The Turkey Diaries: Kadikoy
Gap Striped Shirt (similar)
Forever 21 Denim Jacket, Infinity Scarf (similar)
American Rag Black Coat
H&M Black Jeans
First Boots c/o Jellypop
After taking in the views from the ferry across the Bosphorus, Jeremy and I got off in Kadıköy, which is a small district of Istanbul on the Asian side (the other half of the city is in Europe). Jeremy had never explored that neighborhood before so it was new to both us. I adored the feel of the streets of Kadıköy which were populated with little shops, cafes, and bars around every corner. The district is also very residential with apartment buildings right and left. Some of the buildings were more modern while others boasted architecture from the Ottoman and Roman periods. I love when smaller businesses choose to preserve the older buildings and build their shops and restaurants around them, often times restoring them.
My favorite stores were all of the little antique shops that we came across. One of them was filled from ceiling to floor with broken radios, tea sets, vintage toys, and other various trinkets. I kept having the urge to enter the vintage furniture stores until I realized there was no way I would be shipping anything back to my NYC apartment. Alas!
As the sunset, the modest nightlife of Kadıköy started to come to life before our eyes. I wish we could have explored all of the bars and restaurants in more depth, but just by walking through the streets that were dimly lit by neon signs, I could get a feeling of warmth and friendliness. So many restaurant owners would be standing outside their stores, saying hello (Merhaba) and encouraging us to sit down for some tea. Jeremy and I decided to settle for a quieter restaurant when it came time for dinner which served authentic Anatolian food. So delicious. It reminded me of what (I believe) home cooking would be like in Turkey. Jeremy ordered a dish consisting of potato dumplings in yogurt while I gobbled down Gözleme, which is a hand-rolled pastry filled with either potato or cheese. In my case, I went for the potato filling due to my obsession with anything made from potatoes.
We ended our night on a relaxing note by stopping by one of the brightly lit cafes. One thing about Turkey is that there is no such thing as too much tea. Seriously, I cannot even count how many cups of tea I drank during my stay. Possible close to fifty? Who knows. I just know by the time I was heading back to America I was already having withdrawal from Turkish tea.
In Turkey, it's common for people to sit down with some tea to play a game of backgammon (known as Tavla in Turkish). Looking at the board, I had never known what those triangles even meant and I never bothered to learn the game. Jeremy took the time to teach me the game and I'm now backgammon obsessed. I might even have to buy a board for myself and force my roommates to play with me.
I'll end this post by telling you guys how much I adore street music. Living in New York City, I am constantly walking past street performers. Sometimes it's an entire dance troupe breaking down some Michael Jackson moves in the middle of the street; sometimes it's a ten-year-old playing a keyboard in a crowded subway station. The man pictured above is playing a Baglama which is most often used in Turkish folk music. Street music can tell you so much about the culture of a city and Istanbul did not disappoint. Such a great last impression to leave Kadıköy with.