Art for the eyes and for the soul
1. Kinfolk No. 12 – the Saltwater Issue is my favourite one. Makes you dream of life close to the sea and gives you an insight of what pepper thinks of his dominant counterpart salt.
2. Paper Cactus: little souvenir from labofem in Istanbul living in our sleeping room. Hopefully this little fellow starts rooting in spring.
3. Carnival season: Wodden doll (No 12) designed by Alexander Gerard 1953. Vitra Design made them come back to life. Gerard’s passion was travelling and getting inspiration from other cultures. Mmh, where do I know that from?
4. Bucket bag by Kvinna - my new material love
5. Banana Yoshimoto’s “kitchen”: Salinger meets Japan. Yoshimoto’s language lets you dive deep into the Japanese soul although it is pretty tough how many strokes of fate her protagonist has to bear…
My new material love
My new bag is made of only one ingredient: black leather. I love the original leather smell. Makes me feel connected to nature and that lightens up my day. Or how the German hip hopper Max Herre would say: “I liebe Dich, weil Du sowohl high class als auch Straße bist”.
Winterwonderland wasn’t planned when traveling to Istanbul for New Year’s, but it was magical seeing the palm trees and cactus plants covered in snow and the steep streets becoming slides. Snowmen of all kind conquered the streets sitting on pathways in front of a shop, welcoming the guests of a car park or taking a rest on a litter box.
We discovered mainly the European part of Istanbul, namely the Beyoglu neigbourhood. It’s amazing how the character of an area can change within a street so I got the feeling that Galata and Chihangir were more small little neighbourhoods instead of belonging to one – Beyoglu.
Weather can change rapidly and can be extreme during winter. We had it all: Perfect blue sky with wintersun to snowstorm to dark grey sky for the whole day to heavy rain that turned the steep streets into rivers. I would now say: lined rubber boots are the way to go.
Some households still rely on flying carpets for transportation as the city rapidly grew from not even 3 Million in 1980 to more than 15 Million in 2015, but the metro network didn’t grow with it.
Home away from home: Manzara Apartments. First and last view of the day when lying in bed of the apartment “Arif”: The Bosporus. Made me feel real cosmopolitan.
Do not miss the rooftop terrace with an amazing 360 degree view over Istanbul. If you want you can have breakfast prepared by Manzara served at their gallery, it was really tasty. We ate there on our first day. The gallery also sells little gifts from local artists and agricultral cooperations to bring home.
The Turks love to sleep in on weekends which pleased us loads. The best in winter time is to sleep in and then start the day with an extensive breakfast in a cute little café. My two favorite ones were these:
Hipster Breakfast at Dandin Bakery (No:A, Kemankeş Karamustafa Paşa, Kılıç Ali Paşa Mescidi Sk. No:17, 34425 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Türkei; Phone:+90 212 245 3369)
Dogaciyizcom (Kılıçali Paşa Mah.Kasatura sokak No: 16/A Beyoğlu/Cihangir/İstanbul; +90 212 243 8190)
Pretty authentic little Turkish café in a calm sidestreet. When we came there it felt more like visiting friends for brekafast than visiting a café. The ground floor is usually stuffed with a lively student crowd.
Take the Turkish Breakfast with an extra Menemen (scrambled eggs Turkish style) – it is stunning. The whole table is covered with small little bowls from home made fig and rosehip marmelade, honey with honeycomb to eggplant mousse, hommus to different sorts of cheeses and olives.
Other food you should try while in Istanbul:
Salep (warm, runny vanilla custard e.g. at Mado, 186 Istiklal Caddesi, Istanbul Beyoğlu); Manti (Turkish tortellini, I love the ones at Dai Pera, Yeni Çarşı Cd. No:54,34433,İstanbul; +90 212 252 8099); Gözleme (try the sweet potato one at Hala Manti, Evliya Çelebi,34433 İstanbul)
Istanbul Modern (Karaköy, Meclis-i Mebusan Cad., 34433 Beyoğlu/İstanbul; Phone: +90 212 334 7300; closed on Mondays)
The building and its location directly at the seafront are amazing and futuristic, so don’t miss it.
I would recommend to buy an Istanbul Card directly at the airport. You can charge the card with money and then access public transport. Driving by cab isn’t expensive, so it’s also a good option. Keep in mind though, traffic in Istanbul can be crazy and it may take three times longer than going with the metro and walk. Here you can find a list of approximate prices for a taxi ride.
All about the moon
Just thought of the song “Small town moon” by Regina Spektor when I looked out at the sky with the christmas tree candles reflecting in the window…
I hope you all have a peaceful christmas with your beloved ones.
Getting comfy at home: Autumn books
Winter is knocking on the front door: The last leaves have been blown away from the trees in front of my living room and today I woke up with the first snowflakes falling down. Time to make yourself comfy at home with some good books and bringing the green into the home and tummy.
Fried small green peppers: What a lucky coincidence today at the supermarket when I found these small peppers that I ate frequently in summer at the Baskque Country in Northern Spain. The perfect snack. Jut fry them in the pan and add some ground sea salt in the end. I like them most warm.
Winternähe by Mirna Funk (only published in German so far): Ein Bild mit Hitlerbärtchen gepostet auf Facebook und Instagramm – der “Gag” von ein paar Bekannten auf einer Party wirft Lolas Leben durcheinander. Wer bin ich und wer entscheidet darüber? Lola, die bei ihren jüdischen Großeltern in Berlin aufgewachsen ist, begibt sich auf die Suche nach sich selbst in Berlin, Tel Aviv und Thailand. Sie durchleuchtet ihre Familiengeschichte, findet sich als Anklägerin der Bekannten vor Gericht wieder, sucht ihre jüdische Identität bei einer jüdischen Gemeinde in Berlin und reist zu Shlomo , ihrem Geliebten in Tel Aviv…Lola durchlebt all das überwältigt von Gefühlen der Angst, Traurigkeit, aber auch des Glücks…
The Weekender: Looking at the cover makes me want to go and buy lots of plants straight away to put some life in the flat as life outside is disappearing at the moment. After reading the article about the shop/café “Rag and Bone Man” (Briesestr. 9, Neukölln) I am making plans for my next trip to Berlin.
Löwen wecken by Ayelet Gundar-Gohsen (Original title: Leha’ ir Arajot): It happened after a long day of work at the hospital: Etan drives fast in the dark when he knocks over the man on the highway. Etan’s wife, a chief detective, has to solve a new case: death of an illegal immigrant after absconding. One day later a black young women stands in front of Etan’s door and tells him that she is the wife of the dead illegal immigrant. What would you do now? Etan’s parallel life starts that slowly destroys everything that he has lived and worked for so far…
Das Liebesleben des Nathaniel P. by Adelle Waldman (Original title: The love affairs of Nathaniel P.): Nathaniel does his best to be a sensible, metrosexual man who understands the women who he is going out with. Though he can’t help that feelings are insulted when he breaks up his affairs and relationships when it comes to the point of taking over responsibility. The reader accompanies Nathaniel’s thoughts and life when drifting through Brooklyn’s hip cultural scene. Will he make it to bind himself to another person in the long run?
A hint of French-Nordic Chic for Autumn
1. When I recently spent a week in San Sébastian in Norther Spain I fell in love with MONTES+MUGICA (Calle Narrica 1) – a curated succulent shop with attention to detail in the heart of town. While hiking in the Andes I first saw these parasite plants. I decided to take two of those easy to take care of green fellows back home. They now give my white bathroom a lively touch.
2. Fish necklace from the jewellery line of French designer Isabel Marant.
3. I can’t tell you how urgently I needed a new wallet since my old one, a tiny bird shaped leather wallet – a temporary solution for more than five years – broke. I was so happy about this birthday present by my dearest friends. The omybag wallet is produced fair-trade in India and made from eco-friendly leather. It also houses my first smart phone I just got.
4. The nights are getting longer now: The owl sitting on my bathroom shelf just reminded me of that.
5. Looking trés chic even when you didn’t shower before you leave the house with the grey hat from Isabel Marant etoile.
6. At first you think: a simple woolen jumper. But then you see the details: the zip at the back going all the way down and a flared shape. I like Cos for its timeless chic.