Archive for August, 2006

Autumn Like

This morning I woke up to an autumn like weather: not downpours with lighting and thunders – a usual summer rain in İstanbul (like we had last Monday), but drizzle: the fine, misty rain of autumn İstanbul.
A drastic drop in temperature: from 30ºC to 20ºC!
It was chilly… and cold wind was blowing…
It is still chilly… cold wind is still blowing…

I know many people don’t like such chilly weather, that they prefer sunny, hot summers, but personally I welcome any rain, whether rain storms with thunder and lighting or drizzle.
I would have tried to explain why rainy İstanbul is more beautiful, how the air and the earth smell during and after rain, how fresh and clean everything become after rains, how lively I become…but I’ve got to go: for a nice, long stroll to enjoy this weather and all the beauties it brings. Then I’ll lay down on sofa, wrap myself in a blanket and read a good book while listening to rain drops on the window…
See, I’ve really got to go!;)


They say Istanbul is stunning in any clime. This past month we have been living in a fishbowl. Scaffolding, painters, and plasterers have been, it seems, at every window we look out. From early in the morning till dusk they are at work “blinging” up our sitesi . Since we live on the lower floors, they pass our windows and balconies as they move up and down the exterior of our building…heads constantly pop up only to disappear again….and it seems that no place is private.

Storm Moving In

There is also the mess, globs of paint and speckles of plaster rain past, and into our windows. The glass is streaked, our balconies coated with residue and any opening to the outside attracts its own deposit. It has been an ordeal…until a day or two ago. When our little squall moved through it dumped a tremendous amount of rain on Kosuyolu, and brought us a needed respite.
Arming ourselves with brushes, scrapers, and squeeges, we used the deluge to help us scupper away the mess on our railings and balconies. We took a few moments to look out as the lightening flashed, the trees swayed and the sky got dark…it was almost black, even though the sun was still well above the horizon.

The Darkest Part of the Storm

They are back at it again today…the balcony is once again a mess, there is no privacy, but things are not as bad as I make them out to be…for there is the hope of rain in the coming days…and we live in Istanbul…after all.

Chasing Wits

My wandering wit has taken a holiday and has left me behind…maybe it’s the heat, maybe it’s the season, but it has been difficult to write this month. So, feeling abandoned, we hopped a Bosporus tour boat (Turyol) at Kadikoy, paid our 5 YTL each and headed out for the afternoon.
The boat stopped at Uskudar for a few minutes, headed north to just shy of the second bridge and returned to Kadikoy. Our highlight was (of course), the view, the guys we passed swimming from Asia to Europe, and the Asian shore.

Swimming the Bosporus

Bottom line? No better way to spend 5 YTL and an afternoon, or many afternoons…this is a trip that would be different every time you took it.
Tips? Grab a seat on the starboard side of the boat….it skims the Asian shore (at least this one did), so unless you want the long view to Karakoy and parts west, grab a seat on the right side, sit in the shade and drink it all in. I still don’t know where my wit went…but it missed out on this trip.

shadowless girl tales

born on the southern coast of turkey in adana in 1981, artist painter hale gungor spent her chilhood years in mollis, switzerland. moving back to istanbul she started to work on sculpture and drawing under the supervision of irfan korkmazlar and gulcin aksoy. heading to paris to be an artist, she studied fine arts at parsons school of design. currently she is re-located in istanbul busy creating her world that survived her childhood. simple lines and eye-cathcing colours are a treat to the eyes and most importantly her giraffes are a must to admire.

future solo exhibition:

shadowless girl tales
01-14 september 2006
galeri artist cukurcuma
altipatlar sok. no:26
cukurcuma – istanbul
(+90 212 251 91 63)


ercan imre, an avid fan of album art introduces us to a wonderful collection of records of turkey’s golden era of music including rock and psychedelia (a.k.a anadolu rock, rulaz!). currently working as a host at acik radio and writing articles for bant magazine (some might remember him as a columnist at the daily birgun) is collecting records since 1979 and has compiled more than 20 thousand, both turkish and foreign. the site might be only in turkish but the fun is international, enjoy witnessing the turkish history in a musical way!

suggested categories: absurd, pop art, copycats, erotika, football, eurovision and all the rest.

(via: e! and may the stars shine for you, too.)


Wagamama is the new Japanese noodle restaurant in the Kanyon mall. We went there a little while ago and adored everything. Except the food.

Wagamama takes good care of modern fast food aestathics, which is something I really enjoy. The menues looked like something made by a Google web designer. The air condition was wonderful in the heat and personell were very professional. An hour after the dinner i realized that I had forgotten something valuable there. When I got there again they handed me my stuff and told me that shouldn’t have worried – not a chance that anything forgotten would be lost there. That was a nice touch.

But the food was definitely a bit awkward for us. My fried noodles we ok, but my friends boiled noodles were a bit too strange for someone who hasn’t grown up with noodles. But I guess I will give the one more chance, someday.

F1, Earthquake and Americans who love Istanbul – a news roundup

As F1 about to hit Istanbul, here is ISTANBUL FACTS AND STATS for F1 Racing Fans……. A gloomy news appeared a week ago about a possible earthquake in Istanbul: “According to a report drafted by the Istanbul Municipality and Japanese International Aid Agency if an earthquake measuring 7,5 on the Richter scale hits Istanbul the casualties will amount to 90,000 people……... I find the number a little bit speculative but we all know very well that neither the state nor the most Istanbulites do care about earthquake preparations. A friend of mine who is looking for an appartment to buy tells me that in terms of real estate issues no body looks at a district earthquake-wise. So once cheapened places due to earthquake danger are expensive again…. And finally Conrad Hotel’s Istanbul manager says Americans love Turkey — once they come:)
edit: forgot to add CNN piece on Istanbul’s night life…

Night Lights On Bosphorus

yansima3.JPG yansima2.JPG yansima1.JPG

PS/ If I had a 4th photo, my post would have looked like The Daltons in Lucky Luke!

Bosphorus’ Nights


To watch İstanbul, night, and İstanbul at the night from Bosphorus.
To see yalıs (yalı-elegant wooden seaside houses) at night. The yalıs, when illuminated and covered by night, seem to be living in another era.
To watch the lights reflected on Bosphorus. The lights of yalıs, yachts, boats, streets…
To ponder when watching those reflected lights on the dark night waters of Bosphorus. I don’t mean to ponder something definite or thoughts logically follow each other. Just random thoughts. Hani insanoğlu ateşe, denize bakar durur ya…hani alazlar ya da deniz üzerindeki pırıltılar gibi kıpır kıpır ama dingin düşüncelere dalınır ya, ateşe, denize bakıp dururken…hani o düşünceler kovalanmaz, gelirler, giderler, biri “Ne düşünüyorsun?” diye sorsa “Hiç…” denir ama aslında derin, iz bırakan, bir şeylerin farkına varılmasını sağlayan düşüncelerdir ya bunlar, işte, geceleyin Boğaziçi’ne yansıyan ışıklara, ufacık dalgaların tepesinde parıldayan ya da dalgacıkların üzerinde sürekli tonları değişen ışıklara bakmak böyle bir şey.
To feel thoughts are flying inside your head and heart while watching how reflections are flying on ripples.


What were/are/will be your reasons for a boat trip on Bosphorus at night?

Are you mainstream or alternative?

Well, its time to choose now. 2-3 of August Istabul will host the silly named Rock’n Coke festival with some rather big internationl stars like Sisters of Mercy and Placebo. Most importantly they will feature the, at least once upon a time, more than great pop band Mercury Rev.

But the weekend one week earlier my beautiful home vicinity of Sariyer will give you all the Barışa Rock Festival, featuring thirt Turkish band of all sorts during two days. For free. According to what people have told me the two festivals have earlier years been at the same days, to really underline that the Sariyer festival is a counter happening.

What will you choose? Personally I will probably visit the Barışa festival for one day, while not going to Rock’n Coke at all, even if old Mercury Rev really tugs at my soul. Just listen to their old wise words:

holes, dug by little moles
angry jealous spies
got telephones for eyes
come to you as friends
all those endless ends
that can’t be tied

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