These photographs have the average girl syndrome. My mom says that a beautiful face can only get uglier with time or you get bored and it becomes normalized. However the face of an average looking girl, slowly becomes better looking the more you look at it. I didn’t think twice about these photographs when I first took them, the seagulls were all in the wrong places but now, a year later, I appreciate their imperfect, subtle beauty.
January 2012 (Nikon D50)
Our first evening in Istanbul it started to rain as we crossed the Galata Bridge and so we ran into the square of the New Mosque. With no other cultural reference, I felt I was in the disney film Aladdin. There were potted palm trees and a central washing fountain. Arabic was written on the walls and some Turkish ladies were still going into the mosque as they put their shoes into plastic bags. I felt like I was in another world.
December 2013 (ipad photos)
I’ve never been to Coney Island but Büyükada felt like the Turkish version of the Coney Island of my imagination. Young couples come here and immediately hop into horse drawn buggies. Teenage girls put wreaths of artificial flowers in their hair. Everyone immediately got a cone of ice cream or another Turkish snack. It was a day out for the Everyman.
January 2012 (Nikon D50)
The first time I flew into Istanbul, I saw these exotic fishing boats, ones that cast nets like a bridal train from above in the plane. They were silhouetted against strong light and looked like they came from an ancient world that wasn’t Western.
I saw these same boats again outside our hotel window and for awhile, I couldn’t stop taking photos of them. They will always represent my first impression of Istanbul.
I embarked on a six day trip around Turkey in January 2012 with an itinerary designed by a New Yorker friend. She wanted to hit Istanbul, Ephesus, Pamukkale, and Cappadacio (that was her shortened version), and the European in me was screaming six days is not enough for Istanbul. Since her flight cost five times more than mine, she won. We never made it to Pamukkale, but here is Cappadacio in all its wintery glory.
We took a 10 hour plus night bus ride with a bus company we initially thought might be shady, but they were the only ones with seats left. I was surprised so many people were taking a night bus toward Cappadacio in the dead of winter. Right when the bus started moving, the guy in front on me reclined his seat back to where his head was almost in my lap the whole time. Snow was falling, and I was staring out the window pensively as if I could alert the driver of a pending accident. As the night wore on, he began driving down the middle of a two way road, only moving over when he saw an oncoming car. This kept me even more alert. We even had a bus hostess who looked Eastern European and very tired. She offered powdered coffee and tea with a snack at some odd early morning hour.
Since this area was known for its ceramic pottery, we visited a work studio and showroom in which I attracted the full 40 minute attention of a salesman who tailed me until I finally bought a discounted 50 euro hand-painted bowl, one that fit inside the palm of my hands. He explained that each layer of design represented a different generation in the family, seven generations in total. Later on that evening back in the hotel, I kept taking the bowl out of its packaging bewitched by its beauty. I was thankful he had forced me to buy it. Nothing on the streets of Istanbul compared to the artistry of my bowl.