totally forgot about being hungry, and we headed to a burger place to make sure we got a hefty dose of some good junk food.

Power Coffeeworks

It might seem that some of the businesses in the Eini building, however, are actually performing quite well against the odds, but could there be a hidden reason behind their success?
One shop that has been thriving in this cursed place is Power Coffeeworks. Established four years ago, this business has a strong community of coffee drinkers despite the many lockdowns we had to endure.
The place offers a wide variety of coffee from around the globe, ranging from dark, bitter flavors to slightly sour and lighter fruity flavors. Besides the great coffee you can enjoy here, the place is designed with a steampunk, pirate ship vibe. Upon entering, as you look up, you can see a collection of vintage copper and brass lanterns hanging from the ceiling. Glancing downwards, you will notice jute bags filled with coffee appearing to have been smuggled from a Spaniards merchant ship and a large coffee roasting apparatus, where the artisans prepare an assortment of aromatic coffee blends.

During my visit to this curious little coffee house, I asked the patron about the curse placed upon the building. The charming young barista told me that before opening the shop, the proprietor, knowing that a curse had been placed upon the building, sought the Rabbi’s son and beseeched him to bless the endeavor, thus protecting the business from the dreaded fate of the former residents.

🏴‍☠️ So, if yer mateys n’ yerself happen upon this fancy nook, treat ’em to a puissant tankard of stewed beans, while contrivin’ yer next excursion of mayem and mischief to plunder and pillage. 🏴‍☠️

In English, if you and your friends are nearby and wish to refresh yourselves with some good quality coffee while planning your next excursion in the holy city, this is definitely the place for you.
And don’t worry, the coffee ain’t cursed, or at least that’s what they say 😛
Important note: The place is Kosher, so it’s closed on a Friday afternoon and Shabbat. Hence I would recommend checking their schedule in advance if you plan to visit there on a Friday.

Bad luck or something deeper down beneath – The Clal Center


Continuing east of the Eini Building, toward Jaffa Road, we will inevitably come across another large grey stone giant, located across from Davidka Square, named after the Israeli mortar monument displayed here, where the main building of the Alliance school, the first arts and crafts school that served the diverse population of Jerusalem between 1882 and the 1940s, once stood. Here, in 1972, the construction of the first indoor shopping center in Israel began The Clal Center.  As a result of obscure and uncertain circumstances, this site, meant to serve as a center for businesses filled with bustling shops and busy office spaces, quickly fell to neglect, as no one wanted to buy into the new-fangled shopping center. Many days and nights have passed, and still many storefronts and offices lay derelict, dragging the monstrous hunk of cement and stone to its’ doom, leaving it a ghostly shell of its intended design.

The Gates of the Alliance School

A peculiar urban legend steeped in mischief and crime might hold the foundation for the building’s literally ghostly nature. One of the cities most notoriously ferocious gangs, called the Katamon gang, named after one of Jerusalems’ more disreputable neighborhoods, apparently are the culprits for the centers’ doom. It all began in the early days of construction when the foundations were laid, and the cement was still wet. A band of cutthroat thugs needed to make someone disappear and fast. Lo and behold, they found the perfect spot for their devious scheme, the Clal centers’ foundations. As you might know, a common method employed by the mob for carrying out such tasks was to bury the victim in cement, which is just what they did. And that is how the poor soul acquired his final residence, beneath the floor of the building, forgotten, never to be found. According to the local myth, the skeletal remains beneath its concrete floors provide the reason for the building’s bad luck.
Walking inside, you can’t miss its dreary gloom emphasized by an architectural echo, the tangled labyrinth of neglected stores, shady sex shops which require a treasure map to find them and topped off by the gates of hell themselves, the hub of dreadfulness, the execution offices (debt collection, not head-chopping).

Accessories that will make your corp look pop!

You can’t talk about office space without mentioning the most important issue. How do we dress formally and classy to work yet bring our own style to the table, especially if what we like ain’t mainstream?
Luckily, it has become more common and acceptable nowadays to be more creative with what you wear to work. Topped with alternative and underground designs adopted by mainstream brands and a wide variety of goth and alt shops, it has become easier for dark fashion addicts to find alternative yet every day “acceptable” clothing. Although many places will still require you to have the business professional and business casual looks, who says you couldn’t tweak them a bit with some of you’re more edgy items.

Photography by Sarel Rich, editing done by Anna Rankmore

A little disclaimer about this: I live in Israel, a country where people are pretty lenient regarding dress codes, so here I share with you my own experience, and it may be slightly different where you live, depending on what’s adequate in your country. However, I hope you can take some of these tips and adjust them to the dress practices you have in your workplace.
My solution has always been styling regular classy staples with some edgy accessories, and since black is considered the most formal color, that was already a win-win for me 😛

Belts, waistbelts, and harnesses are my no.1 choice since they can immediately transform a boring look into something unique. Emphasizing your best traits and curves while giving your look that special touch, you can style them with everyday casual attire for a more subtle look and at the same time add them to some of your more glamorous garbs for a kick-ass look. Try to find the delicate ones that are not too flashy yet unique. Even a simple black belt with an interesting buckle or pattern can do the job.

Here I styled my look with a thrifted top by Mango and trousers by Zara. Choosing a basic design and the fine satin fabric makes it look elegant and formal, but by tweaking it with lacquered boots and a waistbelt or harness, it turns into a unique corp goth look. I’m wearing this beautiful waistbelt by Restyle in the upper picture, but if it is too much for your workplace, consider something simpler like this delicate harness I’m wearing below paired with a vintage bag from the ’60s.

Your bag is another item that doesn’t have to be boring. Even a glamourous one, like this one with the pentagrams, chains, and spikes I’m wearing here by Restyle, won’t bother or distract from your formal look, especially since it’s mainly used while going from one place to another and placed next to your desk while at work. As with the belts and harnesses above, your bag is something you can style with many other outfits as well, so get the one you have the hots for.

Jewelry and hair accessories are great for showing your unique style. Use them in moderation and avoid large and flashy pieces, especially on your neck and ears. I usually go for more delicate and smaller designs so that they won’t catch the eye too much, something I try to avoid.
With make-up, consider the basics. A good skin routine to keep your face at its’ best and some basic foundation if needed, thin eyeliner and mascara, and some basic lipstick will do the job, plus save you some time in the morning when getting ready.

Haircolor and haircut. You probably ask yourself, can I work in an office having blue hair and an undercut? Well, it all depends on the office, where you live and many other factors. In Israel, it never bothered me to find good jobs, and places that had issues with the way I look were never those I wanted to work at in the first place. However, when going for interviews or even work, I would usually style my hair in a way that hides the undercut and try to go for a more subtle, simple, and refined look. In my experience, if you look organized and behave professionally, your fashion style and look won’t bother you in finding your next job. Then again, as mentioned before,  Israel is pretty lenient with dress codes, so it might be different in other countries, something to consider as well.

I hope you enjoyed this post and found the tips helpful. Let me know in the comments below what your favorite accessories are that upgrade your everyday look.

Disclaimer:
Writing this post wasn’t sponsored nor am I affiliated with any of the businesses mentioned above, these are just things I love and recommend based on my own experience and taste.

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