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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

GRAND BAZAAR

BEYAZIT, ISTANBUL, TURKEY


More than 550 years old, the Grand Bazaar remains a thriving complex, employing 26,000 people.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

GRAND BAZAAR

BEYAZIT, ISTANBUL, TURKEY


The Grand Bazaar is located inside the walled city of Istanbul, in the district of Fatih. 

It stretches roughly from west to east between the mosques of Beyazit and Nuruosmaniye. 


Monday, October 16, 2017

GRAND BAZAAR

BEYAZIT, ISTANBUL, TURKEY


The Grand Bazaar is often regarded as one of the first shopping malls in the world. It has barber shops, restaurants and post office and other trappings of a full city.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

GRAND BAZAAR

BEYAZIT, ISTANBUL, TURKEY


The Grand Bazaar is considered No.1 among world's most-visited tourist attractions with 91,250,000 annual visitors.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

GRAND BAZAAR

BEYAZIT, ISTANBUL, TURKEY


The Grand Bazaar has 61 covered streets and over 4,000 shops which attract between 250,000 and 400,000 visitors daily.

Friday, October 13, 2017

GRAND BAZAAR

BEYAZIT, ISTANBUL, TURKEY


The Grand Bazaar (Turkish: Kapalıçarşı, meaning ‘Covered Market’) in Istanbul is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

SPICE BAZAAR

EMINONU, ISTANBUL, TURKEY

Contrary to the legend, and fact, that Turks love to bargain -- this is true, for the most part, at the Grand Bazaar, at flea markets, junk stores and with street vendors -- the vendors at this stall DO NOT APPRECIATE HAGGLING.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

SPICE BAZAAR

EMINONU, ISTANBUL, TURKEY



The word mısır has a double meaning in Turkish: “Egypt” and “maize”. This is why sometimes the name is wrongly translated as "Corn Bazaar". 

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

SPICE BAZAAR

EMINONU, ISTANBUL, TURKEY



The building was endowed to the foundation of the New Mosque and got its name "Egyptian Bazaar" ( Turkish): Mısır Çarşısı) because it was built with the revenues from the Ottoman eyelet of Egypt in 1660

Monday, October 9, 2017

SPICE BAZAAR

EMINONU, ISTANBUL, TURKEY



The revenues obtained from the rented shops inside the bazaar building were used for the upkeep of the New Mosque.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Saturday, October 7, 2017

SPICE BAZAAR

EMINONU, ISTANBUL, TURKEY



The Spice Bazaar has a total of 85 shops selling spices, Turkish delight and other sweets, jewelry, souvenirs, and dried fruits and nuts.

Friday, October 6, 2017

STREET VENDORS OF ISTANBUL

A FEW OF MY FAVORITE THINGS
I love Turkey
I adore Istanbul
I love the Fener-Balat area.
I adore its street vendors.
This was selling fruit at the price of 5 Turkish Lira per pound -- about $1.50 USD.
His sign, in Turkish, said he was selling plums.
But the fruit looked a lot like the sweet, dark cherries for sale at every corner market in Istanbul.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

SPICE BAZAAR CORRIDOR

EMINONU, ISTANBUL, TURKEY


Yes, as author Orhan Pamuk laments, high rises/malls/car parks are replacing ancient Istanbul with ugly modernism. But here, where Sikechi blends into Eminonu, narrow alleys with centuries old shops still exist in Constantinople.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

SPICE BAZAAR CORRIDOR

EMINONU, ISTANBUL, TURKEY



Cashmere -- and so much more.

And yes, I am a baby boomer, so my head was playing Led Zepplin's Cashmere when my lips read the name of this store a stone's throw from the ferry docks that line the Golden Horn.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

SPICE BAZAAR CORRIDOR

EMINONU, ISTANBUL, TURKEY


Since 1871, Kurukahveci Mehmet Efendi has approached coffee production as an art form, passing on the skills, knowledge, experience and intricacies of the craft from father to son and from master to apprentice.

In line with our mission to introduce future generations to Turkish Coffee – Turkey’s gift to the world – Kurukahveci Mehmet Efendi aims to ensure that coffee lovers enjoy superior quality with each and every sip of their coffee.

Monday, October 2, 2017

SPICE BAZAAR CORRIDOR

EMINONU, ISTANBUL, TURKEY

If they don't have it, you don't need it.
Shops with stocked with enough wares to fulfill a Sultan's shopping list.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

SPICE BAZAAR CORRIDOR

EMINONU, ISTANBUL, TURKEY


Namli Deli has an incredible assortment of Turkish Meze,
 all in this Sirkechi area location near the Golden Horn.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Friday, September 29, 2017

STREET VENDORS OF ISTANBUL

THRIFT SHOP ON WHEELS

If I had to pick one photo to sum up life on the back streets of old Istanbul, this would be it.

Beyoglu has some of the most modern and hip shops.

It also has throwback hand carts.

Some are junk carts that look like the rolled out of the 1800s.

Some have decidedly more eclectic fare.

This set up, in Cihangir, is hard to resist.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

ISTANBUL STREET ART

CIHANGIR, GALATA


Living a few miles from Miami's Wynwood, we are big fans of street art.

Being frequent visitors to Istanbul, but terrible speakers of Turkish, we hope the words in this piece of street art are simply funny -- not vulgar or offensive.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

THE FACE OF TURKEY



BURSA


Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.


Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.

--Mark Twain

Sunday, September 24, 2017

145,000 READERS

THIS BLOG HAS POSTED THE EQUIVALENT OF 4 FULL BOOKS WORTH OF TEXT



For more than seven years, we have posted almost daily.

There are far more than 1,600 stories in the archives.

Almost all of the text is original.

A great deal -- everything from disability advocacy to humor pieces to music reviews -- have come from my wife, Heidi Johnson-Wright.

More than 90% of the photos are ones I've taken in South America, Europe, Asia and beyond.

Speaking of photos, the two on this post are self portraits.

The top one is more experimental.

That's me, on a public ferry on the Golden Horn in Istanbul.

I'm shooting into a mirror, hoping to get my ghostly image along with that of a mosque behind me.

The bottom one is more straightforward.

I'm looking into a large mirror on the wall of Topkapi Palace -- also in Istanbul.

Behind me is a clear image of one of the many ornate rooms in the Harem.


Friday, September 22, 2017

STREET VENDORS OF ISTANBUL

MACHINIST ON WHEELS
Even in tony and upscale Ortakoy, street vendors ply their trade.

I could never figure out exactly what the machine on wheels does.

If you know, please tell me.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

STREET VENDORS OF ISTANBUL

SEWING MACHINES, REPAIRS, HUNDREDS OF SERVICES ON WHEELS

The backstreets of Beyoglu -- Cukurcuma here -- are filled with hardworking vendors, peddlers and more.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

STREET VENDORS OF ISTANBUL

BAKED BREADS ON THE HEAD
Ara Guler told me in the old days, lots of vendors carried baked goods on their heads.

Simit sellers specialized in balancing hundreds of the crispy, sesame seed crusted delights on their heads while walking from the bakery into rush hour crowds craving the quintessential Istanbul street food.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Sunday, September 17, 2017

THE PEOPLE OF MIAMI DESERVE BETTER FROM FLORIDA POWER AND LIGHT


IF FPL INVESTED HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS IN "HARDENING" ITS SYSTEM FOR HURRICANES, THEN I'M THE KING OF SPAIN.

THE REALITY IS MOST OF MY NEIGHBORS ARE SUFFERING BEYOND BELIEF WITH NO POWER FOR A WEEK AND COUNTING.



PLEASE, ELECTED OFFICIALS, BACK A CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT TO STRIP FPL OF ALL PROFITS FOR THE PAST FIVE YEARS.

USE THAT CLAWED BACK MONEY TO FUND UNDERGROUNDING OF LINES


Forcing FPL to do better is something every elected official -- from US senate down to commissioners of the smallest village in Dace County should get involved in.  Whether you are Republican, Democrat or Independent, or in a nonpartisan seat -- you must be a leader who demands this.

FPL is a monopoly. It is regulated (should be regulated much more heavily) by the state.  The stuff it claimed about spending billions "hardening" the system against windstorms the past dozen years is clearly the biggest crock of BS ever dumped on South Florida in history.

I think there should be a class action, claw back lawsuit.  The past 5 or more years of profits should be stripped from FPL and put into undergrounding of lines.

If this abusive utility is left to its own devices, it will claim to be spending our hard earned money on improving the system.

We all know darn well that is a total crock. Their upper management is getting rich, their shareholders are making zillions and their lobbyists bill hundreds of thousands to make sure profiteering -- not people -- come first in Tallahassee and at every local city hall.

The only way I can see my loved ones and neighbors going only 48 hours (this was a tropical storm in Dade, folks, not a Cat 1, not a Cat 2, not a Cat 3) instead of a soul-klling week and counting -- is to strip hundreds of millions in profit from FPL.

Then dedicate that money to undergrounding and reliable rewiring.




Mayors Bloomberg of NYC, Norquist of Milwaukee and Diaz of Miami all dedicated them to people-based causes after being termed out of office.

I challenge Mayor Regalado, soon to leave office, to dedicate the remainder of his life to forcing FPL to make things right...or suing in the courts (since we cannot trust FPL to make things right) and using the multimillion, maybe billion dollar settlement to create an infrastructure that holds up to the heart of hurricane territory.

I challenge future Mayor Suarez to dedicate a part of his leadership of Miami to building a bipartisan front -- from our US senators to our state reps and senators to all local leaders including Mayor Gimenez -- focused on holding FPL responsible. 

Our next governor must make undergrounding of public electricity lines a top part of his/her platform.

Our elected officials, from the smallest local level up to the highest statewide and federal, should pledge to take no campaign contributions from FPL or any other monopoly energy utility.

Please feel free to share these thoughts, with credit to me, on FB, twitter, blast emails and any other online format.



Saturday, September 16, 2017

STREET VENDORS OF ISTANBUL

THE SIMIT, SO MUCH MORE THAN A TURKISH BAGEL
Over the years, the New York-style bagel has come to dominate breakfast buffets and brunch tables, but it is far from the only style of bagel out there.

If you look back at the history of the bagel, you'll find many ancient bagels that served as predecessors to the modern bagel. One of the oldest bagels, dating back to the Ottoman Empire, is the Turkish bagel, called a simit. But what is a Turkish bagel? 

"The simit is a traditional Turkish street food and breakfast item that originates in Turkey but is popular throughout the Middle East and Mediterranean," explains Zulfikar Bekar, president of Simit + Smith, a Turkish bakery and cafe that's based in New York City. "Many people grab simits during the morning rush hour on their way to work as it is simple, affordable, flavorful, and nutritious." 

So far, so bagel. But the form factor might be where the similarities between the New York-style and Turkish bagels end, because there are some pretty significant differences between a New York and Turkish bagel when it comes to taste and texture.

The simit, for example, is sweeter than a classic New York-style bagel, and the texture couldn't be more opposite. While a New York-style bagel is known for its thick crust and dense, chewy interior, a simit is lighter and less doughy, though still crisp on the outside.

There's also a signature sweetness to a simit, which comes from the addition of pekmez, which Bekar describes as "a molasses-like syrup." It's made from the boiled down juices of fruits, most commonly grapes but sometimes mulberries, apples, plums, and pears, and it's a standard Turkish breakfast ingredient. The dough, once rolled out into rings, is dipped into the pekmez, which gives the pastry its signature crispiness once baked.

After the excess molasses drips off the bagel, the whole thing is rolled in sesame seeds and baked in the oven for 30 minutes. There's no boiling, as with either New York- or Montreal-style bagels, which makes the whole process a little simpler.


Even though it's a little bit different from the New York-style bagel you know and love, the simit is still a perfect choice for breakfast, either savory or sweet.

"It is often consumed with tea or coffee and with a spread like feta, cream cheese, or jam," says Bekar. Simit + Smith even makes so-called Simitwiches, or sandwiches on simits, so don't be scared to try a bacon, egg, and cheese on it, either. 

Because even though these simits have been served for breakfast for centuries, and are very different from their North American predecessors, there's no reason Turkish bagels can't get the New York treatment, too.

--Courtesy of ExtraCrispy.com

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

THE HAMAL, OR PORTER, AN ISTANBUL TRADITION


A Hamal carries a back-breaking amount of wares across Istiklal Caddesi in Beyoglu.

The photo below is from Bursa, Turkey, taken by the late, great Marc Riboud for Magnum Photo Agency.


Monday, September 11, 2017

HAPPY BIRTHDAY HEIDI

MY PARTNER IN EVERYTHING HAS GIVEN ME THE JOY 
OF CELEBRATING MORE THAN 30 BIRTHDAYS WITH HER


I have been all over with world with Heidi.

Spain, England, Italy, Mexico, Costa Rica, Canada and far beyond Internationally.

New Orleans, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston, Moab, Sedona, San Antonio to name just a few Domestic.

Monument Valley Tribal Park and the Big Island of Hawaii count among the all-time favorites for diversity and nature.

Our latest adventure has been closer to home -- within the 33145 Zip Code of Little Havana/Shenandoah.

We have adopted nearly one dozen rescue cats.

Honeybear the Siamese is the star of Heidi's social media accounts. Our sweetheart sleeps on the bed.

Honeybear's Tortie baby prefers to sleep under the stars, but is always close to the door and ready to play with mom when HB goes outside.

Our front of the house colony eats about 10 bowls of food per day.

That colony is headed by Squirt, a tiny, just a couple pounds full grown, ginger cat.

Her mate is Big Boy, a huge Maine Coon with a big, bushy tail.

Adults in the colony include Squirt's brother Jasper and cousin Charlie.

In the past year, Squirt gave birth to four kittens.

Irving is a grey dappled tiger cat.

Dusty is a lighter orange version of mom and dad, with dad's bushy tail.

Another healthy kitten looks like an exact blend of mom and dad, with the slight overall build of Squirt and the huge Maine Coon tail of papa.

The fourth kitten looks more like squirt.

There also is a darker orange friend of the colony.

We have so many, we haven't even been able to keep up with names of all of them.

The last weekend of August, we teamed with Miami-Dade Animal Services to humanely catch four of the cats, including Squirt, to get them spay/neutered.

Squirt is the sweet baby in the two photos with this post.

She loves Aunt Heidi and wishes her a Happy Birthday.


Sunday, September 10, 2017

GUESS BY NOW, WE'LL KNOW IRMA'S RESULTS ON LITTLE HAVANA

WRITING THIS FRIDAY SEPT. 8 AT BED TIME


If Hurricane Irma got us, maybe we'll live on in some viral click bait post about the guy who posted a Dia de los Muertos picture of himself, his wife and their baby (that would be our Siamese HoneyBear) the day before the Category 5 storm took their lives.

In all likelihood, we'll still be kicking -- but maybe so miserable from damage to house, cars...not to mention weeks without power...that we'll wish we were 6 feet under.

And if Irma skirts us, Jose...or the next named storm...or the next one will eventually crush Miami.

I've never feared death.

Pain, suffering -- yes.

The big sleep -- no.

Doesn't mean I'm suicidal -- 180 degrees from it.

Just a pragmatic Midwesterner who never thought that just if the male life expectancy for your generation was around 77 or so -- that you'd have any guarantee of making it till then.

I've I check out at 52, it's been a helluva ride.

Great first house and perfect neighbors in Upper Arlington.

Outstanding job of 13 years as a reporter at the Columbus Dispatch.

15+ years in our restored 1925 house, where we're sheltering in place for the coming killer storm.

A great friend and boss in Miami Commissioner Joe Sanchez, not to mention his staff -- folks that still are family to me.

My pal Eric Penfield, who I met at Marlin when I reinvented myself as a marketer.

Juan Mullerat, Megan McLaughlin and the whole family at PlusUrbia. I love every one of you.

My pets, including Miss Honeybear the Siamese -- who nervously peed about a gallon on daddy's bed today, but is not in trouble at all because she's his baby.

Most of all, my partner Heidi -- wife of nearly 30 years, soulmate for eternity.

I no doubt have left out 100s of people who are very dear to me, but I have to sign off now and bag up all the electronics to try to protect them from the storm.

Thanks to all -- it's been a passionate, adventurous life.  Not ready to punch my ticket anytime soon, but if Mother Nature rolls snake eyes for me -- I really haven't a complaint in the world.


Saturday, September 9, 2017

HOPING TO SURVIVE IRMA

MIAMI, CAN YOU BE AT LEAST AS RESILIENT AS NEW ORLEANS AFTER KATRINA?

          (a bizarre triptych of mattress, boat filled with tires and burned out car at a NOLA cemetery)

Within the next 24 hours, our lives could change like never before.

Hurricane Irma, with record high winds and Category 5+ strength, could take our possessions, take our house, take our cash reserves, take our pets or take our lives.

Most likely, the best case scenario is we will suffer moderate to significant damage to our nearly 100-year-old house and our vehicles -- including Heidi's $75,000 wheelchair ramp-equipped specialty van.

We care for more than a half dozen outside cats, and worry if they will drown or be felled by debris.

We had both a brand new roof and impact-resistance windows -- at a cost of far more than $50,000 -- installed within the past decade.

Both passed city inspection, but who knows if they will stand up to a storm whose size and ferocity may make Hurricane Andrew look like a weakling.

Even if it steers north or south -- a miracle to us equaling devastation to the Keys or county north of us -- and we get the effect of a Category 1 or 2 from the outer bands....we can count on days, likely weeks without power.

Heidi's wheelchair will run out of juice.

We will take cold showers and endure brutally hot South Florida late summer nights with no AC or fans.

Wilma and Katrina knocked out power in Little Havana for 5 and 7 days.

We lost the contents of the fridge, etc.

With every expert saying Irma is the worst on record, and something named Jose not far behind, we are actually rooting for a half month of no electricity and maybe $10K of damage.

That seems like just about the most fortunate scenario, along with hundreds of hours spent working to repair damage or volunteer to help neighbors harder hit or less fortunate.

For those of you in South Florida, we share your fear and trepidation.

For those of you in the rest of the U.S., please keep us in your thoughts.

Maybe skim off a little excess positive energy and send it our way.

As soon as we wake up from the nightmare, will try to post something to tell everyone we're surviving.


(Central City New Orleans House boarded up more than a decade after Hurricane Katrina)

Friday, September 8, 2017

PLUS URBIA'S JUAN MULLERAT PRESENTING AT APA FLORIDA CONFERENCE

WITH HURRICANE IRMA ON WAY, HIS THOUGHTS ON RESILIENCY IN URBAN CORES IS A TOPIC MORE RELEVANT THAN EVER BEFORE

I so much wanted to be at this conference with my colleagues.

I was booked, packed and ready.

But I needed to prep for Hurricane Irma.

As a caregiver, I did want to put 250 miles between myself and my bride of 3 decades.

Our Little Havana house is stocked and prepped for the terrible storm.

Had I gotten back late last night, the shelves would have been bare.

Thanks Juan and Megan for understanding my situation.

You are brilliant urban designers to collaborate with.

You are wonderful human beings to share life in Miami with.


You are family.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017