If you get into history the way I get into history, you'll understand the "pinch me" feeling that came over me nearly every time I turned a corner in Istanbul. The very act of putting foot to ground in this fabled city sent tingles up my spine. I wanted to mind-meld with every stone. A view from Topkapi Palace was one of those moments. Read more about Topkapi

Little House in Istanbul

In the flat they occupy in Istanbul, my sister sits at a table that she had made, if memory serves, from a pair of old Singer sewing machines she found somewhere. Reading old National Geographics I discovered that Singer has a wonderful history in many of the remote places of the world. They invented a portable treadle sewing machine which, transported on donkey back, traveled with its attendant tailor, from village to village doing work as required.
31JoanAtHomeInIstanbul.jpg Read more about Little House in Istanbul

Holy Wisdom

We left off last week with me sprawled in the Street of the Satellite Dishes, while my ankle swelled up like a misshapen pear. A couple of guys came running out of a nearby shop hauling a stool, insisting that I haul myself up on it because, as my sister translated, if I kept sitting on the curb, where I had managed to drag myself so far, I would get "sick in my rear."

Apparently sitting on cold stone or concrete, in Turkey, causes diarrhea. Read more about Holy Wisdom

Merhaba, Stamboul!

In 2005, I landed in Istanbul to spend a couple of weeks with my sister Joan, who had the good sense to marry a Turk, thereby acquiring access to an apartment in one of the most storied cities in the world. And here's a bit of advice. If you land in Istanbul and your sister insists that you walk off jet lag (11 hours from Chicago, where I had flown in from Seattle), put on your walking shoes. Read more about Merhaba, Stamboul!