Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Exploring the Modern Side of Istanbul

Day two means the jetlag is getting progressively worse (5:00 am call to prayer wake-ups aren't helping) and we are also probably at the worse point of our head colds.  Plus, it's rainy and cold. But today is Rob's birthday! Adventures can't wait.
Yesterday was all about old Istanbul. Today was about the new. We started our day at the Istanbul Modern art museum. Opened in 2004, this museum has a broad collection of modern art by Istanbul natives and transplants in beautiful new galleries. The visitors are hipsters from around the world and excited local 1st grade school children. I always like visiting modern art museums, but the collections aren't always "pretty" (I'm looking at you, Nice). Istanbul's art was thought-provoking as well as pleasing to they eye and I'm ready to name it my favorite modern art museum. 
Rob and I stopped for tea on the museum cafe deck and watched ships go by. 
A very tasty sour cherry crepe with cinnamon sauce for a mid-morning snack. 
From there, we walk along the water front toward the Bosphorus Bridge. This Besiktas neighborhood is packed with universities and posh waterfront hotels. Our target was "potato alley" - an open air market that specializes in baked potatoes - about 3 miles away. We stopped to check directions next to these seagull pay phones: 
Made it to Kumpir Sokak just in time for lunch and chowed down on baked potatoes loaded with sausage, cabbage, yogurt, olives, chili sauce and tabouli salad. 
After the leisurely meal, we walked back home along the main road. 
Loved all the tulips, daffodils and especially the blankets of grape hyacinth planted outside the Dolmabahce Palace. 
Istanbul is absolutely covered with banners, signs and other campaign materials for the election next Sunday. At least it's festive!
Here are more flags, for a different political group, in our neighborhood. 
Our street seems to be the spot for wood carvers. There are a handful of tiny woodshops like this one: 
And, like everywhere in Istanbul, plenty of roaming cats getting into adventures and sleeping in odd places, like window boxes.  


Maywyn Studio said...

Happy Birthday Rob!
Beautiful photos. The backed potato looks fantastic.

Kristy said...

Really nice, thanks for sharing your trip