Sunday, May 31, 2009

Six - call to prayer

Five - today's travel, I hope

Today I am supposed to go to the Princess Hotel on Buyukada of the Princes' Islands.

Check out the embedded map below:

However, due to mis-communication, I think that it might be the Princess Ötel in the Asian side of the city...

We'll see.

Destination is the Princes' Islands still and taking my chances. I don't know if it is Princess or Princes' (but thank the lord that the apostrophe key works!)

There are other spots to stayout there too and I have no set reservation. Sounds like fun. Just about time to pack up and leave, but I'm going Ross Gellar and staying until 11:59 AM. I even snuck of some food from the breakfast buffet today.

Leaving this part of the city will suck. It is pretty live here and I am getting used to it, but, time to move on. Back to foot patrol. While I have done swanky hotels, I am traveling on foot and public transit only - that and the hotel shuttle one day. Today will be nice. The weather is mild. Good for walking and maybe good for photos.

While I must go, I want to post about some of yesterday's travels (Friday was too trippy for me I think; and got too tired to write about it...).

Yesterday I went to see my buddy Ali at the Islamağlu bakery in Zeytinburnu Belediyesi (province, dıstrıct...). I figured I could parlay some good faith into them allowing me to take pictures whıle I drank more coffee and ate their pastrıes... (I am doing one swanky hotel meal a day, the rest is outside.)

Ali wasn't there, but his partner Mustafa was - just as cool a fellow.

This part of the city is out side of the old city walls so everything is much newer. The area contains second rate clothing stores when compared to the Bazaar Quarter and shops lıke "Gizia" who do not let you cut through to yur hotel. I saw one called Manım or somethıng lıke that. Whatever - they usually have fucked up maniquins outsıde; and these maniquins - wearing conterfeit Ed Hardy t-shirts - usually have their noses busted ın, or the sıdes of their heads covered ın brown packıng tape. Next time I see some dude in saıd Ed Hardy T-shirt back ın the L-gizzle (Los Gatos) I will laugh ever so Ed Hardily (ed hardy, har, har, har...)

Anyway - here is a link to pictures of Ali at the ribbon cutting ceremony with the president of the Zeytinburnu district, along with some other pictures from this bakery (please see the link, I can't seem to upload images without crashing the application - damn you ie!)

After that and a series of bargaining (read "dickering") sessions at the Covered Market (...had to get some Pashmina Tapestry for Mom), I went back down to Hassan's Carpet distributorship.

You see, this was my issue with Friday. I did some serıous back alleys all afternoon and this guy caught me off guard and wary as he invited me back to his shop - which was off the main street and actually in a very nice section of the city. All of a sudden there are lush trees and the streets are closed to vehicles. Hassan repairs carpets and is more of a wholesaler than front line salesman. I went back today because I felt bad to misjudge his hopsitality (yes, I am socially awkward - you think?).

I brought Hassan a beer (Efes Pilsen) so that I could

Learn about Carpets! (the Local Economy)

See the picture links again please - sorry this isn't working out Papa G... (Papa G is the Editor)

Anyway, gotta bail for now... but, check one more post of hopefully embedded video...

Friday, May 29, 2009

Post four - nothing to say for now... here is a quick movie I made from said transportation conference...

Look for it on the video page you get sent to.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Third post from Istanbul

Intertraffic 2009

Yes I went there.

"...Be there for the rap battle, It's going to be interspectacular. Fantabulous, it'll blow your socks off. It's one of those things where Machine versus man, Man versus woman, Woman versus your mother. Be there. The Intergalactic rap battle. It's instupituous..."

OK, it wasn't like that, but if I had to present, I would've talked about the artwork on the Metro gently warning riders, "don't be a dumbass!"
(Is it the buck-teeth that connotes stupidity? We'd never see anything like this in the US, someone might get offended...)

I asked the people at the Istanbul Transit booth about these posters, but was simply handed a bunch of literature that I secretly left behind because I don't want to carry too much shit. (They didn't understand that...)

I took a bunch of movies; trying to capture the hottness of the brunette trade show women of Eastern Europe. I also saw a few presentations which were translated through wireless headphones. These would distort whenever someone took a cell call or text message.

The translation was brutal - alot of "ahs" and "ums," "ITS is, a... helpful, and... yes, that is what it is..." When I saw the translator afterward, he knew enough english for me to tell him that I didn't envy his job... He looked thrashed.

The skanky german chic with the tatoos gave me the international "whatever, loser" sign when I asked that she take my picture while wearing my ESRI t-shirt. The other woman was quite charming though...

Two presentations. One, some dude busting out a SWOT analysis of what, I don't know (didn't have the translation earphones yet). The second, a guy talking about the challenges facing traffic mangement for a city of 10+ million people; admitting that they have problems with pedestrian safety, and that basically the whole thing is off the hook. He said something like, "Only 10% of population uses the public transportation; although train lines have doubled over the last five years." The 2023 plan: Pretty exciting (be there!)

On the way back I hit a textile district and had baklava and coffee with Ali (My Buddy). He thought I wanted a whole pound of the stuff, but I only wanted one piece and a coffee. We sat and talked where I commenced the sugar high washed down with turksh coffee so I could walk around and take pictures. This is what I imagined doing on this trip. Thanks Mom.

He was funny and friendly with his arm around my shoulder, "Sit down, please." He spoke english very well. I asked of his travels and he told me that he'd been to England and Mozambique. That in England he saw a Manchester game, so naturally he was a fan and was dissapointed at the outcome of yesterday's game.

Good stuff, I want to go back there and take more pics of him and his bakery.

Good wandering today; no doubt. That's what I'm in it for.

Tomorrow, the Fall of Constantinople* - Be There!

"Ladies and gentlemen, check out the rap battle of the century. The intergalactic rap battle. The battle of all battles. Don't forget! Man vs. Machine. Machine vs. Computer. Computer vs. Woman. Woman vs. Child. Be there, be square. Make sure you see the intergalactic rap battle 3030." Deltron 3030

*I hope to write on this event and the information, or lack there of, that I have seen.

Until tomorrow morning's 4:00 am call to prayer wake-up call,


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Second post from Istanbul

Back again from the Bazaar Quarter - Reporting from Crown Plaza Boutique Hotel.

Coming to you live after ignoring street vendors and suspiciuosly friendly people...

What can I say?

A picture says a thousand words! (click here for photo journal)

I'm staying well, but traveling funky. Yesterday I hacked my trip to new hotel room by using a combination of Hotel shuttle, Metro and foot patrol through neighborhoods west of and through Askaray. (I like to get lost.)

Some of the neighborhoods are quite awesome. If there isn't a place to put a mosaic tile on a wall, then they'll find one.

Pretty cool stuff - me walking into a 5-star hotel with my backpack on and all sweaty while at the concierge.

Went in, took a nap and then went back out for foot patrol. Ended up out there for two hours. Zoned in on taking pictures of mosques - yes just like the California Missions project. In my happy place...

Here's a funny story for y'all (now that the apostrophe key works!): Today I am going to a transportation conference. Intertraffic 2009 (you know!)

I saw it while sitting in traffic like the picture on the photos page. Researched it and found out its free! You know the saying...

Somehow the exhibition center where this conference is was the first stop of the Hotel Shuttle and second to last stop for the metro system (they have killer art work and style I hope to share with you all - today will be my photo splurge on the train system - geek out!, work while on vacation? Is it work if you enjoy it? "Isn't that the issue here? About having a good time..."
Helmer will trip that I went to this thing...

Anyway, beautiful women at the check in counter and at the Mercedes Benz display. However, my badge says that I am from San Jose, Georgia! Ha ha... God bless 'em.

Signing out for now, but again, let me comment on the young hot women here. Geez! They remind me of Selina. All I got to say to them, despite the Muslim thing, and that two of the most attractive women I have seen so far were wearing their head scarves ever so modestly; all I have to say to them is keep watching those Lady Gaga videos!


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Hey folks,

Back on-line - Live from Istanbul.

Get out your Nazar Boncugu because there ıs stink eye for sure when you are a slum voyeur.

Somehow my first foot patrol is back in a neighborhood in the west (Mahmutbey), where they don't get many tourists. Kind of industrial, under development.

Let me say, the kids here have stones developed at a young age (I guess they have to) - they get right up ın your face when you are wearıng your floppy vıetnam hat.

I guess only the women cover theır heads ın muslım countrıes? (and the men only wear shorts when they play futbol).

Whatever, good stuff to check out and hope to post more.

I know it has been 3 years since my last blog post...
You think I was depressed and sad then? (read about my thoughts on water)
In the interim ıt was far worse.

Hopefully I hıt rock bottom and changed my trajectory. Just like my hopes for the global economy...

Papa G, I hope to follow through for you here. Somehow, however, I cannot get apostrophes to work on a Turkısh keyboard. Also, I guess there ıs a dıfference between ı and i. Who knew?

So yes, I am in Istanbul, Turkey and hope to continue with this thing even while I am keepıng a paper journal as well. I like that better anyway, but I wıll post a few pıcs here and there; and some comments no doubt. Plus thıs wıll gıve me somethıng to do using the hotel business center or internet cafe.

Also, I've thought about posting the written pages - while knowıng that ıs a blog flop faux pas for sure.

Who fn' cares though?

No-one reads this shit anyway. The September 2006 blogs about ımmıgratıon from Central Amerıca got hıt wıth comments; but they were from super-trollers...

Check them out though, because they are funny.

Someone saıd I was a good wrıter, but then proceeded to try to sell me a condo ın Jaco Beach, Costa Rıca.

Your uncle stump sıgnıng off for now, peace out!