Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Istanbul City Views

Three full days in Istanbul, but after my previous travels from NYC to Istanbul to Ankara and back to Istanbul—all over the course of three days, including being wide awake for 33 successive hours—my body at last said, "No more, fat boy," and, despite the stimulating sites surrounding, I at last simply shut down. Meese spent the majority of two days in bed at the Kybele Hotel, nursing a cold and fever that left me unable to move. Hey, but at least we had a room with a view (see hotel post below, cool cats).

The nights: fucking fabulous, as you can see on either side of this post. And here, reflections of a wondrous urban, modern & yet oh-so historic city. My fourth visit to Istanbul... and as fresh and tasty as the bread here. Sans a lot of description, drink it all in.Above, a group of buddies asked Ayhan to take their picture. I stood alongside with my camera, to take same.Above, ruins in this ancient city stand alongside modern architecture, awaiting reconstruction. The nation is actively pursuing preservation, so many buildings like this are not allowed to be torn down for generic highrises (Note to NYC Mayor Bloomberg: Hey queenie, honoring history is a meaningful alternative to lining your deep pockets with developers' $$$).Above, one of the two Four Seasons Hotels in Istanbul. This used to be a prison. Nice digs, eh?Above, the modern rail system that works its way throughout the city, all above ground. About $1 a ride. Ideal for people watching.No, people don't really dress like this. Except your mamer when she's playing geisha for your diddy.The hot Turkish version of Adrian Pasdar?The police station serving the Sultanahmet nabe.Prayer benches close to Blue Mosque.This ancient wall greeted us as we entered Istanbul on the overnight bus at dawn.1970's kitsch? Cell phones are even more pervasive in Turkey than in the U.S. They're years ahead in terms of effective coverage—and unlike the monopoly that carriers have on phones in the States, there, you buy your phone first, then select a plan. When is the FCC going to fix that gaffe?