Girls found all these pieces while they were playing in the garden. They are entertained endlessly by nature. I was reminded of the times I was doing photoshoots for Small Square Design products and got inspired.
We went to the viewing terrace of the Sapphire Tower, the current tallest building in Europe... It is quite nice to be able to look at the whole city from that high up. Scale gains a new meaning. You can actually see the main buildings you drive to and from, the two bridges connecting the Asian and the Europian side on the same plane. It is mesmerizing for any age.
The only thing that was not beautiful up there was a realization that this city is filled with a lot of concrete without any taste or planning. Yes, the coastline is amazing with the old palaces, mosques, shipyards, fortresses and there is a lot of beauty in Istanbul, but there is also this:
I have recently seen a trailer for Ekumenopolis, a documentary about the non-existing urban planning in Istanbul. Beautifully done and intimidating.
Recently, as we are already carrying so much gear with us due to the winter temperatures, I was lazy to carry our camera but luckily there is still my old iPhone. The photos are a tad blurry but at least I take them. Here are some from the recent days...
We went to the Dolmabahce Palace. It is a beautiful building with luxurius furnishings, but one of the more exciting parts was the ceiling of the hammam section. Lighting and aeration. Beautiful.
The palace is right in front of the water and has openings in front of its fence for boats, ferries or its other nautical vehicles. These gates look quite amazing, the opening to nowhere, and are guarded. With the sun behind, I was trying to take a photo of the silhoutte of this view and later realized that Lula got in it, as well!
Another day trip was to the Besiktas bazaar area. It is generally a lively area and I found the architecture of the open fish market particularly striking.
I later learnt that it was recently redone by GAD. A sweet, modern project in the heart of oldtown!
These two photos below that I recently took have a similar feeling (the curve)!
This one is the Ankara Airport.
This one is the Mogan Park.
These places have both been built since I started living in San Francisco. I like them quite a lot. Airport is spacious, simple and serene. Mogan Park has this very long promenade and lots of kid play space next to it. A short walk on the promenade took a very long time with Lula.
It has been almost two weeks since we arrived in Ankara. We landed on a very warm evening and it has only gotten warmer since then. Ankara does not usually get this warm, so the houses do not have air conditioning or even fans. My parents' place (where we stay for now) is no exception. The baby monitor in Adele's room is routinely alerting us to the high temperature in there; 88 degrees Fahrenheit!
The first day of Ramadan was a few days ago. It is somewhat marking our first days here. First, all the stores were marketing and selling the traditional food consumed during the month. TV stations were constantly talking about how to stay healthy during this heat wave while fasting. Now, all the restaurants are empty during the day (great for us with two kids).
My parents' place is near the big Kocatepe Mosque. You can hear the ezan (calling for the prayer) very well five times a day. One is around 4 AM. John and especially Lula have been mesmerized with this. Looking at the minarets (seen below) of the mosque, she talks about the muezzin who sings the songs and sleeps in the minarets when he is done. She is pretty cute. The photos below show the view from our balcony at night.
We also visited CerModern. It is an old train repair shop that was turned into an exhibition and photography gallery with various other artistic spaces. The old shop was renovated and a new steel/concrete/glass extension was added with beautiful harmony. We all enjoyed the space very much. I am looking forward to going back for one of their jazz concerts and new exhibitions.
At CerModern's shop, I saw that one of my favorite Etsy artists Senay Akin's collection was displayed. It was very refreshing to see jewelry designs being displayed at an art museum.
Our plan is to stay in Ankara for a couple months while we are looking for a nice rental in Istanbul and John is attending his Turkish classes. Also, we have an upcoming Antalya "sea" vacation at the end of August. It is quite a union: us, my parents, John's parents, my sister and her boyfriend, her boyfriend's parents, John's sister and her family, John's sister's sister-in-law and her family. They will be coming from US, Canada and England!
Maira Kalman has recently been one of my favorite artists. She had done interesting pieces for NY Times and the combination of her colorful style and writing was very amusing. I just happened to look for her online recently. On the serendipity page, there was a Kate Spade link, which shows the Kate Spade products that had her illustrations printed on them. I realized that years ago without knowing her, I purchased one of those pieces!! My tote bag looks like this, only a bit smaller:
I was reading an article on Google's doodles by Alice Rawsthorn and found this part about Apple's logo so interesting:
"Apple's apple symbol is a tribute to Isaac Newton, and hence to science and innovation. It has been bitten on one side, bringing the mind the computer byte and the sexual frisson of Adam and Eve succumbing to temptation by eating the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden. Does everyone get all of that? Probably not?"
I definitely did not and found it fascinating. So simple, yet so complex and brilliant!