Friday, April 27, 2012

More Art.

I know it's been all art, art, art, blah, blah, blah BUT I have one more thing to share with you. And a superfun little story.

We've been waiting on the new tenant to move the utilities out of Niko's name but for several reasons, the waiting turned out to be rather inconvenient so Niko and I went to all these utilities' headquarters on Tuesday morning to do it ourselves. It involved running across Istanbul, Amazing Race-style, and at one point in the day we got on the Metro and rode it from like Point E to Point A, left the Metro then got back on and went from Point A to Point B, got off again and then went from Point B to Point C. My akbil was so tired.

But during one of our Metro stops, I saw this pretty thing.

It's backlit and more than one of the bulbs is out, but I can see the potential. I would also like to say that I tried to find some sort of cultural "meaning" or "significance" to the burned out bulbs - something about "post-post-modern society" but I got nothing. Sorry. I still like it though. 

And I would also like to say that the whole Metro back and forth thing was not our fault. Every place we went told us to go to the next place down the street. But it's done now! And we got our deposit back yesterday!!! Everything is looking up! We're having a house-warming party tonight and Sunday, and we'll officially be leaving Bebek behind us! 

More exclamation points!!!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Small Victories

This last week has been mostly a blur. I honestly couldn't remember what happened until I looked at my photos. Here's the recap:

Freakish windstorm made sand go crazy off in the distance.

Yeah, that's not rain or even smog. It's sand. Straight out of MI:4. I had to shut the window. THEN, I moved into my new apartment. This is our view. 

I can see Asia from my house! And I can see more Bosphorus than this picture indicates. Also featured, a loud camii and a loud church. THEN, I was able to ride the Elusive 59H, which I discovered was actually the Elusive 59C

This is me getting ready for my first ride! Small victories, baby! THEN, I decided to try walking to Etiler along the path from this post. It's not as long in the daylight when I know where I'm going. Also, I saw a rooster. 

Istanbul is a city of 15 million people, and there are roosters running around on the side of the road. 

I love this city.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Tulips are everywhere! Most people think of tulips as a Dutch thing - windmills, clogs, and tulips, but they were an Istanbul thing first. The Ottomans really loved their tulips, and they started "commercial cultivation" of the flower and gave the name to the flower, according to Wikipedia

The Lale Festival lasts the entire month of April. There are no official places to see the tulips: several parks around Istanbul are known for their great showings, and a lot of tulips are just chilling on the side of the road, like in the photo above. 

Abby, her mom, and I went up to Emirgan, the most popular park for tulips, yesterday to see the sights. Boy, these flowers are beautiful. 

Also, the Turkish flag in tulips. 

I would like to point out that the symbol/logo of Istanbul, which can be seen on my akbil here, is a tulip made out of domes and minarets. So the next time you hear someone talking about the Netherlands and their tulips, you set them straight.  

Monday, April 16, 2012

Dünya Sanat Günü

I'm a day behind! Here's what I did yesterday! It was World Art Day, and the Istanbul Modern was free! I hadn't been since 2008 so I decided that it was the perfect opportunity. Plus, my mom was the one who found out that it was Dünya Sanat Günü, and I knew it would make her happy if I went.

I just wanted to share a couple of paintings that I really liked. Since they didn't allow photography, these are taken from the Internet, not my iPhone. I'm breaking all the rules today! First up is a painting that I have loved since 2008 by Hikmet Onat.

It's not modern but I loved it so much when I first saw it in 2008 that I bought a postcard of it and mailed it to my mom explaining why I liked it. The next one I really like is by Ekrem Yalçındağ.

It was crazy looking in real life. The spacing was perfect and the texture of each red blob was uniform. The info card described it as an optical illusion. The space in between each blob was silver. It was beyond amazing to look at, both up close and far away.

Finally, there was a painting by Mehmet Güleryüz but I can't find an image online. I guess it's for the best. It was a huge canvas with brilliant colors and long brushstrokes. Like the Yalçindağ, a photograph would not do it justice.

Anyway, my celebration yesterday was less about the art and the museum and more about celebrating the love of art that my mom instilled in me from a very young age. Here's a photo from the last piece we experienced together:

I can't not love something that lets me play in a room full of balloons! 

Me + modern art = love 4 ever.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

And Art!

After I moved all my stuff up to Grace's this afternoon, I met up with Abby at her friend's mom's art exhibition. All I can say is that her water and skies are beautiful. This picture is Abby's favorite:

Sorry it's crooked, it was above my eye level. This one is my favorite:

So pretty! The artist's name is Fazilet Selamet, and this is her website with more of her paintings. Today was a long, rainy day and I was really not in the mood to leave my new bed, but I am so glad I got out of the house and saw something new! 

I also got to visit the bottom floor of the Nautical Museum but more on that laterz. Three cheers for leaving the house! And art!

Friday, April 13, 2012

One More Night!

The crowd was shouting "One more night! One more night!" I decided to give into my rowdy fans and stay one more night in Bebek.

I hope none of you are surprised by the last minute change of plans that seems pretty standard for my new home. "Planning" is so 2011. 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

End of Freshman Year

Tonight is my last night in my first apartment! It's so sad to leave but it's time to go. This apartment was just a tiny foray into big-girl apartments: I didn't really do it on my own. I couldn't have done it without a bit of financing from my mom and Grammy, and I definitely couldn't have done it without Abby.

Bright and early this morning we had a lady come clean everything in our house. We also got our curtains and rugs back. Tonight, Abby and I took another taksi load to her friend's house. Another productive day!

Last night when we were hauling things in, Abby was upstairs when this lady came out to see what was going on.  She asked me if we were moving in. I said no. She asked if we were moving out. I said no. Then she paused and stared at all the boxes. It took a lot of terrible explanations before Abby came down and saved me with a concisely worded explanation that was beautifully understood. Jealous.

One more picture. This is the tree outside my window that just started to bloom.

It's like the end of real life's freshman year.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


Good news! We're moving out on Friday! Bad news! We're moving in next Thursday. Oops. It's cool though. I'm going to stay at Grace's while she's out of town, and Abby (and her mom who's visiting next week!) is staying at her friend's house.

This is what our space looked like today.

Let's zoom in for a closer look.

YIKES! That's Chris' Vietnamese water buffalo puppet. I'm not going to lie. I'm pretty scared of it. But I'm also super protective of it. Luckily, it survived the first move unharmed. Yeah, so that's the plan. We're moving all of our stuff out over the next two days, chilling for a week, and then moving it all again for real. 

Today, we moved some of my stuff, some of Abby's stuff, and all of Chris' stuff to Abby's friend's apartment. AND we packed up the kitchen and the living room. We were very productive. 

I took a picture of the inside of one of Abby's suitcases. Homegirl is quite the reader. Can't wait to carry that thing up three flights of stairs!!

Busy busy busy. Tomorrow, a woman is coming to clean the apartment, and the people who took our rugs and curtains to have them cleaned are bringing them back. This place is going to be in tip-top shape by Friday!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Bad Decision Basket

So I've been busy. Not with work or something boring like that. No, I've been busy making Bad Decisions. As we get ready to move out of our apartment, I am constantly reminded what a Bad Decision renting this apartment was. I mean, it's great, and it all worked out. I have my health, blah blah blah. But it was still a Bad Decision. In this vein, I decided that Abby and I needed a Bad Decision Basket.

This is a basket in which we can place our Bad Decisions, have a Bad Decision Day at the end of the year, read our Bad Decisions, and decide if we still consider them Bad Decisions.

The basket actually resulted from a good decision. After a wonderful dinner, Abby and I were walking home when we passed a store that was selling eggs in baskets. It was the night before Easter but these things were not Easter-related. They were eggs being sold by the basket, non-Christianly and non-ironically. Abby told me to go ask how much a basket cost but I complained that I didn't know the Turkish word for basket. She told me ('sepet'), and I waltzed right in and asked the dude. He told me the eggs cost 3tl. I was like 'I don't want the eggs, just the basket' and he was like, 'they're free'. 

I was like, 'uhhh...Abby, why don't you come take a listen' (just to make sure I wasn't stealing his basket of eggs the night before Easter). She said the same thing, and he was like 'the eggs cost 3tl' and she was like 'we don't want the eggs, just the basket', and he told us the basket was free. 

So we got a free basket. A Bad Decision Basket.