Ahh, Istanbul, I really connected with the city of Istanbul, but it’s my type of city. It was surprisingly similar to New York, the hustle, the edge, the camaraderie and esprit de corps, but not without caution. Let’s face it, in this big, buzzing city, we’ve all different dreams. Here, in the bul, a variety of cultures root so deep through hiatory that budding above the concrete surface is the remnants of ages welded, spliced and entwined. A city of historic mystique and harrowing mystery connected to all of human time.
Different than Rome or from Athens, because Istanbul, the Bosporus passage, the districts, changed rule, power, religion, century after century. The keeper of many secrets, not in a Godfatherly way, but like that Grandfather whos lived through it all, and only share with you the stories you’re old enough to understand.
I was to scout the city. Most especially, I was to plan a New Years celebration. The perfect missions for me!
That overly eager night concierge. His help was so endearing it was fake. And, in return, I pretended I was very important to this world. I think we both knew I wasn’t. Or maybe, he doesn’t care and acts as if everyone is important because that is his job.
Reconnaissance 101, I mapped the terrain. Two laps around home-base, then onward and upward. Aimed at landmark: Galata Tower, a medieval stone tower, 1348. Originally, Christea Turris (Tower of Christ) The Galata Tower has a Romanesque style, and stands 220 feet tall. You can spot most the historic center from the top. The Byzantines were replacing the Great Tower, which was destroyed during the Fourth Crusade. Cats galloped about. I shot a photo-sesh with the prancing kitties.
The Pera Palace: Timeless glamour and elegance with genuine Turkish hospitality, retains its unique heritage combined with a modern touch. Cosmopolitan Istanbul. that’s how the Pera Palace describes itself. All I felt was the darkness of it humming 1892- Ernest Hemingway, Agatha Christie and Alfred Hitchcock among others. Ghosts singing, maybe screaming. Here, I’m deff to the difference. Mystique memorizing like an open flame, relentlessly roaring. The ignited will of eternity. Consider the Tower of Terror, but instead of a thrill ride through the twilight zone, it’s a palpable surrender to history. I drank whisky in the lobby, enamored by it all. Senses teamed, ghosts lurked and I pretended not to be spooked while in these timeless corridors of good, evil and legendary.
I walked across the Galata Bridge. It reeked of fish. Fare or foul weather the fishermen fished. Today had cold horizontal rains and whipping winds. Istanbul had no hesitations in washing itself clean of 2014. I trudged, soaked, and happy to be bringing in the New Year here.