Showing posts with label cruise ships. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cruise ships. Show all posts

Monday, October 29, 2012

I lasted a month-and-a-half in Cihangir

By far the best thing about living in the Istanbul neighborhood of Cihangir was how centrally located it was. I could walk to the Istanbul Modern and to church (which still took an hour to get to - but this time on foot). Cihangir came highly recommended by newspapers and foreigners alike, although not necessarily the locals.

What I didn't consider before moving, was that Cihangir is so centrally located, every single Erasmus exchange student who had come to Istanbul for six months would be walking down my street at 1 a.m., 2 a.m., 3 a.m. 4 a.m. and 5 a.m. after a long night of dancing and drinking. Each hour of the evening's activities would then have to be discussed in very loud foreign girl and boy voices where dismay or giggles would be promptly shared by their friends, also in equally loud foreign girl and boy voices. If it had been a really good night, the drunken singing would start.

In addition, neighborhood men would love to sit on the building stoop and discuss life until 2 a.m. The neighbors might play their oud and bongos until 4 a.m. prompting neighborhood residents to come out on their balconies and yell for quiet. The taxis and shuttle buses would take a shortcut to the sea road on my street all night long.
The future Maxim Hotel
for now, an empty construction lot
Up the street from me, was a very fun construction site to watch transform during the daytime - but not so fun at night. The construction workers worked in two 12-hour shifts and had for months. Dirt and grime floated everywhere from their efforts. And worst of all, were the dump trucks full of dirt rattling and clanging down my hill at 3 a.m.
Not exactly "lite" construction
Cihangir has magnificent views. When searching for my initial apartment and then a second one, I saw so many breathtaking views of the Bosphorus. Indeed, right next to the Cihangir mosque, is a park with a spectacular vista of the Bosphorus, the cruise ships, the Hagia Sophia, and the Blue Mosque. Regular folks can't enjoy it though because it is always filled with 1-5 winos sleeping it off. The winos are in no way dangerous but they leave their bottles and litter everywhere. 
So, because of the noise, I decided to find a new neighborhood. I've since moved to Beşiktaş, another centrally-located neighborhood, but one step removed from "too much" activity. Everyday in the first two weeks, it seemed, I discovered yet another girlfriend lives in the neighborhood. I got it right this time.
Follow me on Facebook at: Empty Nest Expat

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Having a Morning Wander in Cihangir

One of my rules of life is that each day must include discovery. I recently moved into a new flat in Istanbul and decided the morning after moving day to see what my neighborhood had to offer.
Looking down my street to the Bosphorus
There's a busy street at the bottom
but it is easy to cross over or under.
A bit of cheerful tromp l'oeil as I walk by.
An Ottoman Grave preserved behind a shop window,
the turban signifies he was a man,
presumably named Sofu Baba.
People slip into the small room to pray.
I wonder what his story is!
Not everything is exotic
Domino's scooters,
complete with an advertisement on the box,
for a 30-minute guarantee.
In Istanbul, it seems you can get everything delivered.
If all you want is one single hamburger,
 someone on a scooter will race over to your house with it -
and I do mean "race."
Scooter drivers seem to drive like stuntmen.
The bread seller loaded down
with his morning wares.
How fantastic is this?
A yoga studio on my street.
I pause a moment to appreciate the beautiful tile work
in the underpass.
One of the Ottoman sultans loved tulips
and tulips have been a recurring theme in Istanbul
 ever since.
Morning commuters rushing off the ferry.
They have either come from the Asian side
or one of the islands.
A beautiful Ottoman-era public fountain
constructed out of marble
It's common to run across film crews
in central Istanbul
I've seen up to four cruise ships
docked end-to-end in this Bosphorus port.
Pinch this Iowa girl!
I've never lived within walking distance
of salt water.
Beautiful Ottoman script over a public fountain
Ottoman window detailing
Looking back up the hills:
how does the average 8-year-old in Istanbul
resist this chute?
It just screams "TOY"
to my inner child.
I can't help but imagine marbles...melons...
water balloons... little Mehmet...
rolling all the way down to the street.
Kids, don't try this at home.
 Coming across a nargile station
connected to the popular nargile cafe
in front of the Istanbul Modern Art Museum.
I've been to this cafe before.
 It's easy to get comfortable on their big divans
shaped in a semi-circle
and contemplate life at a slower pace.
The divans can fit you and up to eight of your friends.
I don't know if these are new or old coals.
Right in front of all of the cruise ships
is the Istanbul Modern Art Museum.

Can it be?
I live within walking distance of the
Istanbul equivalent of MOMA
(the Museum of Modern Art)?
Pinch me twice!
Taking a closer look at the life boats.
 It fascinated me that this was the first shop
cruise passengers see as they leave the ship.

According to the staff, this dock served Russian freighters
before cruise ships and the freighter's vendors haven't moved yet.
 A view of Nusretiye Camii (mosque)
from the Nargile Cafe
 The mosque was built in 1825.
Let's walk around to the front of it.
Looking up at the minarets.
It's a beautiful day.
Isn't it fun to discover?
Can you guess what affected these trees
outside sidewalk cafes?
An example of the renovation
that is occuring all over Istanbul.
This will probably be a hotel
or new condominums.
The shore road takes us back into
more of the industrial part.
You don't run across one of these everyday!
A maritime shop
selling ? What is this exactly?
I know the shape from the movies
but I can't name it.
I have better luck naming this -
a captain's wheel.
I wonder if ships keep a spare.
I can't imagine they'd want to be without one.
The man minding the shop good-naturedly put up
with my poking around. It was fun to imagine an
alternative life as a merchant mariner.
Merchant mariners have better poetry
than most industrial sectors
but I think I'd get sea sick.
I never imagined spies advertising!
Let's keep our eyes peeled for him...or her.
Discovery and mystery on my morning wander
...the perfect combination.

Travel Sites Catalog All Traveling Sites Expat Women—Helping Women Living Overseas International Affairs Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory expat Czech Republic website counter blog abroadWho links to me? Greenty blog