Sobremesa – that enchanting word which summons “joie de vivre”

There are some words which are full of character but unfortunately or maybe fortunately do not have exact translations in other languages, some are synonymous with bliss, some with solitude, some with confusion… Sobremesa is such a word in Spanish. Literally meaning “over the table”, it apparently refers to Spaniards’ art of savoring the conversation and company of others after a meal. Last weekend I had the pleasure of enjoying dinner with a Spanish friend I had not seen in years at a small fish restaurant in Nevizade – the very local nightlife area in Istanbul’s Beyoglu district. It was … Continue reading Sobremesa – that enchanting word which summons “joie de vivre”

Beykoz – a peaceful waterside retreat in the suburbs of Istanbul

With one of the most spectacular views of the Bosphorus, delightedly, Beykoz town center still belongs to its residents. Beykoz, once upon a time a remote fishing village with limited access to transportation and communication to central Istanbul is today linked by a very long stretch of road.   In fact, the coastline leading up to Beykoz is home to some of the most expensive houses and the grandest of the huge wooden Ottoman seaside houses called ‘yali’ so how Beykoz center has been spared the overdevelopment witnessed in many parts of the city is beyond my comprehension.  Beykoz derives its … Continue reading Beykoz – a peaceful waterside retreat in the suburbs of Istanbul

Neighbours Exhibition – a kaleidescope of colours and experiences at Istanbul Modern

I beg to differ from Joan Miró who apparently once said: “Merde! I absolutely detest all openings and parties! They’re commercial, political and everybody talks too much. They get on my tits!” As I am not in the art business but am passionate about art, I tend to enjoy attending parties honouring museum or gallery exhibition openings in the hope of meeting the artists in person, to chat and exchange ideas, sometimes eavesdrop on conversations and become part of that very creative and colourful community. I was thrilled to receive an invitation to the January 8 opening gala of the … Continue reading Neighbours Exhibition – a kaleidescope of colours and experiences at Istanbul Modern

Welcome 2014, hope you have arrived with beauty and peace in your basket

Although I am not one for resolutions at the beginning of each year, there are two very strict rituals I abide by at new year’s– one is to crack open a pomegranate as soon as the clock turns midnight , the other one is to pay a visit to Ayin Biri Church in Unkapani first thing in the morning on January 1st. My belief is that each and every deep red pomegrenate seed signifies abundance and when I toss one out with all my might, the seeds scatter out to bring opulence my way.  This year’s ceremony was even more … Continue reading Welcome 2014, hope you have arrived with beauty and peace in your basket

Ayvalık – Turkey’s Olive Riviera

It was the first time I had been to Ayvalık , literally “quince orchard”,  off-season.  Only about 120 km from my hometown of Izmir, I used to frequent this small fishing town of 30,000 for delicious seafood lunches on Sundays during the spring months.  It dawned on me that I had not set foot in Ayvalık since moving to Istanbul in 2006. In reality what started out to be a day business trip from Istanbul, coupled into being a delicacies shopping fest. After contemplating with my colleagues which mode of transport to use, the unanimous decision was the comfort of … Continue reading Ayvalık – Turkey’s Olive Riviera

BIRBICER – Delicious kebab in humble surroundings

For me, the opportunity to sample different local cuisines is the reward for crack of dawn business flights. Waking up at 4:00 am to catch a 6:30 flight from Istanbul to Adana for an 8:30 am meeting is not super fun, especially when the meeting is all number crunching… On the particular visit to Adana, I became cognizant of my hunger just as the meeting was coming to a close and all negotiations were finally settled during which I did gulp down numerous cups of strong heavenly Turkish coffee. Having to work around a tight schedule it had to be … Continue reading BIRBICER – Delicious kebab in humble surroundings

BIG SALUTE TO THE ARIK LEVY’S EXHIBITION IN ISTANBUL

I simply loved everything about the Arik Levy exhibition at Galerist in Istanbul. The way my friend Aylin surprised me with the invitation a few hours before the opening, the imperfectly painted gallery walls serving as a sophisticated backdrop to his magnitizing oeuvres, the curious fans at the opening, my companion to the exhibition and of course the emotions his brilliant artwork evoked in me. The exhibit was undoubtedly meticious. There was absolutely nothing below par except of course not meeting Mr Levy in person – that would have been the icing on the cake. A genious and a design … Continue reading BIG SALUTE TO THE ARIK LEVY’S EXHIBITION IN ISTANBUL

The unbeatable pleasure of participating in the 35th Istanbul Marathon

I imagine there is not another marathon which has a two- continent route past spectacular monuments with great historical and cultural heritage. The 35th Istanbul marathon was held on November 17th 2013, and were we fortunate with the weather…. Istanbul has been the capital of three magnificient empires in history: Roman Empire (330-395), Byzantine Empire (395-1453), and Ottoman Empire (1453-1922). Thus, the city has been known with different names throughout history: Byzantium, Constantinople and Stambul. The 10 km race I participated in was so visually stimulating, so magnetizing, so outstanding that it was simply sublime. There were runners from all … Continue reading The unbeatable pleasure of participating in the 35th Istanbul Marathon