writing journal: impressions of istanbul


no palaces this time, and nothing new under the sun (& moon & stars). just crowds and jostle and passing reflections: overcast forecast, new frowning ferries, salamura olives, a covered woman kissing on the maiden’s tower, roses in bloom in gezi park & homeless people tucked into the warm morning, criss-crossing the bosphorus with a feather boa, the impossibility of getting a taxi & then mad vehicular weaving, hilly back streets, women dangling baskets from fourth floor windows for their daily bread and newspaper, nutella and bignolata ice cream for breakfast at tiffany’s, kids sniffing glue on the ferry, gilded caiques & the golden horn chain, forests rising vertically up out of the mountain mist, bus biscotti, listening to venetia and a blackbird in the viburnum, non-functioning teleferik, fun funicular, one lira simit and four lira postcards, half-built third bridge looking post-apocalyptic, galata tower panoramas, watercolours on the sea wall, raki in a water bottle, cats and dogs, petits fours at midnight, cecil beaton at the pera, people-watching at the amphilittoral kafka cafés, the cool-warm leaves of magnolia, the blue shift of the flâneuse, picking cornflowers in maçka park, grey notebook, sunflower seeds on the stony shore, tankers & thankers, warships passing by worshipful minarets, ‘the daughter of the english ambassador riding in a palanquin’, a plethora of paper bags and brochures, ticket stubs, terrace talks, rooms with views & feeling lavish, tea refills, bookshop dashes & wordsprints with friends, a fuchsia quill & diamine pink, the delight of navigating the metro, cihangir brunch, montblanc windowshopping waifs, massive model of the Hamidiye, rain-washed mulberries & a necklace with tiny emeralds.

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all i can say is that once you grow accustomed to travelling in your imagination, the real thing seems a bit flat…

kadikoy pier
maiden's tower