Friday, March 2, 2012

Istanbul Photo Roundup, Part 2

Jay, in his Taksim apartment, shows Robin some of his books and other collectibles, including souvenirs from Santa Fe in 2000.

Jay's grandmother. Gotta find out the story behind this great photo.

Tea at Jay's apartment.

Jay's cat, Piaf. He found her as a stray in the Eastern part of Turkey and thought she was a kitten. He took her home and eventually realized she's very, very old. She's very sweet and loves her warm home and her bed next to the radiator. 

This Taksim street is always this empty before dark. After dark the crowds show up. 

Taksim again. Notice the graphic of the Galata Tower on the street banners. The Galata Tower is the oldest tower in the world.

When Robin stopped in an Exchange Bureau to change some money to Turkish Lira, she noticed this little display of miniature folded-paper boats. 

An enclosed street of shops in Taksim (they call this general area Taksim, after the street).

A small fish market in Taksim. Very fresh. 

When Jay left Santa Fe, he got his friends and family (us) to sign his American flag. It's hanging in his apartment. 

Taksim graffiti. This stylized Turk (Turkish Fez hat and mustache) reminds me of the smiling kitten graffiti we saw in Paris. That reminds me. We didn't see any Fez hats. Not even in gift shops.

Many of the buildings that are 100-200 years old are wooden structures like this.

Back to Jay's apartment. He took pity on me as a Cowboys fan and offered his support. What a great guy.

The view from Jay's balcony. That seems to be a Christian church, with crosses on top of its towers. I asked if he could hear the morning call to prayer at 5-ish am. He said no. A good reason, I think, to put Taksim at the top of your list when looking to rent an apartment.

This enclosed sidewalk is full of restaurants. Every couple of feet a different waiter, who is in charge of a handful of tables, tries to get you to sit in his area. That's right, the waiters compete with each other. I couldn't tell if they all worked for the same restaurant, or if they all were independent. 

The pathway of tables is about three times longer than shown in this photo. Just keep walking and you'll eventually be outside again. This restaurant area used to be covered, protected from the weather. After it became illegal to smoke inside at restaurants, they removed the roof so people can smoke while they eat. It was sprinkling rain as we walked through. I guess eating in the rain is better than eating without smoking.