The street life of Istanbul is definitely one of the most fascinating parts of my experience in this city. I really enjoy walking in streets and see all the amazing stuff going on around me, especially if it’s a Friday evening on Istiklal Cadesi. The street life here is so vibrant and lively that makes me want to have a 40 minute walk home instead of taking the tram from Shishane. However, I should admit that I walked more often the first weeks than I do now.
There are some stuff that are always present and I always expect to see them on the street, as opposed to some unique experiences that surprise me and remind me of the fact that we are in Istanbul! The simit guy and the tea deliveries are my favorite. They are all over the place. Also, there are always people on Istiklal playing different instruments. They make me happy every time that I hear them. There is this band that is actually really good and seems professional, as they sell their albums at the spot! They are two guys and a girl. One of the guys plays santur, the other one plays guitar, and the girl sings. They’re quite good and there are always so many people surrounding them. I can’t keep myself from joining the circle around them even when I’m in a hurry.
In general, I’m in love with this part of the street life. For some reason, I enjoy seeing these ephemeral and mobile businesses. I think they give life and meaning to the street life. Sometimes I feel like the streets of Istanbul belong to these people, as the whole street is their business district.
As I said, the crowded streets of Istanbul have always had something new and interesting to surprise me and make my day. For example, I was walking home a few days ago when I saw a large number of people gathering around two Indian men wearing Indian clothes and playing music. It was interesting how people took pictures with them, and some of them were excited enough to happily dance with them. People kept coming and seemed like the two men would never get to go home with that many fans that they had.
The other unexpected experience that we had was tonight at Kabatas, when Nick, Juan, and I were going home from the gallery. When we got off the tram, we saw so many flying lanterns in the sky. We went to check it out, when we came across a huge number of people along the Bosphorus releasing lit lanterns. It was such a nice experience on our site that made me rethink what really matters about the design of Kabatas.