A Different Country

I recently went on a small road trip through Eastern Turkey. Kars and Trabzon were two of the cities we visited but did not get to explore too much.  Away from the 24/7 of Istanbul, I found calm, quiet, lovely spaces… along with some stunning landscapes. For me, it was like a different country! It is very difficult to condense five days into a little over five minutes, but I did my best with the video below.  Enjoy!  

True Artist

I must admit that I was feeling a bit sorry for myself today. My school is off next week and most of my friends are off to faraway places like Rome and Iceland. But recently, I’ve had this ‘pay off your debt’ mindset so saving money, not traveling, is high on my priority list. Plus, when my retirement person said, ‘You are really behind in your retirement savings’ I knew it was time to smell the coffee. So when I woke up this morning I realized that I have three art projects that have been hanging around, unfinished in my apartment. And…

Hidden Gems

After Turkish class this morning, I headed out to an area called Fener with two other students from class, Phllycia and MaryLou. This is an area of Istanbul that I’ve wanted to explore for a while but it’s not a place I feel comfortable out on my own. We set out to find two sites: Patriarchal Church of St. George (Greek Orthodox) and St. Mary of the Mongols. Now the Church of St. George ‘is the main Eastern Orthodox church in the world; the central place of worship for a congregation of over 300 million’ people… right in Istanbul, a…

Street Art Istanbul

Recently, I downloaded an app called StreetArt Istanbul. From this app, I get a little bit of information about the street artists around Istanbul. For instance, I had no idea that some of the more well known street artists get commissions to do certain pieces. Also, this app gives the location of the art; not such good news because directions are incredibly difficult for me. However, as I was walking around Istakal in the rain this morning, I stumbled upon this great alley with a bunch of street art; mostly painted by an artist named Leo Lunatic. I felt like…

Light

My first ceramics course started this past Saturday and it appears that my teacher is a well known ceramics artist here in Istanbul. She even invited me to her presentation at Istanbul Modern the next day! I was nervous because it was in Turkish and didn’t know anyone else, but I decided to step out of my comfort zone and went anyways. So happy I did. All part of my master plan to push myself. Recently, I just finished watching the first season of Orange is the New Black. Essentially, this WASP woman gets sent to jail for a crime…

Becoming Turkish

I’ve made the decision not to go to California this summer and to stay put in Istanbul. I will probably take a few long weekends to cities in Turkey, but overall, I want to start saving money and not always spend it on traveling. Traveling can be really expensive, and it tends to sneak up on you. It’s always the little things. However, this decision caused a bit of panic because what am I going to do for six weeks? Most, if not all, of the people I work with are traveling which could mean a lot of Claire Time….

Forward Thinking

As a friend and I were discussing our excitement about the upcoming year, she told me about this mental exercise to get me thinking about who I want to be. Essentially, think of your next significant birthday (so if you are 38, think 50) and ask yourself these three questions: What are you doing in your life? What do you have in your life? Who are you surrounded by… who is at your birthday party? And to think I just wanted a mocha and some bal kaymak! But truly, what great questions to ponder for 2014 and beyond! On a…