i had wanted to visit istanbul for a while, and honestly, i was worried that i had maybe built it up a little in my mind. i hadn't.
what makes a great city? population sometimes matters; history sometimes matters; even skyscrapers sometimes matter... but none of these things are central, in and of themselves.
i think a great city needs to do things its own way. it needs to have a recognizable architectural vernacular, some characteristic foods and social rituals, a slang, a literature, a self all its own. a great city is, at heart, a great way of doing things
i am going to miss this place. i am also going to be back often. it's cheap. i'm close. istanbul is easily one of the best things about pristina, at this point.
so here's a partial look. i haven't seen it all yet, but i'm not forcing it. it'll come. i regret not having some pictures of the weird area near koca mustafa station that i explored last night - it was like i had been transported to cairo. i haven't been to kadikoy. i haven't explored berat.
there's so much. but here's a bit of a start: art-hipster karakoy; tourist-hell sultanahmet; blandly ambitious levent; champagne-and-sushi nisantasi; eerie tarlabasi; cooly self-contained cihangir - this is a tiny little bite of the turkish metropole, neé byzantium, area code 212.
it's a great city, and it's a city person's city. enjoy.