Don’t forget to smile!

Merhaba! Nasılsın? (How are you?) Ben de iyiyim! (I am good!).

Everything here in Istanbul is amazing! Bet you already knew that though because you follow the blog, and people have been doing a pretty good job of recording our activity on it. I don’t have much to say this time around, as I have been consumed by the week long charette that ends tomorrow, but I thought I’d just share a few fun moments I’ve had recently that I think reminds us that not everything has to be so serious!

In Megans post she mentioned that we our studying the Eminonu waterfront for our studio project. One day, while doing some serious studio inquiry, Peter, Skyler and I approached a man selling umbrella hats on our site. After asking the standard Ne Kedar? (How much?) we proceeded to try to ask the guy more about the site. He is no passerby selling these hats, but indeed this man is always pacing back and forth in eminonu, selling umbrella hats. Every single time we go to the site, he is there, rain or shine, hot or cold. Interestingly enough, He is the only person I have seen selling such a hat in Istanbul thus far. He did not speak any English however, so our attempts to learn more about the site were thwarted. 5 TL (2$) for these dorky looking hats though! We can now sketch hands-free in the rain! IMG_5074

If buying an umbrella hat isn’t a highlight of my trip, I know the Hagia Sophia will be! Although I was disappointed to see the interior covered with scaffolding, I really appreciate the exterior! All the structure is so visible with all it’s added buttressing, its an amazing feat of engineering! Not to mention that the dome looks (and is) about as unstable as the bubbles Sam and I blew outside the Hagia Sophia yesterday!IMG_5324

I did not expect to see much contemporary architecture on this trip, as I figured the trip would be very historical, going to two old cities. I was thrilled when we went to the Zorlu center this past Tuesday, because it felt like I was walking through a rendering. I can’t say I’ve ever felt like I was living in someone’s senior thesis project, until visiting the complex designed by Emre Arolat Architects with Tabanlıoğlu Architects. Completed in 2013, the complex includes Turkey’s first Apple store! It was really cool seeing the project completed, because it seemed like the type of wild proposal that would never get built. The most amazing thing to me is that a place like this exists, with an $800 million dollar price tag. For comparison, the new Vikings stadium is estimated at $975 million….IMG_5300

Although it was a serious class visit to the Zorlu center, everyone’s inner 5 year old came out when we discovered Zorlu centers’ playground. It was a child’s paradise, easily the coolest playground I’ve ever been to! Just look at how cool/fun the slide is!

Lastly, because it is Thursday, I’d like to do a #TBT throwback to the Vatican museum in Rome. Sam nailed the pose perfectly. The absence of statues in Istanbul makes me miss posing for photos like this in Rome.


Görüşürüz! (See you later!)


I almost forgot, but would like to share this little tidbit (Because I miss croissants the most):

Although you can find croissants at a few places around town, for the most part, croissants are not eaten here because the crescent croissant was first baked by the french after their victory over the ottoman empire in vienna in 1683 (one origin story of the croissant). It was seen as offensive, to be mocking the crescent of the Ottoman flag, so the islamic culture here in Istanbul largely rejects croissants for the most part…

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