Thursday, November 03, 2005

İstanbul Noir

I know, I haven't posted in a week. I'm saving these stories for the screenplay.

This town does not stop. I just checked out of the hotel, but don't leave until 5am this morning. I was hoping to go to Hagia Sophia - I have been trying for days, but I keep getting distracted en route. This town does not stop, and it's been one strange and exciting adventure after the other.

Now I hear Hagia Sophia is closed for Bayram, the holiday that marks the end of Ramazan. I can't believe I've been here a week and missed this. I've barely even explored Sultanahmet, the historic district with all the mosques and markets and ruins. On the other hand, I got to know Taksim and Beyoğlu quite well. Sultanahmet and Nişıntaşi (the high end yuppie district) are the places most tourists see. They are missing out - Beyoğlu is the beating heart of the new İstanbul. There are miles of pedestrian walkways winding their way around the cafes and embassies and clubs and stores. I've seen so much, and have met a novel's worth of characters. I really do think I can get a killer story out of this for the Advocate. İstanbul is better than hip - it's pre-hip. One day Beyoğlu will be known and the beautiful people will all flock here again.

So I missed the Hagia Sophia and the museums. The only other regret is that I lost Duwane's number - the American I met earlier. I clicked with him in that rare way that sometimes happens. We hung out a lot, and I got to see the city through an ex-pat's eyes. It was all good, until I went to call him yesterday ... and couldn't find his number. And he doesn't have mine. I knew his address, and went out to his neighborhood yesterday to leave a mesage on his apartment's front door, but got chased off by the apartment manager. And now I'm stuck - how do you find someone in a city of 15 million?

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