Wednesday, February 11, 2009
My day began at the Yeniköy Spor Kulübü sketching people, having tea and lokma— fried balls of dough soaked in delicious syrup. It seems every culture has their own fried dough— I was addicted to churros back in SF, and lokma just might become my doughy obsession here. I finally managed to sketch this older gentleman that seems to be the café's maître-d, who I had dying to draw for about a month. He has the most amazing face and nose, and is constantly running about tending to customers, but today he actually sat down for a cigarette. I drew as quickly as my pencil and hand would allow me, captured him perfectly and due to my spotty Turkish, accidentally gave the drawing away along with another I had done of the Anatolian woman. I thought he was going to photocopy the drawings as had been done in the past, but since I had drawn in a tear-out sketchpad, he tore them out with smiles and a thank you. Sadly I have no photo to post of those two drawings, but I am pleased that they could make someone so happy. I did however, sketch this magnificent lady in my new Istanbul City Moleskine before I left:
I took a dolmuş to Taksim, downtown Istanbul. I love Taksim, it's alive with a city buzz— it's artistic, historic and eclectic. Cafés, pubs, clubs and shops galore line the streets— one street in particular has captured my fancy, Istiklâl Caddesi. Istiklâl is a pedestrian-only street with a tram that runs through the centre. I really can't describe it; there are loads of connecting alleyways that are full of unique shops, funky bars and cafés, second-hand stores and up-and-coming designer's shops. There are so many hidden gems here, I can feel it— each building on each alley has several floors, so you can imagine how much there is to discover. I feel that I've scratched the surface of the surface, and I am definitely going to have to experience the nightlife here, I can just tell it's a fun time.