Istanbul is Grey

Just a week into life in Vermont and I'm restless. I am currently researching grant and fellowship opportunities for the summer, when I hope to return to Turkey for a more extended visit before beginning my professional career in the States. Please contact me with any information you might have on grants. I am also looking for a travel buddy for this trip, tentatively set for the month of June, so message me if you are seriously interested. 

Business out of the way, here are some more nostalgic photos from my last trip to Istanbul. These photos are from our second and third days in the city, where we got around lesser-known nooks and crannies with the help of two other Couch Surfers, Ozge and Arda. Ozge took us to a depressed neighborhood where many Turkish photographers go to shoot. It was sad and beautiful all at once. With Arda we went to the Golden Horn and some waterfront areas. We had great conversation, ate great food, and witnessed a very stereotypical cat and dog fight. 

I know these photos are over a year old, but I want to get the stories down before I forget. Besides, I have little motivation to brave the cold to shoot too much right now, plus I'm working. 

Fishermen in the park where we met Ozge

Fishing boat

Women in the neighborhood Ozge took us to

Turkish flag, Ozge

Local boy who loved to get his photo taken!


Grizzled old fisherman who we discovered was also a photographer. He did not speak English but had a rousing conversation with Arda, who translated. Couch Surfing has so many upsides!

Michael's socks in the mosque in Ortaköy

I think I gave him my email address. We had a nice chat.

Our photography group, including Arda. 

Oh so surprising, cats in Istanbul?! 

On our final morning, Monica and Tyler left to fly back to Barcelona early. Mike and I stayed behind to take the ferry over the Bosphorus and listen to it the way our Turkish friend Firat had instructed. 

He was right; you understand Istanbul if you listen to the grey water. The soul of the city is old and it is fighting to discover a new identity in the modern age. Old glories remain but are just that: they are a a piece of the past. This summer I hope to continue to explore how the modern Istanbul is developing atop the foundation of civilization that used to be the city. The layers of identity in the city are breathtaking.