Follow by Email

Thursday, September 29, 2016

FENER OR BALAT?

BOTH ARE UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITES

As old as Istanbul itself, these ancient neighborhoods that huge the Golden Horn are funky, historic, human scaled and in danger of gentrification.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

TEA AND TRINKETS FOR SALE

BEŞİKTAŞ ISTANBUL TURKEY

Everything on this cart for 3 TL (about $1 USD). Çay shared with series browsers only

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

THE JOYS OF WALKING THE BACK STREETS IN ISTANBUL

ABANDONED PUBLIC PHONE IN ANCIENT FENER

Elegant, but broken. Listing to the left, yet perfectly photogenic. This old, beaten Turk Tele Kom station looks like an objet d'art posed against an ancient wall on a winding back street not that far from the shores of the Golden Horn. Think about the joys of life when we get out of our cars and wander the back streets.

Monday, September 26, 2016

KUZGUNCUK WEDDING CRASHER

USKUDAR DISTRICT, ASIAN SIDE OF BOSPHORUS

Istanbul, Turkey: felt safe as in my own bed, but with better random scenery to photograph.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

RIP JOSE FERNANDEZ

HE WAS MIAMI -- A hardworking immigrant and full of energy, joy and love of family



The Miami Marlins should donate proceeds of all sales of Jose Fernandez jerseys and memorabilia to a trust fund for his unborn child.

The team owner should match that amount and set up an easy way for fans to donate funds for the exclusive use of that child who will never meet his/her father.

Call it the #16 Foundation.

Perhaps, if his child is well taken care of, the #16 foundation could fund the education, health care and well being of the tens of thousands of other Miami immigrant children.

Help these children who, like Jose did, dream each night of becoming the best they can be at their chosen profession and sharing their skills with the rest of us who proudly call Miami home.

RIP Jose.

HORSE DRAWN CARRIAGE BÜYÜKADA

PRINCES ISLANDS (ADALAR)


A great day trip across the Bosphorus, through the Sea of Marmara and off the coast of the Asian side of Istanbul, Turkey.

Friday, September 23, 2016

BALIK EKMEK (FISH SANDWICH)

ISTANBUL, TURKEY

Brightly-lit boats grill up thousands of fish sandwiches for customers seeking inexpensive (about $3 USD) eats on the Golden Horn in Eminonu next to the Galata Bridge (where the fish restaurants are much more expensive and touristy.)

Thursday, September 22, 2016

NEVIZADE SOKAK, BEYOĞLU, ISTANBUL

JUST OFF OF ISTIKLAL CADDESI

Near Balık Pazarı, this is a street of meyhanes serving mezes and more.
It has a bit of an El Born Bario Barcelona or Faubourg Marigny New Orleans vibe.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

GALATA, ACROSS THE GOLDEN HORN

VIEWED FROM THE MOSQUE OF SULTAN SULEYMAN THE MAGNIFICENT

Sadly, modern buildings to the north mar the old world skyline of Galata.
At least the modern buildings are relegated to farther flung spots on the European and Asian parts of Istanbul, so they do not mar the Old Town structures that date to Byzantine and Ottoman times.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

SUNNY SEPTEMBER DAY ON THE SHORE OF THE GOLDEN HORN

ISTANBUL, TURKEY


On the waterfront, not far from the ancient streets of Fener and Balat, these two friends enjoyed the late afternoon sun next to the waves of the Golden Horn in Istanbul.

Monday, September 19, 2016

AYASOFYA

TURKEY'S MOST-VISITED ATTRACTION




In 1453, Constantinople was conquered by the Ottoman Turks under Sultan Mehmed II, who ordered this main church of Orthodox Christianity converted into a mosque. 

By that point, the church had fallen into a state of disrepair. Nevertheless, the Christian cathedral made a strong impression on the new Ottoman rulers and they decided to convert it into a mosque.

The bells, altar, iconostasis, and sacrificial vessels and other relics were removed and the mosaics depicting Jesus, his Mother Mary, Christian saints and angels were also removed or plastered over.

Islanic features—such as the mihrab, minbar, and four minarets—were added.

It remained a mosque until 1931, when it was closed to the public for four years. 

It was re-opened in 1935 as a museum by the Republic of Turkey. 

--Courtesy, Wikipedia

Sunday, September 18, 2016

WHY CAN'T WE ALL GET ALONG?

A MESSAGE OF LOVE FROM ISTANBUL


It's a Moslem woman. Donald Trump and other right wing reactionary crazies have told me all I need to know. She's up to no good. She hates America, Christianity and small animals. She probably has a suicide bomb under that hijab.


This can't end well. Poor little cat. This Moslem monster will probably twist its head off and drink its blood in some kind of Godless ritual.


But wait. She seems to be gently petting the little creature. Like the millions of strays on the streets of Istanbul, this sweet purring kedi is getting affection. The locals, an overwhelming majority of whom are Moslem, are famous for being kind to animals. A recent award-winning film documented the uncommon kindness shown to stray cats in Istanbul.


So maybe Trump and the bigoted people who would ban Moslems from entering our nation of immigrants and otherwise demonize followers of one of the major religions of the world are out of their mind. Or maybe they simply cannot do math. Maybe they never learned that a tiny fraction of evil people who kill and maim in the name of Islam are just that -- a tiny fraction who are not emblematic of the peaceful overwhelming majority.


Let's face it. If a small fraction of monsters automatically tainted everyone from the much larger group, then Oklahoma City bomber terrorist (and bronze star-awarded military veteran) Timothy McVeigh's actions would mean we should ban all military vets from air travel and perhaps round them up in internment camps. But that would be insane. Just as insane as broadly defining all observant, loving, family-oriented Moslems as evil simply because a small fraction who allegedly share their core religion have misused it as an excuse for bombings.


So maybe this gentle woman, giving unconditional love to a little cat wandering the marbled and magnificent grounds of the Eyup Sultan Mosque, is more typical of Moslems. Maybe, if we worked daily to remove hate from the world, we could appreciate others. Maybe should try harder to teach our fellow Americans that someone whose religious garb is different is NOT a terrorist, evil doer or person to fear.


Sorry bigots, fanners of the flame and embracers of hate. I reject your venom. I respect all peaceful people. I thank the heavens above that I have a brain capable of recognizing statistical outliers -- so I don't brand every person of an identifiable group because of the malicious actions of a tiny few.


I see this Moslem woman for what she is: a loving fellow human being, taking time out of her busy day to give nurturing kindness to a cuddly critter. Maybe we could all try a little harder to coexist.



Saturday, September 17, 2016

MOSQUE OF SULTAN SÜLEYMAN THE MAGNIFICENT

ISTANBUL, TURKEY





Designed by the Ottoman Empire’s greatest architect, Mimar Sinan, the Süleymaniye dominates the city's Third Hill, just north of Istanbul University, overlooking the Golden Horn.

Friday, September 16, 2016

FOUNTAIN OF AHMED III

OTTOMAN ARCHITECTURE AND CRAFTSMANSHIP


In Sultanahmet Square, Old Town, Istanbul, Turkey.

By the way, entire Istanbul and Turkey trip was safest I've felt in years.

Go visit, the people are warm and everything is safe as hometown USA.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

GRAND BAZAAR, ISTANBUL, TURKEY

Kapalı Çarşı, or Covered Market


Yes, sadly, at least half the nearly 4,000 stalls are aimed at tourists.

But the Grand Bazaar is a must see.

Go for the history.

Stop to have tea -- Turkish or apple.

Bargain with a salesperson -- the gold and silver places generally charge by weight, with a very small mark up for the craftsmanship.

Check out turkeytravelplanner.com for more insights.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

RAIN DOESN'T DAMPEN SPIRITS IN HISTORIC PERA

ISTANBUL, CITY OF FABLES AND MYTHS

A light drizzle on a warm day just provides an excuse for more baklava and tea in a gold-rimmed, tulip-shaped glass on pedestrian-oriented Istiklal Caddesi

Tuesday, September 13, 2016