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Tuesday, October 31, 2017

CENTRAL CITY

NEW ORLEANS



Cafe Reconcile -- one of the best restaurants in the city.

Trains at-risk youth to be chefs and hospitality industry workers.


Saturday, October 28, 2017

Monday, October 23, 2017

Sunday, October 22, 2017

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME

THE HICK FROM THE STICKS TURNS 50 SOMETHING


Okay, I didn't grow up in a trailer park (though I did grow up on an acre lot with new sewer hook up and our neighbor to the east was a farm with cows, hogs and stinky manure).

And I didn't grow up in New Orleans (though I wish I had been raised in such a culturally-rich and diverse city, rather than the homogeneous berg I grew up in, where there were only two African American children that I ever knew K-12, there were zero Hispanic Children and we were so WASPish that the Italian kids seemed as exotic as Martians).

I'd like to think I did okay for growing up in exurban isolation in far exurban Cleveland, Ohio.

I met my wonderful wife of three decades at Kent State (I was first in my family to go to college, she was third generation).

Worked at the newspaper in Columbus, Ohio and had so many great mentors and close friends, that I'm not going to single any out by name...for fear of leaving out someone who deserves mention.

In 2000, my wife Heidi and I went crazy.  We decided to leave the cold (and the bitter winters certainly had something to do with our madness) comfort of Upper Arlington and super stable jobs.

We landed in Miami. Bought a tumbled down, now nearly 100-year-old house in the heart of Little Havana.  Inherited thousands of abuelas, which great, save for the fact that I was to dumb to take my high school Spanish seriously, so when I landed in espanol-speaking Miami, I could only remember about 10 words to share with all those grandmas that adopted us.

My wife took advanced Spanish and was chatting with our neighbors like she grew up in Spain. (notice a pattern here, that my much more refined bride had a leg up on me in the worldliness department from the day we met?)

Slowly, but surely, going on two decades in Miami, with Little Havana house paid off next year, I have graduated to the proud station of speaking Spanish like a poorly-schooled five year old.

Verb tense, comes and goes. Accent...quite often not a part of my speech pattern. Espanol de la calle...instead of refined words -- yep, that's me.  Begging folks at the grocery to slow down so I can grasp the context, then struggle to understand -- that's old Esteban of Casa Gringo.

But I've had some fabulous mentors here too, especially when I worked for a big hearted Miami Commissioner who took a chance on hiring me.

Now I'm with a great Urban Design firm.  I'll leave the name out, since I've purposely not dropped any person or business names here -- again, for fear I'll leave a very deserving person off the list an unintentionally hurt their feelings.

Made some lifelong friends here in the subtropics, where we all take acting crazy to a high platform.

Even got converted from a dog person to a crazy cat lover, when a homeless Siamese adopted us.  Her name is Honey Bear and she sleeps on my bed. (Please, all you other cats who visit daily to eat and drink at our doorstep, please don't take offense when you read this and see Honey Bear's name, but not your own.

Got to travel to about half the Spanish speaking places on earth (feeling oh so slightly sophisticated, because I kinda have a tentative toe hold on the language, vs. every other place on the planet that doesn't speak English, where I am dumbfounded by Turkish, Portuguese and all of the above).

Through it all, my best friend on earth, Heidi, has grown with me and polished herself into one of the leading advocates for Universal Design, the Americans with Disabilities Act, Inclusive Mobility and everything else that makes live more livable for people with disabilities.

I could ramble on forever, but it's probably time to stop. I think I've already exceeded the typical length of a blog post.

So now, I've walked the globe for more than half a century. Hopefully, I can squeeze out at least another quarter century before they plant me six feet under.

Then again, it's been an adventure every day.  If I fate delivered me to the Big Sleep tomorrow, I could not argue that I have not led a very full, entertaining life,

Saturday, October 21, 2017

TED'S FROSTOP

NEW ORLEANS



Home of the world-famous Lot-o-Burger, a tender, juicy burgers on po’ boy bread. 

The burgers are topped with mayonnaise, mustard, onions, lettuce, tomatoes, and pickles. 

Cheese isn’t added unless it is requested.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

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.