in the zone living the life...

Istanbul comfort zone (home)

curiosity and the cat
Another epic weekend accomplished!

As I've been saying, spring fever is in full blossom, along with all my houseplants! I've got the coolest flower-shop guy right down the street from me.  He is always smiling and I absolutely LOVE walking by the shop. Flowers are everywhere, and their price points are great and he gives me red roses!

I walk by every day and some days my knees just go weak as I soak up all the amazement. This weekend was a weak-knee weekend indeed! The girls came up from Cihangir to hang with me since May Day (May 1st) is typically a day filled with tear-gas and radical demonstrations here in Istanbul. The metro is closed coming/going into Taksim and just all hell breaks loose. So... L-Fezz & Viagra came up to Büyükdere to chill in the village.

We did a great walk-about yesterday in my hood and nearby surroundings, ending up in Sariyer after walking through some woodsy environs. We met up with the boys at the çay meyhane and admired the Bosphorus and kitties. Afterwards we cruised through the park and admired all the May Day workers party propaganda that they had displayed out for all to peruse. We ended up in Sariyer and were walking back to my place when we decided that we needed some beers for our walk. I had brought a bottle opener on our hike- anticipating this inevitable moment in our near future! This is one thing I love about Turkey- no open container laws! So we were cruising the Bosphorus after an adventure-filled afternoon and drinking beer. People were looking, but that was about it.  Admittedly, I don't see many people (like hardly ever) cruising with beer bottles in hand.  Whatever. We're yabanci (foreigners) so we get a break, I suppose, for our faux pas...

We hoofed it all afternoon on our walkabout so I felt like we needed some interesting food, and drink, to compliment out extraordinary day. I threw the mondo artichokes I've been purchasing from "Dr. Artichoke" (I shit you not) at his little make-shift stand next to my veterinarian into my pressure cooker and then topped them off in the broiler with some smoked Gouda, Reggiano and typical Turkish cheese and served it with some homemade sauce consisting of horseradish, lemon, Worcester sauce and yogurt.

All the while we were downing some tasty gin/tonics. As a main course I continued on with my famous nachos. The girls didn't think we could chow down that effortlessly, but I knew better.  Soon enough there was nothing left! At some point Viagra decided to cruise back to Cihangir so we parted ways. L-Fezz and I, from what I recall, spent the remainder of our waking moments researching anything and everything from our iPhones... haha.

Today, after a long morning of resting up to make it out of the apartment... I returned to my favorite flower shop guy to further indulge my spring fever feelings. My apartment looks/smells/feels so good now- just how I like it. L-Fezz had been admiring my artichokes (Dr. Artichoke sells 5 for 10TL) from the night before so we decided to hoof it, along with EdVice, to Sariyer and beyond to try to buy up all of Dr. Artichoke's artichokes... I found some amber and sandalwood incense along the way, as well as a cute muffin baking thing, which I will use for ice cubes. EdVice dropped out from our walking frenzy after we hit up Vegas Pizza (OMG my life here is nearly complete now that a Vegas Pizza just opened up in Sariyer- a mere 15 minute walk from my house, AND starting next week they will deliver).

L-Fezz and I continued on our journey to artichoke heaven, yet I was a bit unsure of our route.  All I really knew is that is would be a continuous uphill climb.  The weather was complicit and we managed to find our way to Maden Mahallesi and my vet, pet store, and Dr. Artichoke.  Now, this is the 3rd time in 2 weeks that I've visited Dr. Artichoke so I'm nearly a regular at this point. As well, prolly considered 'weird' in Dr. Artichoke's eyes since most people (Turks) don't buy the entire artichoke.  I usually just see artichoke hearts in water bags in supermarkets here.  Anyway, we both bought 5 and made our merry way downhill, back through Sariyer town center and along the Bosphorus back to my place.

L-Fezz checked her oracle (iPhone) and oracle told her the metro was still closed and only one person had died in the chaos and demonstrations- so all hell hadn't broke loose, so far. Yes, this careless attitude is quite the norm here these days with so much shit happening here all the time as of late that the absence of massive destruction is seen as a relatively 'safe' thing... Unfortunately this is not necessarily a good way to determine one's events and planning/coordination, but when in Rome... So, off she went on a dolmus to Besiktas or Kabatas or however she is getting home...

I'm up in bed with the kitties now, who are lazing in the remaining sun. They had quite the entertaining weekend with so many house guests.  They are sacked out. I'm thinking about the upcoming work week, and upcoming weekend! Life seems pretty good these daze.  I can't complain about anything, really. The economy is shit here.  The country is increasingly becoming Islamicized. It's an expensive city to live in. The Turkish Lira has devalued SO much that it's nearly a joke to try to save any money. BUT, you gotta love Istanbul.  It gets in your veins.  It infects you.  You overdose on her loveliness again and again.  You can't quit Istanbul. 

So, that's my story for today :)

Below are some pictures from last Thursday. L-Fezz and I trekked to Tophane to the Istanbul Modern Museum (Thursdays are free!)