Istanbul Life

Taking a stroll on the walk/bike path next to the Sahil Yolu (Coast Highway). I criss cross between Bagdat Caddesi and the coastal road, taking in the sights of multiple cranes at work. It seems as if the entire swath of area from Suadiye through Caddebostan is under construction. The pressure is on to transform every bit of square acreage into tall condominium complexes. The government is still incentivizing construction companies through grants, to build new buildings. I believe this is to build better and safer earthquake resistant structures for the health and safety of the people who matter in Istanbul. The wealthy ones of course. The government has also eased the zoning restrictions to allow taller buildings in formerly restricted areas. It’s a boon for the construction companies. The market is still incredibly lucrative. You transform a four story building to maybe a twelve to fifteen floor one. In addition, the large apartments are a being split into two units, so you imagine the profit the construction companies are getting when each unit is being sold for at least 1.5 million US dollars and above. Its a gorgeous area, that I’m sure will retain its value indefinitely come what may. The face of Bagdat Caddesi may change slowly to include throngs of burqa clad women with their husband, out for shopping and eating like everyone else. The whole of the Middle East loves Turkey, so I’m sure they will be snapping up these ridiculously priced condos to go with their gold Range Rovers.
I enjoy the wide range of people who come to walk by the Marmara Sea. I am spoiled because I live within walking distance, and forget that this two mile stretch of coastline boast the only beaches in all of Istanbul. People brave the soul crushing traffic, the lack of parking, and throngs of pedestrians. The latter is not considered an annoyance to them like it is to me, they love to be squeezed next to each other…its a cultural thing. You see grandmothers walking arm and arm with their grandsons, kids on their scooters, runners, and dog folks. The natural beauty of the sea, coupled with views of the Prince’s Islands, and the snow capped mountains that grace the other side is unparalleled. Istanbullas also walk to be seen. They are not going to pay 4,000 for that handbag for nothing. There is some sort of group in Istanbul who aspire to be hipsters from Los Angeles, California. They have the look down to a tee. Its incredible. They even pedal around on low rider bicycles. I actually really dig seeing the high school girls together with their friends. They are so affectionate with one another, holding hands, with their natural hair hanging loosely down their backs. They haven’t gotten married yet, become jaded, and started to feel the need for a weekly blowout. One witnesses so much posturing and bad manners here, so the kids are as refreshing as always, in every culture I guess.
Walking down one of the side streets I saw a mobil simit seller conversing with one of the doormen who lives in the area. I just felt like taking their picture. I took the photo quickly and walked away, but later when I looked at it I just loved the expression on the doorman’s face. He struck an elegant and confident pose so naturally.
There has been a protest for a few weeks on Bagdat Caddesi, in front of Adore toys, which is the only supplier of Lego brand toys in Turkey. The workers are crying foul for getting laid off when requesting a raise in salary to reflect current inflation. They are requesting people to sign their petition, and also not to support the company by buying toys from their stores.

 

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Megan

Coffee. Beer. Climbing Tall Things.

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