Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Istanbul was a catalyst; a catapult into well-charted territory. The pale white stippled maps and plans and diagrams, studied over sleepless hours under cover.

Istanbul was a test. How many hours of sleep can I sacrifice? How long can I sit in one place before I begin to question my allocation of time? The Blue Mosque- until it closes. What about Starbucks? Until I’ve been holding my empty plastic cup long enough for all the beads of condensation to fall and dry.

I hear: the buzzing engines of cars; eastern, western pop music coming from the overpriced café across the street which I know is accompanied by MTV style videos of dancing Turkish women dipped in Revlon and Maybelline. At night, the call to prayer wakes me gently, for a moment I stir and then let it lull me back to sleep, for a few hours more.

I smell: Dust and the thin wafts of shisha smoke that float around the city like spirits. Spices, Turkish Delight, süt, meat, spices, fish and the sea.

My Berlin lenses- “I’ll pay you back in Lyra” The laptop’s in Berlin. Istanbul is less real than Berlin is less real than Seattle. Is there anything more real than Seattle Istanbul?

I am protecting a wink, a whisper, a clutch, a shiver, and an alley.

The idea of collecting everything- a Pamukian encyclopedia.

The black sea is a black hole in our historical consciousness

Black Sea trade- fish, hazelnut, cattle, wheat,- precious materials: gold/silver and the ‘golden fleece,’ annnddd slaves

“Caucasian” –Caucasia- far North East end of Black Sea (Google)

Land bridge crossed largely by conquerors, crossing from Europe to Asia and vice versa

They needed to pay someone to prevent such intrusions- enter: the Romans (welcomed by Byzantines) –gotta go where the money’s at


320 AD- Constantine’s city is augmented- to 5X the size

Population reached 1 million around 1000 AD

The informal housing district-

What looks like fairness/justice is in some ways actually exploitation

Why are some places comfortable for photos- Manuela

'The situation is upsetting the architects'

Nazi description for modern art/ the bourgeoisie

Entartete Kunst- “degenerate/mutant”

*solution to homelessness and the creation of a new middle class?

Istanbul vs. Mexico City in terms of urban density

The informal housing district in Istanbul next to the Canyon resort and shopping center.

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