Sunday, August 26, 2012

Having a Morning Wander in Cihangir

One of my rules of life is that each day must include discovery. I recently moved into a new flat in Istanbul and decided the morning after moving day to see what my neighborhood had to offer.
Looking down my street to the Bosphorus
There's a busy street at the bottom
but it is easy to cross over or under.
A bit of cheerful tromp l'oeil as I walk by.
An Ottoman Grave preserved behind a shop window,
the turban signifies he was a man,
presumably named Sofu Baba.
People slip into the small room to pray.
I wonder what his story is!
Not everything is exotic
Domino's scooters,
complete with an advertisement on the box,
for a 30-minute guarantee.
 
In Istanbul, it seems you can get everything delivered.
If all you want is one single hamburger,
 someone on a scooter will race over to your house with it -
and I do mean "race."
Scooter drivers seem to drive like stuntmen.
The bread seller loaded down
with his morning wares.
How fantastic is this?
A yoga studio on my street.
I pause a moment to appreciate the beautiful tile work
in the underpass.
One of the Ottoman sultans loved tulips
and tulips have been a recurring theme in Istanbul
 ever since.
Morning commuters rushing off the ferry.
They have either come from the Asian side
or one of the islands.
A beautiful Ottoman-era public fountain
constructed out of marble
It's common to run across film crews
in central Istanbul
I've seen up to four cruise ships
docked end-to-end in this Bosphorus port.
Pinch this Iowa girl!
I've never lived within walking distance
of salt water.
Beautiful Ottoman script over a public fountain
Ottoman window detailing
Looking back up the hills:
how does the average 8-year-old in Istanbul
resist this chute?
 
It just screams "TOY"
to my inner child.
 
I can't help but imagine marbles...melons...
water balloons... little Mehmet...
rolling all the way down to the street.
 
Kids, don't try this at home.
 Coming across a nargile station
connected to the popular nargile cafe
in front of the Istanbul Modern Art Museum.
 
I've been to this cafe before.
 It's easy to get comfortable on their big divans
shaped in a semi-circle
and contemplate life at a slower pace.
The divans can fit you and up to eight of your friends.
I don't know if these are new or old coals.
Right in front of all of the cruise ships
is the Istanbul Modern Art Museum.

Can it be?
I live within walking distance of the
Istanbul equivalent of MOMA
(the Museum of Modern Art)?
Pinch me twice!
Taking a closer look at the life boats.
 It fascinated me that this was the first shop
cruise passengers see as they leave the ship.

According to the staff, this dock served Russian freighters
before cruise ships and the freighter's vendors haven't moved yet.
 A view of Nusretiye Camii (mosque)
from the Nargile Cafe
 The mosque was built in 1825.
Let's walk around to the front of it.
Looking up at the minarets.
It's a beautiful day.
Isn't it fun to discover?
Can you guess what affected these trees
outside sidewalk cafes?
An example of the renovation
that is occuring all over Istanbul.
This will probably be a hotel
or new condominums.
The shore road takes us back into
more of the industrial part.
You don't run across one of these everyday!
A maritime shop
selling ? What is this exactly?
I know the shape from the movies
but I can't name it.
I have better luck naming this -
a captain's wheel.
I wonder if ships keep a spare.
I can't imagine they'd want to be without one.
 
The man minding the shop good-naturedly put up
with my poking around. It was fun to imagine an
alternative life as a merchant mariner.
Merchant mariners have better poetry
than most industrial sectors
but I think I'd get sea sick.
I never imagined spies advertising!
Let's keep our eyes peeled for him...or her.
 
Discovery and mystery on my morning wander
...the perfect combination.
 
 
 
 

4 comments:

chaplain.cz said...

Karen - thanks for the tour. I hope you're enjoying your new flat & neighbourhood.

Karen said...

Thank you, Ricky!

Julie-Ann said...

Hi Karen what a great tour and blog. My life is taking a similar route to yours. My son moved to the other side of Australia for uni. This is very unusual here. Most kids go to the local unis. But not mine­čśą. Although I found that being an empty nester can be nice sometimes. Just don't tell my son I said that lol.
I had just learned to cope with that and my husband said we are moving to Dubai next year. It will be a huge adventure.
I visited Istanbul this year. It such a hectic but interesting city. I hope you enjoy living there­čśŐ.

Karen said...

Julie-Ann, you are going to have so much fun in Dubai. What an adventure. You are right not to fear the empty nest. You'll find that your explorations make you just that much more inspiring of a Mom. Go get 'em!

 
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