Thursday, August 4, 2011

Fenerbahçe, Istanbul

BH and I decided to make a trip to Uskudar, but on our walk from Katy's apartment to Kadikoy, we got a little befuddled. You'd think it would be easy to find the coast (it is quite clear from the apartment!) but we kept choosing the wrong rights and making erroneous lefts. We did end up, however, in a very nice neighborhood. Fenerbahce is the home to one of Istanbul's most popular sports club and is right next to the Sea of Marmara. Pride is displayed with all of the navy/yellow striped flags with an oak leaf in the center. The colors reminded me of polo shirts, and the neighborhood had almost a New England feel. When I saw the nice houses throughout the neighborhood and interesting looking restaurants, I decided we had to explore Fenerbahce and leave Uskudar for another day. One restaurant near the marina, the Bow Bells, had a particularly east coast feel. We stopped in for a beer— 10 TL for an Efes— and browsed the menu. I swear, they took this menu straight out of Maine! Other than lobster, I felt like this could be any seaside restaurant in the US. Delicious.
After our beer, we wandered around the beer. It was a Wednesday afternoon, and there was hardly a person on the hundreds of docked boats. The harbor wind whistled through the ships, blowing at bells that owners had set up next to their Turkish flags. It was the first time I have ever felt melancholic in Istanbul and I immediately thought of writer Orhan Pamuk. In his tribute to this city, Istanbul: Memories and the City, he used the word melancholy on every page. I had never thought that Istanbul had this feel to it, but I stumbled upon this moment next to the marina where I connected to his experience of Istanbul as a place of melancholy. I think this candid reflects that feeling.

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