Çarşı “Tear Gas is our Perfume”

June 9, 2013


Tension is rising for the protesters in Istanbul. Rumors say today. The police say Monday. One thing I know for sure is whenever the police do decide to move on Taksim, Çarşı will be ready. I overheard this conversation in a grocery store this morning: A middle aged woman working the cash register rings me […]

I Am Afraid We Have Awakened a Sleeping Turkey

June 7, 2013


Young Turkish men standing on a destroyed municipality vehicle At a bus stop in Istanbul, Turkey, 12 college students with bandanas around their necks are waiting. Their blood types are written ontheir arms. They are holding supplies: toilet paper, fruit, cakes, sandwiches, sanitary napkins, etc. People pass by and chat with them. A lady slips […]

The Culinary Treasures of Aksaray

April 27, 2013


Imagine taking a bus from Russia through Chechnya or Georgia and across the great length of the Turkish steppes to Istanbul. Well, there are those who do it, and the bus route finally empties these tired smelly travelers in Aksaray. This is a grubby neighborhood on the European side of Istanbul. The name, Aksaray, translates […]

Median Income

April 2, 2013


Median Income The angular oasis in the wet, icy sea of concrete. The hot, dusty, sticky desert of concrete. The slivers of white left by a hurried hand filling in the gray of this mega city. Misshapen islands with no taxable businesses. Dogs saunter across busy streets, and, when they sink their first paw into […]

Posted in: Istanbul, Neighbors

How Bazaar?

November 25, 2012


(Friday Bazaar and Tuesday Bazaar in Kadıköy, İstanbul – Cuma Pazar ve Salı Pazar) It can sometimes look as though the current Turkish administration is either ashamed or embarrassed of its own culture. There is a continuous spattering of laws and bans on everything from outdoor markets to nargile (waterpipe). Probobly, the saddest instance of this, […]

The Slugs Among Us

October 27, 2012


Terrestrial gastropod mollusks (slugs) are invading my garden nightly. Their slime trails ooze in capricious rivers down my garden walls, their oily glaze reflective in the sunshine. I was inspecting my newly planted grass a few days ago only to find a globular family of freaky alien eggs. A quick search on the Google revealed them to be of slug […]

Posted in: Istanbul, Neighbors

A Star is Born. Then Shot. (Part 2) “I’m ready for my close up.”

July 10, 2012


The sun was mercifully sinking closer to the horizon. My lungs were scratchy from inhaling hay smoke all day. We had been shooting since early morning, and in spite of my tenacious effort, I hadn’t made front and center in any scene. I’d spent all day out there in the hot sun, and, by God, I […]

Posted in: Istanbul, Me