New Mosque, Istanbul

New Mosque, Istanbul

The New Mosque, or Yeni Cami, is one of the most famous architectural landmarks in Istanbul. Situated on the Golden Horn near the Galata Bridge, it sets an imposing yet calming backdrop to the vibrant Eminönü quarter. A paradox? Sure. Much of Istanbul is.

Today’s Pic du Jour, the 398th straight, was snapped on 13 March 2012 in Istanbul, Turkey.


Belly dancer zills, Istanbul

For Sale, Belly Dancer Zills

Dancer not included.

The zills, aka finger cymbals, pictured here are the standard tourist fare version, with a single hole in the middle. If you’re serious, or even semi-serious about learning to belly dance and wanting to produce sound with the cymbals strapped to your fingers, don’t buy these. Because they’ll be almost impossible to control. There is a version with parallel slots in each cymbal. Buy those.

Consider yourself warned.

Today’s Pic du Jour, the 358th straight, was taken in Istanbul on 12-Mar-2012. Snagging this one from its virtual pile reminded me that I have about 1,000 images from that visit to Istanbul that I haven’t even begun to edit, process or organize. If that was the only group of 1,000 that I needed to catch up with, life would be a dream. But it’s not, so drastic measures need to be taken.

The goal?

To cull that down to a gallery of 35, 40 tops. A spring cleaning project.

In the meantime, check out this post, Light In Babylon: An Istanbul Street Music Quickie, one of the most visited posts on Piran Café. It features four portraits of the Light in Babylon band members, available via a creative commons license. And links to some of their music, too. Enjoy!

Pomegranate juice stand in Istanbul

Pomegranate Shopping, Istanbul

I dreamt of pomegranates last night and woke up jonesing. There weren’t any reasonably good looking ones at the central market this morning, so I’ll just have to satiate my thirst and desire with this photo.

Unlike (apparently) many others, I enjoy the Zen quality that peeling pomegranates by hand provides. It’s not really that much work or that time consuming. That said, here’s an option that quite a few of my friends swear by, which they claim, takes less than 15 seconds. Check it out.

Today’s Pic du Jour, the 230th (!!!) straight, was taken on 14 March 2012 at a street stand in Istanbul, where I bought a pomegranate that I thoroughly enjoyed peeling and picking by hand in a small park near the Bosporus. The birds liked me, too. :)


Recuerdo Profundo by Jimenez Deredia

Circles, in the Round

Recuerdo Profundo by Jimenez Deredia

In her travel theme this week, Ailsa asked for circles. Who am I to say no?

I threw in a few orbs and spheres, too, beginning with Jimenez Deredia’s phenomenal chocolatey sculpture, Recuerdo Profundo, which I was fortunate enough to see near the Colosseum in Rome in July 2009. A few more snaps from that exhibit are on my flickr stream here.

Istanbul, March 2012

This one I found near the Galata Bridge in Istanbul. What’s not to love about this version of the Crescent Star?

Musee Olympique, Lausanne, 31-Aug-2008

There are lots of circles to be found at the Olympic Museum in Lausanne that have nothing to do with the five rings. Above is the view up from the library level.

Sticking with the Olympic theme, this is a bit of graffiti decorating some shrapnel damage to a wall of the 1984 Olympic bobsled run on Trebević Mountain just outside of Sarajevo. The hour or so I spent there, strolling down the destroyed and graffiti-covered run with just the sounds of forest birds and bugs as a soundtrack, remains the most surreal I’ve experienced in recent memory. There’s a high-speed video –and a few more pics– of that stroll here.

1984 Olympic Bobsled run, Trebević Mountain, near Sarajevo.

Vietnamese People’s Air Force Museum Hanoi, 27-Oct-2010

This is at the Vietnamese People’s Air Force Museum, or Bảo Tàng Phòng Không – Không Quân, in Hanoi. How many of these countries still exist? Below, a ‘Do Not Enter’ variation, seen in Paris.

Fun with road signs. Paris, April 2012

Istanbul, 14-Mar-2012

Above, Istanbul again, fresh catch caught from the Galata Bridge. Below was taken in London this past August, just before I watched this guy getting man-handled by private cops.

London, Aug 2012

Shanghai, May 201

This is a 10-second exposure taken inside the Bund Tourist Tunnel that runs under the Huangpu River in Shanghai. It’s hideously tacky but a fun place to take long-exposures. There are four more here.

Dicobole Lancant le Disque, by Mathieu Kessels

We return briefly to the Olympic theme with Mathieu Kessels’ Discus Thrower at the Royal Museum of Art in Brussels and conclude in Shanghai with these orbs that you’ll see when you exit the hideously tacky Bund Tourist Tunnel. Full circle.

Shanghai, May 2010

Now, go check out more circles, spheres and orbs at Ailsa’s Weekly Challenge here.

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Delicious, with a big pinch of salt

There is a filet of sole in there somewhere.

Jake’s Sunday post challenge suggestion this week is delicious. That was easy to find because it was one of the few pics in my flickr stream tagged with the word.

I thoroughly enjoyed this last March at a restaurant in Istanbul – sole baked in salt. Succulent, perfectly cooked, with just the right hint of saltiness. Delicious! This was the first time I tried it, but it’s not a process unique to Turkey. I’ve seen it on menus in Spain, Italy, France and Greece. Jake: Anything similar in or around Manila?

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#FriFotos: For Sale – Encounters with Commerce

Taking a break for an inning or two. Municipal baseball stadium, Teustepe, Nicaragua, April 1994

I haven’t been around here much for the past week, which is more or less par for the course during the hazy summer months. Missed me? ;)

For Sale‘ is this week’s #FriFotos theme on twitter, affording this quick glance back into when my camera met commerce head-on in various parts of the world. I’m unapologetically anal about tagging photos in my flickr stream but the ones I decided to include here weren’t found that way.

Rather, they were all snapped fragments of memory of buying, selling and browsing that immediately popped into my mind when the theme was announced. Some quite vividly. I was particularly pleased to recall the few shots below taken in Nicaragua –the bottom one, 22 years ago– now that I’m beginning to read up on the country again, trying to catch up on a lapse of nearly a decade-and-a-half. I visited there five times since 1990; my planned return sometime next year will be my first since 1999.

Enjoy, and I hope you’re making the most of whichever heatwave you’re currently a part of.

Lottery ticket seller. Near Istiklal Avenue, Istanbul, 14-Mar-2012


Piraeus train station. Piraeus, Greece, 13-Nov-2008

Cigarette seller, Istanbul

Evening shoppers. Nanjing Rd. Shanghai, 24-May-2010

At a bus stop near Mtito Andei, Kenya, along the Mombasa-Nairobi highway, 30-Mar-2007

Shop keeper and his daughter, Teustepe, Nicaragua, 23-Feb 1990.

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