Archive for March, 2006

Umami – Lovable kebabs at high prices.

Umami is a kebab restaurant located in Etiler. I went there with friends a couple of days ago and simply loved it!
Etiler being what it is, the prices are very high because they cater to the rich and famous but the meat is excellent and the service is very very good. When you arrive, they seat you and then bring to your table a big tray of mezes from which you chose (4-5YTL per meze (approx)) and then you get to chose which kebab you would like to eat. Try not to fill yourself up with the mezes (even tho they are delicious) and have a try at the various kebabs that are offered on the menu. I had a “Cartlak kebabi” (liver) which was beyond words. I’m yet to try something that’s not good at that restaurant. Prices for kebabs range from 11YTL to 15YTL. You can also order online if you live around Etiler on www.umami.com.tr
Contact number for umami: 0212/279.74.74
address: Nisbetiye Caddesi No21 34330 1.Levent Istanbul

Total eclipse of the heart (or sun).

Today, Istanbul had the chance to enjoy a solar eclipse. For those who we’re lucky enough to experience it, they know they are lucky because the next one that Turkey will be able to see will be in approximatively fifty years from now. 350.000 tourists have flown in to our country to watch this eclipse (of whom Charlize Theron is apparently in Side with her boyfriend). It was said that the region of Side was the best to watch this amazing phenomena.

“This year’s eclipse is also special because the total phase lasts over 4 minutes at the center of the path. This is quite long for a total solar eclipse since most last just a minute or two. The next total eclipse,on August 1, 2008, will be seen in northern Canada, Greenland, Siberia, Mongolia and northern China. It will last about 2 minutes. The next total eclipse visible from the United States won’t happen until August 21, 2017.”
(source: NASA)

Popular belief had it that an earthquake would follow the eclipse immediatly after the sun was completely covered even tho the newspapers tried reassuring the population. We are all safe and sound and no earth has shaken as of yet.

Istanbul’s Homage to Gilles Deleuze

Akbank Sanat hosts an exhibition for Gilles Deleuze curated by Ali Akay. There will also be two conferences related to the philosophy of Deleuze. On March 30, RAYMUND BELLOUR and on March 31, David Lapoujade will be lecturing. The former starts at 17:30 and the latter starts at 19:00. I have no idea what kind of an exhibiton for Deleuze might be but it is good to see Deleuzian activities around!

Erkan and Meral explores GMALL Theatre

Meral:
Erkan and I -your humble bloggers- worked so hard on Sunday to inform you of a new cinema theatre Cinebonus Maçka G-Mall (well, in fact the cinema theatre wasn’t built recently, but because we went there only on Sunday it is ‘new’ for us). It is located in a small shopping mall mostly full of cafes, which weren’t decorated in the usual food court style of shopping malls, and so the atmosphere there is not that much suffocating, tiresome and artificial like the other malls. For me, the atmosphere before and after I watch a film is very important, and because I am a great hater of malls and the artificiality of malls disturbs my preparation/digestion processes of a film, I do my best to avoid watching films there, but there was a relaxing atmosphere there. The interior of the cinema is not different than other mall movie theatres-offers comfortable seats with a good slope so that nothing can disturbs your sight, quite good sound installation and a satisfactory screen.
What is so tempting about that cinema theatre is the funfair next to it! (And no, we hadn’t been there:-() It offers a nice opportunity for the ones who can’t stand the idea of being indoors during these sunny days, yet feeling bad for missing films: enjoying a film at Maçka G-Mall and then enjoying yourself at the funfair! Those of you who regard themselves as grown-ups and so sniff the idea of having fun at the funfair may continue their talks about bridge, golf, politics and neckties- just like all reasonable people!

Erkan:
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What to do on Monday? Spend your day at Bilgi University

On 27 March Monday, come straight to the Kuştepe campus at around 11 am. because a super seminar is about to start:
From 11:00 to 17:30 there will be a very, very long seminar entitled as
“Seminars on Contemporary Problems in the Media: The American and Turkish Cases”
Lecturers will be Prof. Haluk Şahin, Sheilah Kast, Jeffrey Dvorkin, Prof. Earnest Perry (*Simultaneous translation will be provided.)
I don’t have the exact schedule but I guess there will be a lunch break. It can’t be without a break, right? There will be coffee/tea/cookies but for more we have a good patisserie four floors below. Everybody in Bilgi are helpful, just ask them where you wanna go and they will show the way…

If you are not exhausted yet, a book presentation will take place just after this seminar at the same place:
18:00-20:00/ Kuştepe AKO
Nilüfer Göle will be lecturing under the title “A Talk on Islam in Public “.

If you are into detective novels, then Turkey’s one of the best detective novelists, Ahmet Ümit will hold a speech at
15:00/ Dolapdere BS1. This is in the other campus and its timing conflicts with the long seminar. So it is up to you. Maybe you will start in Kuştepe and move to Dolapdere? But you can still make it to the 18 pm event back in Kuştepe. [There are regular shuttles between the two campuses]

Ok. by 8 pm if you are still alive, there is a Gala programme by Theatre Triole, which is another theatre group made up of Bilgi students some of whom happen to be taking my classes. Yeah you have to go back to Dolapdere campus if you are still in Kuştepe…

Tiyatro Triole/ Gala
20:00/ Dolapdere BS2
“Çetin Ceviz”

tiyatrotriole_en.gif

Well, I will mostly be around in Kuştepe until 8 pm. I have lectures to attend but i will certainly be in the first event I told you…See you there then!

Increasing crime rate?

Two nights ago, we had a break in at our flat in Arnavutkoy, my 16 year old sister was alone and terrorised by a thief who tried to break down her bedroom door to get in the room she was.
He was scared away in time by neighbours but the scar won’t heal easily in her mind.
It seems that break ins are much more frequent as of late. No neighbourhood seems to be spared. The policemen who came to investigate told us that three to four break ins were reported daily in our area. It’s very very scarey.
Advice: Lock all your doors twice and make sure your windows are shut tightly. We live on the fourth floor and the guy managed to climb the wall helped by ropes.

Pentimento: Istanbul’s Fanzine Center

pentimento.jpg
There might certainly be other fanzine stores in this big city but I always thought Pentimento, which is just next to the Istanbul’s best art-cinema theatre, Beyoğlu Beyoğlu, has an unbeatable place in the hearts of Istanbul fanzine lovers. Not only fanzines, I should add, there are many magazines and journals that are difficult to find somewhere else. I was told that they have all copies of several film magazines so that film students can come and benefit from their archive. You will find Metin there who is kind and ready to answer your questions.
Here is the address for those who don’t know where Beyoğlu theatre is:
İstiklal Caddesi. Halep İş merkezi. Beyoğlu Sineması Fuayesi.
dergi@pentimento.biz
tel: 212.293.3959

Oh, by the way, you can find director Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s signed film posters there! Uzak’s poster is 30, previous film posters are 20YTL:)

Legendary Hair Musical in Istanbul!

hair-afis.jpg
Tiyatro Candela Players at Bilgi University are performing Hair Musical ! There will be free of charge shows on 31 March at 21.00; 1 April at 20.30 and 2 April at 15.30 in the Dolapdere Campus of İstanbul Bilgi University. Some of the players took my classes and I feel like that’s something to be proud of. National media also covered the musical extensively. Here is an interview in Milliyet daily
hair-photo.jpg
P.S. Meanwhile, a dear Istanbul lover Di has just posted an entry telling how she misses Istanbul!

News from the Istanbul Art Scene

* Works of German sculptor Ernst Barlach will be displayed in Istanbul (starting on 21 March).
* Eve Cornelious will meet music fans at the Istanbul Jazz Center on March 20-25 for a series of Garanti Bank Jazz concerts.
* The Istanbul University Communications Faculty will open a gallery featuring the rapid development in information and communications technology in May. It is argued that it will be the world’s most comprehensive gallery of its kind!
* An exhibition titled “Istanbul and Districts in Memoirs,” held as part of the “Mediterranean Voices Project” by the Turkish History Foundation, will open on March 25 at the Darphane-i Amire in Sultanahmet.

Istanbul vs. Kiev

There will soon be a decision whether İstanbul or Kiev becomes the Capital of Culture in non-EU category in 2010. The ‘European City of Culture’ project was launched in 1985 on the initiative of Melina Mercouri, then minister of culture of Greece. Here is a EurActiv report that compares two cities and here is an interview with Nuri Colakoglu, who is the chairman of the Executive Committee of Istanbul’s bid for the title of Cultural Capital of Europe. Finally, a Turkish parliamentarian, Egemen Bagış, talks to Gareth Jones from Turkish Daily News about the same issue….

Meanwhile, I guess I will not make it to the Picasso Exhibition at Sabancı Museum. As the end of exhibition approaches, there are again long lines of visitors in front of the museum. Picasso in Istanbul itself has become a phenomenon in Turkey. Were there any other art performances to which Turks hurried en masse? To end with, here is a review of the exhibition by OOI KOK CHUEN.

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