Saturday, October 27, 2007

Tea House in Sultanahmet















My friends and I hit this tea house in the Arasta Market after visiting the Blue Mosque (background), but it was still daylight, and empty, on account of it being Ramadan. But come nightfall, it packed up full of Turks and tourists, and probably a few Turk tourists as well. A great place for backgammon if there ever was one. Especially if you like being beaten pantsless by an idle waiter. Am I right, Paul?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

What is this thing?
















A guy was selling these outside the Spice Market, along with three buckets of leeches. He had a box of them, which were all split like bananas, but bumpy like gourds, and full of ruby-red seeds like a pomegranate. What are these dang bananagranate gourds? Should I be punching myself for not getting any?

Photo Rummage Pile

Okay, let's see here, what do I have laying around the old photo grab bag?
Did I show you this one, yet?















It's inside the Ayasophia, near the apse.
What else, what else? Hey, what's this?














This here is the interior of the Mosque of Suleyman the Magnificent. You might be able to see a film crew in the left corner. It seemed there were film crews in all the mosques around Istanbul. Anyway, this mosque, like the other big, famous mosque, Sultanahmet (aka the Blue Mosque), was supposedly heavily influenced by the Ayasophia. But if you ask me--and I know you're not--all the mosques in Istanbul look a little like the Ayasophia, which looks a little like a bell you'd see at a hotel bell desk. Ding! Call to prayer. Ding! Insh'allah!

Here's another of Suleyman's mosque.



















Alright, last one for now. Remember kids, just because your mosque is blue, it doesn't mean it's sad.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Footie in Istanbul

Went to a footie match when I was in Istanbul. Besiktas v. Genclerbirligi (Ankara). The Black-and-Whites bested the Ankara side with a messy 1-0 win. To say the least, the Besiktas crowd probably kept the home team in the game better than the players.

video

Round and Round We Go

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Ramp to the upper level in the Ayasophia.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Constantinople's Still Istanbul















Though the sun has set on my Istanbul adventures, watch the Smokehouse for the next week or so, and I'll post some of the awesome hilarity that I didn't get a chance to regale you with during my time on the Golden Horn! So stay tuned for more navel gazing!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

So Bazaar.

Okay, Bob, tell our contestants what they didn't win.















A selection of fine teas, from the Spice Market.















A lovely fruit basket, look at those figs!















Wonderful, handmade soaps that look like fruit!















Pickles!















And a year's supply of leeches!

Bim Selah Bim, and it Takes Off!

I hope you like this one, honey. (The colors are darker in person.)

Ayaspohia Self-Portrait

First it's a church, then it's a mosque, now it's a cultural monument to all Turkey. An impressive resume, really.

I Am So Smart, S-M-R-T

I love these wrought iron security bars in the windows in Istanbul. Where are they mostly? In front of banks. Guess how many seconds it takes for me to asked by security guards to move along. Less than 30. Hey, nice gun!











































You ever been in a Turkish prison, Jimmy?

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Stop this Ride, I Want to Get Off!

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Lawdy Dawdy . . .

Who likes to pahtee,
in a 4th Century cistern, smah-tee?
The blurry man, the furry man,















the dude in plaid pants,
















I get so excited,
like a dervish we will dance.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Why is this man smiling?













photo credit: Søren Bang



It's because he's in love.

Fractured Reflections

I keep trying to take a picture of myself in action, but I have found that trying to capture my self-portrait is as elusive as the snipe, or even the basilisk.
















I know I'm in here somewhere . . .
















I think I can see my knuckle in this one somewhere. Maybe I'm not here after all.
















Wait! That might be me. I DO exist! I DO!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

I'd like Strait Shooting for $600, Alex.
















The world's narrowest strait used for international navigation, it connects the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara (which is connected by the Dardanelles to the Aegean Sea, and thereby to the Mediterranean Sea).

What is . . .?

Saturday, September 29, 2007

What are you looking at?

Though the view from my office at the Hilton Istanbul is a little dreary, the view around the grounds lights up at night quite nicely.















Friday, September 28, 2007

Fruit Stand by Night
















Maybe it's the Efes talking, but you got one fine fruit stand there, effendi.

Istanbul, not Constantinople
















Greetings from Istanbul! Now, where are all the ladies at?
Oh, that way? Thanks!