Wednesday, June 17, 2009

July 2008: Istanbul

Heaps of Istanbul photos currently clog my hard drive, so it’s time for show and tell.
Out of all the Turks I met, Sena exposed me to the most art and culture. This crazy wild child knew everyone on the circuit: painters, photographers, writers, and musicians. After work, she’d quickly change and run off to an event. Luckily, she’s a sweetheart and often invited me to tag along.
On one particular night, Sena took my friend Whitney and me to URA Gallery on Taksim’s Istikal Cadesi. Various visual artists contributed work for the vent. As the free Efes flowed, the crowd poured in. Creators and appreciators alike gathered together to critique and discuss art, politics, and the latest football match. The room was abuzz with conversation.
In the midst of the crowd, a band soundchecked their equipment and prepped for their set. I didn’t catch their names, but their fierce sound and consequential reverb nearly made my ears bleed. If I hadn’t packed my nerdy earplugs, they surely would’ve shredded my face off. Since the indoor smoking started to bother me, we moved on to our next stop.
Sena took us further into Taksim for a house party. We climbed five flights of stairs and stepped out onto the most beautiful roof deck ever. While tourists paid 20 YTL to get a glimpse of the Galata tower, I could practically reach out and touch it. The whole city, from the bridges to the Bosphorus, was aglow. We met Sena’s cute friend, Berke, and a dull foreign correspondent from England. Cake, wine, and good times were had by all.
To cap off the night, our crew headed over to Dogstar for some dancing. Sena’s friend was on the bill to DJ, but his set time was at 4 am. Taking a break from the dance floor, I looked around the place. Posters from the Iranian biennial and huge stencils decorated the walls (hence the theme for the day’s post). On our search for a cab, I snapped shots of all the street art splattering the streets. I arrive in Istanbul around this time last year, so I’m feeling a bit nostalgic for those amazing summer nights. Sena, this post is for you. To all my other Istanbulus, don't fear, your posts are coming.

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