Death notices tacked to poles denounced the "sons of evil" who had sent a suicide bomber on a rush-hour bus in which 21 people died. A painting of Jerusalem's Western Wall was attached above missives taped up to replicate the wishes tucked into the temple wall in Jerusalem.
Wednesday's bomb sent a potent message to ordinary Israelis, who have been able to dismiss violence in Gaza, the West Bank and the Old City of Jerusalem. All are places where many Israelis can easily say, "I just won't go there anymore."
Not so Dizengoff. It is to Israelis what Times Square, Fifth Avenue and Lincoln Center collectively are to New Yorkers.
Centered on Dizengoff Circle, which is named after Tel Aviv's first mayor, it is a neighborhood of high culture and kitsch in a city where Israelis generally feel at ease.
It is home to the Israel Philharmonic, the national theater, and the country's largest shopping mall. Dizengoff Street is lined with trendy clothing boutiques, outdoor cafes and art galleries.
The menu at Ben and Jerry's has cookie-dough ice cream. Glib fortunetellers and quick-handed card hustlers ply their trade on street corners. At dozens of movie houses, American films such as The Lion King, Speed and The Mask are among the current features.
And so the people came yesterday, as they felt compelled to, from the port of Haifa to the north and the desert city of Beersheba to the south, to see and feel what they had watched on television last week.
They didn't come, for the most part, to demand vengeance or an end to the peace process. If anything, they were more interested in peace than ever.
But with this emphasis: The only way to live with Palestinians, many said, is to live without them.
Wearing Chanel T-shirts and vests fashionably held together with strategically placed safety pins, they stood before hundreds of candles in metal cups, like those used on the anniversary of a death.
Unlike in Jerusalem, where West Bank settlements are a short drive away and the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians is literally at home, no one carried visible guns or wore the yarmulkes of religious Jews.
"We should close the borders hermetically," said Pini Koriti, 47, a restaurant owner whose parents immigrated to Tel Aviv from Yemen.
"We should get out of the territories. Pull the settlers out. If the Palestinians want to come here, they should get visas. Until 1967, Israel was smaller, but it felt safer. Now we have to build a wall, like the Berlin Wall."
None of those interviewed said their minds had been changed by last week's violence; rather, it reinforced the skepticism and optimism, bravado and fear that come naturally to many Israelis.
"It's the ambition of the terrorists for us to stop living," said Limor Mayman, 23, a waitress at a cafe near the explosion site. She said she felt more vulnerable than she did during the 1991 gulf war, the last time Tel Aviv was a target of political vengeance as Saddam Hussein rained Scud missiles on the city and residents holed up in sealed rooms.
"Because of that," she added, pointing to the corner where the bus exploded, "we have to keep on doing things. I'm still working here. I'm still sitting in cafes. And our government is still talking with the Palestinians about peace. We won't change a thing. Otherwise, the extremists win."
Since Wednesday's bombing, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin has emphasized what he calls separation, ordering Israel proper closed indefinitely to Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza who study and work and go to hospitals in Israel.
Chagai Meron, a Knesset member from Rabin's Labor Party, said he would introduce legislation for walls to be built dividing the West Bank and Gaza Strip from Israel.
It is not a new idea, but one that reflects the 180-degree turn in Israeli politics since the right-wing Likud Party was in power. Under Likud's 15-year rule, Israel tried to integrate the territories by building Jewish settlements there, employing Palestinians at low-wage jobs most Israelis shunned, and increasing Palestinian reliance on Israel by denying permits to Palestinian entrepreneurs who wanted to expand.
The onset of the Palestinian intifadah in 1987 convinced many Israelis that the solution lay in separation, a mind-set that led the Rabin administration to make its historic peace deal with the PLO last year.
With the latest round of violence, separation sounds better than ever to many Israelis. And there is little sympathy for the economic hardship and frustration of Palestinians who have lent their support to Islamic fundamentalist fervor.
"We've always said we want to live together, but that doesn't mean really living next door to each other," said Eyal Caro, 23, a professional soccer player from Beersheba who stopped by Dizengoff while visiting relatives in Tel Aviv. "If they have to live in Gaza with no money or work, that's their problem. They'll have their life there, and we'll have our life here."
Still, not all the talk of peace in Dizengoff yesterday had such a bitter edge.
"I have a son who is 13, and when my husband was his age, his father said there would be peace by the time he came of age to go in the army," said Ora Friedman, 47, of Haifa. Now one daughter of the Friedmans has completed army service in southern Lebanon, and a second daughter is scheduled to begin. Their only son will be drafted in five years.
"All generations have said the same thing," continued Friedman. "Maybe now is the time. Peace takes risk. We have to pay the price for risk.
"For them," she added, nodding her head to the damaged tree that the bus had been thrust into, now adorned with newspaper photos of the 21 victims. ''Or for their grandchildren."