Sunday, March 24, 2013

"The Perfect Sunday"

Although the first day of spring came and passed, we still don't seem to be getting any closer to that elusive season in the East Coast. With snow warnings in effect for this Monday, I decided the best way to cope with this unpleasant weather is to get lost, in my fantasies and make up a imaginary itinerary of a "Perfect Sunday" spent in the city of my choice.

It will come as no surprise for those who know me that the city of my choice is "Istanbul" of course. So, what would I do if was to wake up to a beautiful, sunny Istanbul tomorrow morning...

First, we have to know where we are going. Rumeli Hisari, is the quaint seaside village on the Bosphorus that happens to be home to the Rumeli Fortress built by Mehmed II before he conquered Constantinople. On the weekends this little strip along the Bosphorous becomes the favorite haunt of Istanbulites for enjoying a long and hearty breakfast. As a matter of fact this was the first stop for Anthony Bourdin No Reservations in Istanbul.  Since he went to enjoy breakfast at Kale Restaurant, I guess we can too. This is the perfect 'hole in the wall' type of breakfast spot where the food is excellent and service even better. The owner can be seen supervising his flock of waiters serving the unfathomable hoards in this tiny space in the photo above.
Haunted Mansion, Borusan Contemporary
We would have to get here at the latest by 10.00 am since it gets really crowded, really fast and we have much planned.  Most Turks go into a serious debate that ends with accepting all the suggestions of the experienced waiter or the owner. After multiple cups of tea and a variety of the best Turkish breakfast delicacies (which can be seen to best affect in the Bourdain video) we would head to Borusan Contemporary for a bit of art, nature and coffee.

What could be better than art? Art with a view! This little gem of a museum is actually the headquarters of Borusan holding during the week which is open as a museum for visitors on the weekends. The cafe is on the first floor with a commanding view of the Fatih Sultan Mehmed Bridge and during the guided tour ( which is a must!) visitors get a chance to walk through the executive offices which contain a very fascinating collection of contemporary art by International and Turkish artists.

The View from the first floor terrace and Cafe

They always have interesting exhibitions but their main collection is really worth a visit by itself. Some of my favorites were...
 Daniel Rozin, Sketch Mirror #10 (link)
Andrew Rogers, Unfurling, 2007

Beat Zoderer, Patch Ball No. 3, 2009 
Ellen Kooi (link) and Lee Sang Hyun, Symphony No. 9, video (link

Ekrem Yalcindag, Feels Like Home, 2007
(This is also the tower where the executives can take their coffee break)

Ormond Gigli, Models in Window, 1960
There is a fascinating story behind it (link)

(Photo from Huffington Post)
Daniel Canogar,Hipocampo 2, 2010 (link)
Devrim Erbil (link), Nuri Bilge Ceylan (link), Erol Akyavas, Basak Kaptan just to name a few of the Turkish artists...
and maybe my favorite Sabine Pigalle (link), Verify, verify I say unto you, that one of shall betray me, 2006
Looking towards the Rumeli Fortress from one of the terraces of the museum

After this amazing museum I would take a walk by the Bosphorus towards the Rumeli Fortress and past it, enjoying the incredible vistas and the mass of humanity, full of interesting characters, that would be out enjoying the best Istanbul has to offer by now. 

The shore road in front of the Rumeli Fortress

The Cafe's lining up the road across from the Bosphorus

View of Bogazici Bridge (The I. Bridge)

I would walk along the shore road for as far as I could go, passing through what used to be quaint seaside villages one after the other, each more beautiful than the one before, Bebek, Arnavutkoy, Kurucesme and finally Ortakoy.
Bebek Park

Ortakoy not only provides beautiful views and Ortakoy Mosque (Buyuk Mecidiye Mosque),decorated in the baroque style but it is also famous for its artisans and street vendors. This is a great place to go shopping for gifts for loved ones or yourself. Unfortunately most of the charming little restaurants are being replaced by big name chains which is really disappointing but there is still a huge variety of choices. If you are in the mood for an elegant snack or cafe style dining, the House Cafe is a good alternative. 

Then I would go home, tired and happy, holding onto the pleasant lightness of being...

Kale Kafe and Restaurant
Address:  Yahya Kemal Caddesi No: 16 34470 Rumelihisar - STANBUL
Tel:        0 212 265 00 97

Borusan Contemporary
Address:  Baltalimanı Hisar Street, Perili Köşk No:5, 34470 Rumelihisarı, Sariyer, Istanbul, Turkey
Tel:          0 212 393 52 00

House Cafe, Ortakoy,352,1,1/house_cafe_eng/subeler/subeler/ortakoy
Address:  Salhane Sokak No: 1 Ortaköy İstanbul
Tel:          0 212 227 2699 -39

No comments:

Post a Comment