October 28, 2016

Istanbul: Hamams

Kiliç Ali Pasa rooftop with sky lights
Kiliç Ali Pasa rooftop with sky lights

One of the oldest most satisfying traditions from the Ottoman Empire and even further back is the Hamam. Historically the Hamam is the traditional Islamist or Turkish bath which derives itself from its precursors, the Greek and Roman baths. Originally, they were for men only but now admit women separately or on separate days. These ritual baths are the ultimate in cleansing, scrubbing and massaging the body and all performed by adult male attendants. READ MORE >

October 25, 2016

Istanbul: City of Cats

Gallata Tower right down the street from the hotel
Gallata Tower right down the street from the hotel

Gregg St.Onge, my friend and the author of our personal travelogue, suggested a few hotels in the new and old parts of the city and we chose the Georges Hotel, a chic boutique hotel near the Galata Tower in the heart of Coolsvile.

The Georges Hotel Istanbul
The Georges Hotel Istanbul

The fact that the streets were only wide enough for one car at a time and at angles up and down best suited for a sure footed cat, of which the city is teeming; feral cats that are like domesticated ones only they live everywhere in the city except inside people’s homes. READ MORE >

October 24, 2016

Istanbul: Ottoman Dream

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The courtyard of the Blue Mosque

My arrival in Istanbul went exactly contrary to what I preached in an earlier post as I prepared my trip. With my Wallpaper City Guide in hand and a comprehensive list of tips from my old friend Gregg St. Onge, who’d lived in the mysterious city and stating categorically that it is his favorite in all the world, I barely took the time to really read it or do any research on line before landing at Atatürk Airport.READ MORE >