All posts tagged: Istanbul

Mapping Bourdain

As travel shows go, the many incarnations of Anthony Bourdain’s philosophical and very real take on food, yes, but more than that, culture, is definitely a must. Though Brasserie Le Halles, the now New York staple he used to helm (where my boyfriend was very sweet to have taken me), did not live up to expectations as far as steakhouses, we religiously watch old episodes of No Reservations shot in places we’re going so we can choose a few spots for our own map of places to check off our bucket list du jour. Turkey: Uphill and Soggy Buns Turkey, for example, was especially interesting. We decided our first night in Istanbul that we were going to walk to Durumzade, a small spot where Tony swears the Adana kebab was the best. It was quite an adventure as we did not know that we had to walk uphill to the restaurant. We walked until we finally gave up and hailed a cab a block from the place and got to our goal: Anthony Bourdain’s recommended kebab. …

Wednesday Sightings: Sunset in Istanbul

What do you see when you wake up? How about when your day is about to wind down? Have you had the chance to have been able to marvel at sunrises and sunsets half the world over? Aren’t these priceless, humbling experiences ones that diminish all the importance and effort we put on the insignificant, minute stresses of our everyday — and beauty, only beauty, comes into focus?   Photos taken of an Istanbul, Turkey, sunset from the Celebrity Constellation Cruise Ship, November 2013

World Heritage Site Tuesday: Galata Bridge

If you’d like to experience another texture of Istanbul other than its beautiful mosques, the Galata Bridge is just a few blocks away from Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque. Apart from its historical significance, it has now taken a whole new cultural importance in the Istanbul landscape. For instance, foodies that we are, we went to the area for the famous fishing boats and the fish sandwiches. My boyfriend is not a fish person but I am, so this was totally my thing — we had to see the decorated boats under the bridge and I had to taste the much-talked about sandwiches.   The area is great overall if you like experiencing more of the street food scene. There were also a lot of locals, and it was nice to see the fishermen across the bridge. I liked the sandwich, it tasted like a smoked fish I ate growing up, with a vinegar taste. It was just a little more chaotic for my migraine. One warning, if you are to go: do not …

The Hagia Sophia: a Great Testament to the Human Spirit

One of those things we as a society think we don’t agree about, is religion. There are currently approximately 4,200 known religions in the world — but the differences in beliefs aren’t the source of the disagreements. It’s the perception that we have more differences than we have in common, and that in those differences begin fear. Religion is a sensitive topic. It has, after all, spun wars for centuries, claiming thousands and thousands of lives. This is one of the main reasons why it was amazing to step foot in a place like the beautiful Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, now a museum but one with so much history — both cultural and religious. If you look around its interior, you would still see remnants of symbolism from different religions, as it was originally constructed as a Greek Orthodox basilica, later became a Roman Catholic church, and when the Ottoman Turks came to Turkey, it was converted into a Mosque. It is a testament to how a city evolves with time, a witness to the …

Introspective on Change at the Basilica Cistern

I have been thinking about change lately. What is it that brings about the process, is it the need for it, or the time it takes, or is it the environment we all move in that forces us to be something a little different each time? When we went to Istanbul, the Basilica Cistern was the perfect place to be introspective and retrospective of the trip that was bringing about changes in my outlook, and consequently, my life and relationships — familial, platonic and romantic. It was a quiet, beautiful place, and in itself has undergone tremendous change in the course of its history, having been constructed under a basilica, designed to serve as the source of water for a palace; closed; rediscovered and used to store water for the city; became a dumping ground; and now that its great historical significance has been unearthed, cleaned and opened to the public. Change is scary, sometimes painful, at times comedic if we choose to step back and be a part of it willingly. In this great …