Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Istanbul


The city where your child becomes a rock star. The city where East meets the West. And one of the last cities where people treat strangers as a family. Insanely culturally rich. Insanely friendly. The one and only. Istanbul.
We arrived on a rainy December day and we'd be fools if we thought the rain would stop. It never did. But it evoked we had that city to ourselves. And let me tell you, it was the best feeling. No tourists, just locals. We became an attraction. But not because of myself or my husband. Not at all. Blame our son. That kid was a hero. A superstar. Everywhere we went, people adored him. They wanted to picked him up, played with him, spoiled the heck out of him. Every store we went to, every restaurant we ate at, people were giving us free toys (remember the story here?). We left with a fuller suitcase than the one we came with. And even today we can't fully understand what has really happened.


One evening, after a satisfying cup of coffee, the azan (the Islamic call to prayer) started and in that empty street of ours, with rain dripping on a cobblestone street, we felt welcomed. We found ourselves right in between Hagia Sofia and Blue Mosque, and as we listened to the beautiful voice of muezzin, felt the rain soaking our skin, something intriguing happened. Those are the magic moments you'll never forget. And every time our memory takes us back to those special places of our fantastic brain, the feel, the vibe of that particular moment, quickens. Comes alive, once again. Real treasure right there, let me tell ya.



If you see pictures of Basilica Cistern (and no, sadly I don't have any), no travel guide, nothing can prepare you for the majestic beauty that visually appears in front of your eyes. Underground kingdom with lines of ancient columns, that are buried in the water. The opportunity of walking through this marble paradise makes the experience surreal. All you can hear are tiny drops falling down the water that surrounds you everywhere. And if you come to visit Istanbul in December, this is the perfect place to hide from the rain;). 


Those empty streets were becoming quickly familiar as we spent all day wandering around. If you are like me and want to always bring something from your travels, please, do wander. You will find some amazing stores and usually all it takes is to take one or two streets off the main shopping one. Istanbul has great bazaars as well. We visited the main two: Grand Bazaar and Egyptian (Spice) bazaar. Both of them are wonderful and very close from each other. But again, take one or two streets away from them, and you will find yourself lost in between Turkish people, who will not bargain over your child but mainly adore him.


Interacting with locals is so important. It puts the reality into perspective and rather than listening to what media want you to believe, here is a chance for you to truly understand the culture. We had a blast not only with the locals but also just random travelers. I do believe this city is visited by the most interesting and cool people. Not only our luggage was full, but my wallet was also loaded with new cards and contacts. And stories, so many of them. Leaving the beautiful city richer is an understatement. I left only to learn that nothing is same anymore. That part of me has changed again. For better. And if you let those places to do the same thing to you, the never stopping growth of yours will be forever performing the happy dance. I love you Istanbul, you were so good to us.




All photos are taken by me.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Bruno Barbey

Barbey, a Frenchman, born in Morocco in 1941. He studied photography and graphic arts in Ecole des Arts et Metiers in Switzerland and even though he doesn't consider himself a war photographer, he participated as a photojournalist covering the civil war all over the globe (Nigeria, Vietnam, Middle East, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Kuwait, Iraq and Ireland). He became a regular contributor at Vogue and in 1968 he became a full member at Magnum.
I call him the photographer of life. Somebody I look up to as an ultimate inspiration in the photo field. His beautiful images that speak all the languages and colors. He is a teacher of minimalist compositions and I admire his work that screams PASSION.
Enjoy this beauty, and for those who have never seen his work before, let me introduce you the one and only - Bruno Barbey.



















Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Guardian Angels



I've recently read this article and it got stuck in my mind. Not because it was a great article, but it was a reminder. Guardian Angels. Let me put it straight. I am religious, I do believe in higher power. I am not sure if it's God (but that's probably the closest description of what higher power seems to me).
But I am also very skeptical. I never question my beliefs. But I do question the way how did humans find the ultimate version of what we are supposed to believe in. Is there really just one way? (or depending on religion, multiple ways:). Is what we're taught really the absolute truth? Or is there more to it? I am convinced we know very little. Something we hang onto to give us hope. Which, in the end, we all need.
But those guardian angels, or those strikes of light called souls, they are on my mind all the time. I want to know more. I am curious, have you ever experienced anything like that? Do you believe there is a possibility or it just sounds like a plain rubbish to you?

Picture found here.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Just thinking..


My friend Kate sent me this video and while watching it, I felt like they took the words right out of my mouth. Simply beautiful, but also alarmingly encouraging. Sometimes I feel I have to give my best every day when writing this blog but I know that the best pieces require more work, more focus. I don't want to write just because I have to. I so ENJOY having this blog and I want to keep ENJOYING it, because only if you ENJOY something, beautiful things happen. Do you feel the same? Do you prefer quality over quantity like me? Or vice versa?

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

DIY IKEA vase




I am slightly obsessed with gold lately. On my last visit to IKEA, I bought couple of SNARTIG vases and was thinking how to spice it up a little. Golden sharpie did the magic and those beauties create wonderful display, sitting quietly next to each other, side by side..





All photos by me.

Monday, July 15, 2013

From around the world



Hello there, how was your weekend? We were outside most of the time, watching a baseball game, enjoying warm evening walks, having fun time with our friends. It was perfect. I so do love summer evenings.
But I have to admit, that one thing I am missing in California is the good old summer rain. The one that creates thunderstorm so loud that all you want to do is to drink a nice cup of coffee, cuddle up under the blanket and pick up some seriously good reading material.
So let's pretend it's raining and enjoy some nice links I picked for you this week.

An eclectic home.

Pom pom balloons.

I just like her.

Portraits of fourth graders around the world.

It's good to remind this to ourselves from time to time.

Oh, those shoes. And the cutest swimsuit.

This room feels so cozy to me..

Perfect plate.

Fish taco bowls sound divine to me.


Photo found here.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

You'd be mad not to check out..

Friend, are you a fan of jewelry? I have to admit, I am indecisive. It's all about the mood I am in that day. But if I do, I tend to lean towards very simple accessories. So when I spotted those little munchkins, I thought it would be the perfect thing to share. It would make a great gift, especially if that person has an attachment to a certain city. I can already think of one friend, who'd die to own the one of Venice! What about you? Would you wear it?

New York Central Park

San Francisco

Prague

Tokyo

Venice