Jan and I are in Istanbul, visiting family and friends. In less than a week, Elif and Mina will arrive to spend the rest of our time together. I felt the same way as I did last year, the city I used to know and enjoy very much was gonee. In its place was a different town which I nicknamed last year, Towertown. Of course, fitting to the scene was one of the Trump Towers that only carries the man’s name.
As we traveled from the airport to our destination, the traffic was maddening as usual and the ever present cranes were stretching their arms, ready to lift the next thing to bring up high. The architectural style of the towers is nouveau riche with ostentatious components and presence. In the dimmer light of the early evening, some parts reminded me of the Gotham City waiting for Batman!
As we approached the Bosphorus Bridge, probably the only bridge in the world that connects two continents, the hills of Camlica appeared covered with piled on apartments, communication towers (they are towers too, you know), and a new mosque, large enough to accommodate 1,000 people at once. Istanbul is extremely rich in terms of mosques but you cannot have enough mosques!
The next day we went to Kuzguncuk, a small village on the Asian side that maintains its texture despite being right across a mass of towers on the European side. Lunch at Ismet Baba was pleasant with palamut fish (bonito?) in-season. We enjoyed the fish and the scene outside. Back at home, we toured the garden and the greenhouse to see the newly labeled flower collection in the garden.
Here are some scenes from the first couple days.