A surprise delivery of petit fours all the way from New York

It was the evening of April Fools day. I unlocked the door to my home in the evening after a non-eventful but draining day at the office to find the neatly wrapped “surprise” package from New York. I had actually been awating the arrival of the parcel from Rene, my friend of 20 plus years, who had dropped me a line to let me know that he had sent me a “book” he had spotted at a restaurant. Although its delivery was not unanticipated, its appearance on my doorstep was still a wonderful surprise which put a smile on my … Continue reading A surprise delivery of petit fours all the way from New York

Tea, that heartwarming drink reflecting Turkish hospitality

Turkey’s love affair with tea goes beyond being just a caffeine vehicle. It is a social lubricant, an inseparable and compassionate companion for many who sip the crimson coloured liquid anywhere and anytime from sunrise to sunset. It is so magical that it has a cooling effect during boiling hot summer days, warming effect during the most frigid winter months, healing powers for the sick, the heartbroken, recharhing powers for the fatigued, relaxing powers for the stressed. That is how extraordinary and hence essential tea is for the Turks. Not only is it magical and addictive, tea is very much … Continue reading Tea, that heartwarming drink reflecting Turkish hospitality

The news blackout in Turkey

My intention today was to finally write the short piece I have promised my friend Marissa on the Poliakoff exhibition I was fortunate enough to catch in Paris at the end of January. However the turn of events unfolding in my beautiful country has forced me to “put pen to paper” on a completely different matter. As of midnight March 20th 2014, Twitter has been blocked by our prime minister. The approximately 10 million users across Turkey are denied access to “tweet”. At a local election campaign rally in Bursa he threatened to “eradicate” Twitter and definitely kept his word, … Continue reading The news blackout in Turkey

Adopt a beehive via “un toit pour les abeilles”

I had the good fortune to meet a very intriguing and “free-spirited” gentleman at a seminar in Paris way back in January. Olivier Demaegdt was in fact a guest speaker at a room full of bankers contributing his opinion of banks from a client’s point of view. Neither an office, nor a 9-to-5 person, he is one curious entrepreneur prodding at niche ideas and obviously having a ton of fun as he succeeds. Of course his impressions of us bankers were very insightful, however what has stayed with me was his captivating endeavour to save the planet by providing a … Continue reading Adopt a beehive via “un toit pour les abeilles”

A Rendez-Vous with Nana Mouskouri

Even though I do not remember the first time I heard a song by Nana Mouskouri, or which one it was for that matter, her folksy tunes have been traveling with me throughout my life – from way back when I was in primary school in the 70s, to my boarding school days in the 80s, to college in the early 90s and presently in my car CD collection touring Istanbul. Her multi-languaged repertoire has hence surpassed just being a name on album covers to becoming sountracks reminiscent of my life episodes, bringing into my mind a remark by the … Continue reading A Rendez-Vous with Nana Mouskouri

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”