Byzantine Streets

by Zbigniew

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Cast adrift in the Old City.

In place of the hard logic of the grid, the subtle rationality of streets that bend and flow with hill, valley and shore line. And ’round every curve, the unexpected: densely pixilated images made a millennium ago, a tiny graveyard sandwiched between apartments, an exhibition installed in a crumbling, 500 year-old hamam, a palazzo standing sentinel over a modest neighbourhood, a church constructed entirely of cast iron. Tea in the shadow of a Byzantine wall? Sure.

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And so follows the new. A few steps off the the trendifying İstiklâl Caddesi and its a bazaar of used books, an underground warren of vintage clothing and bric-a-brac, and smokey, gritty cafes playing host to the decidedly less-fashionable and their backgammon matches.

Its density of a different sort: fishing rods lining the Unkapani Bridge; deck hands leaping between garbage scowls plying the Golden Horn; the din of traffic and rooster calls competing with the call to prayer; the mini skirt contending with the hijab -with room for both, so far.

Its altogether too much, an overload. And its over far too soon.

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