Saturday, March 13, 2010


Bye blog. I'm leaving you. I found someone more modern and hip. I did a few posts behind your back, and now I'm ready to go public.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Back to Byzantium

I fly to Istanbul in two weeks, to kick off a longer adventure to Upper Mesopotamia ... I guess it's time to resurrect the blog.

This will be my third trip. People ask Why Turkey?, and I usually give some on-the-spot lame answer that makes their eyes glaze over. No one ever asks, Why Rio?, or adds a caustic aside about, Oh, Paris again. But Istanbul confuses people, and that confuses me, because this is one of the more fascinating and beautiful cities on the planet, and Turkey itself has seen more empires come and go than any land I can think of, and how can people not know that? Or be intrigued by that?

Here's my agenda for the first couple days ... ten reasons Why? for Istanbul:

Have a massage at the Cemberlitas Hamam,

Attend a Mevlevi sema at Sirkeci Station,

Take a public ferry up the Bosphorus to a village on the Black Sea,

Visit St. Savior in Chora, a church decorated with Byzantine mosaics,

Spend Friday afternoon at the Eyup Mosque, founded on the spot where Mohamed's standard-bearer fell outside the medieval city walls,

Get lost again in the Grand Bazaar,

See the six-winged angel recently uncovered at Hagia Sophia,

Eat the best food in the Eastern Mediterranean,

Have a drink with the bears,

And then dance 'til dawn.

That should be enough for four days ...