Istanbul 2010: A Taste of Park Slope

A year ago today, I arrived in Istanbul, stop one on a 12-week journey around Europe that was a point of embarkation on so many levels. I’ll post photos and recollections over the next few weeks associated with places I visited on my trip.

March 3, 2010. Kadiköy-Moda Tram.

March 3, 2010, marked my Day One—a new country, a new culture, and new adventure. Being greeted by friends took the sting off a 10-hour airplane trip, and hitting the ground running with my preloaded transit akbil proved a valiant fight against jetlag. My friends took me first to Moda, a neighborhood on the Asian side of Istanbul which Time Out compared to Park Slope, the Brooklyn ‘hood in which I had been living until 15 hours prior. It’s a small world.

Everything was different and new and all the same at the same time. On Istanbul’s Asian side, you quickly realize that this city, billed as cosmopolitan, is a very Muslim city. Everything’s in Turkish. Alcohol is widely eschewed in favor of çay. Head scarves abound. I slowly absorbed the differences in culture.

But, yet… there’s the posh olive oil store dedicated to variety upon variety of the foodie favorite. A pastry shop that had been running for more than 50 years, complete with the owners’ proud photos of his grandfather with Atatürk to prove it.

Day One. Absorbing, wondering, celebrating, and winding down with a cup of tea, a good friend, and a sunset in Moda Park overlooking the Sea of Marmara. A good start.

March 3, 2010. Sunset from Moda Park.




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