Istanbul, first day

We almost missed our flight due to our wake up call not calling but we made it.  Phew.  What an incredible urban jungle where literally east meets west.  The next few days is going to be full of serious walking.

fishAfter getting our bearings, drinking a cup of coffee and dropping off our luggage we began.  We decided to stay in the neighborhood of where we are located.  We are staying at the Soho House that just opened a few months ago.  We walked down to the Galata Bridge to find a good sandwich and see the fish market.  Most of the market had closed for the day but there were still some stragglers selling the rest of their wares.

sandwichmanThere was a guy right before you enter the market with a open grill making sandwiches that were calling our name.

fishsandwichGrill mackerel on a long roll filled with onions, lettuce, tomatoes, spicy red peppers and a splash of lemon juice and salt over the top.  Perfect.

maezaeWe continued down the waterfront staying on the north side and began to walk into the neighborhood.  It is a pretty cute hip neighborhood.  This store is called Mae Zae.  It could have been right out Brooklyn.  An assortment of everything you might think you need.  There motto is why not now.  Love that.

neverdatedudesWe started to get deeper into the Beyoglu neighborhood (also known as Pera) and make our way up the hill.  Super cute corner book and coffee shop that was dove into.  Thought this was a funny title for a book.

aysewilsonNow we began our journey up the hill stopping at stores and galleries.  The PG Gallery exhibiting an artist Alyse Wilson.

hane78Next door was Hane 78.  Home furnishings.

tiftixTifFix.  More items for the home.

recordsA super cool record shop called Velvet Hole Ground.

handmadestoreAn store straight out of Etsy.  Home made products from Istanbul.

galeriearpelGaleri Apel.

sALTWe got to the top of the long rambling street and found ourself on the main street of this area.  Extremely wide with stores, restaurants and galleries on both sides.  It was like we came upon civilization.  We went to SALT that is a small privately funded museum.

astronautThen we ended up in a building that appeared to have a variety of galleries in it.  We only ended up in Galleri Zilberman with an exhibit from Alpin Arda Bagcik.  Paintings of major happenings after WWII.

kitchensinkAnother gallery called Space Liner.  I got a kick out of this small piece of a supposed kitchen.

greysonvaseOur next stop was the Pera Museum.  There were two exhibits.  One of Grayson Perry and the other of Cecil Beaton.  Both great.  Perry’s work is modern and really unique.  He is known for his ceramics.

greyston quilHe is also known for his tapestries.  These were all about different classes and their tastes.  Quite an exhibit.   The Cecil Beaton was hard to take photos of.  It is just incredible how many iconic people he photographed.  Incredible show.

Took a seat at the cafe for a little rest before making our way back to the hotel before dinner.

Comments (Archived):

  1. William Mougayar

    What did you think of the Turkish tea and the ritual about how they make it and serve it.

    1. Gotham Gal

      Not sure we experienced anything that unique from other tea experiences. Maybe I missed.

      1. William Mougayar

        Ah, it is different and distinctive. Definitely want to experience it.1/ it’s a strong black tea type that comes from near the black sea2/ they make it in a 2 part water / brewing system (there’s a 2-stacked kettle)3/ they serve it with a varying degree of strength/weakness which depends on the amount of water they add after the base is poured in4/ the tulip shaped glasses for drinking it.If you like it dark/strong, say Koyu. If weaker/lighter, it’s Acik.Have it at a bar, not on the street. And to top it off, a lokoum on the side if you liked these sweets.[when I went to Turkey, I remember buying 2 things: a leather jacket from the Bazaar and a set of Turkish tulip-shaped tea glasses]

        1. Erin

          Awesome manly/sensitive shopping trip purchases, William!

          1. William Mougayar

            aha. true. the tea set is still at my parents home 🙂

        2. Prokofy

          This is exactly the same thing they do in Russia. And it isn’t seen as a “ritual” but just “the norm.” They brew very strong tea in one pot, then add hot water depending on the type and what people ask for, they put it in these tall glasses with metal holders and they take a sugar cube first and put it in their mouth then drink the tea through it or they have some jam or or bun on the side.

  2. awaldstein

    The herds of cats everywhere in Istanbul are my favorite thing honestly.On the art side, in Europe especially, mural street artists are a cult movement.Very much so in Italy and I bet in Istanbul as well. Seems like the sidewalks and the walls are the common canvas for the new generation. Just an FYI.

  3. Pranay Srinivasan

    You should try Donner with Eggplant, and visit Mercan area for great old world artifacts. Great bread in Turkish bakeries as well.

    1. pointsnfigures

      Great bread. Love those sesame seed things that look like pretzels.

      1. Gotham Gal

        They are

  4. pointsnfigures

    We were in Istanbul over Christmas. Amazing place. Chora Church moved me. I was there on Christmas morning. Hope you guys did a Turkish bath. A strangely satisfying experience.

  5. Prokofy

    Amazing pictures. Are these from your camera phone? How do you get them to come out so sharp and colourful?

    1. Gotham Gal