Posts Tagged ‘Street Performers’

Goodbyes have never been my forte. I’m a crier plain and simple. Goodbyes for me are often punctuated with tears, sniffles and the occasional snot bubble. Saying goodbye to Istanbul and the people I have come to care for there was no exception. I never expected it to be so hard to leave. Perhaps because I never expected to love Istanbul as deeply as I do. Istanbul has changed me, taught me, and helped me to grow. Saying goodbye left my heart aching and my eyes puffy and red. I will be forever grateful for the experiences I had and the people I met and loved.

Returning to Los Angeles has been difficult. It really hit me for the first time as I was standing on the curb at LAX, waiting for my friend to pick me up, that I am not in Istanbul anymore. It hurts my heart. The pain of leaving the city that I have come to love so dearly to return to a city that I have never liked leaves me feeling a deep sadness. I can’t tell you how many times I have looked at a clock and expected to here a Call ring out across the city or the Ramazan drums booming up and down the streets. I miss Istanbul something fierce.

I take comfort in the fact that I know in my heart that this is not the end for Istanbul and I. I will return and when I do, it will be to stay. And I remind myself that returning to Los Angeles gives me the opportunity prepare for that reunion. Goals have been set, actions are being taken and inquiries have been made, all in the name of going home to Istanbul. It will happen. My heart tells me so.

The Blue Mosque. One of the most heavily touristed mosques in Istanbul that is still used as a place of prayer.

Istikal. The major shopping promenade located in the neighborhood of Taksim. This was taken around 2am so it was unusually quiet. At anytime during the day there are thousands of people walking up and down this street.

This is a hot air balloon located in Kadaköy on the asian side of Istanbul. It takes you 200m into the air for a panoramic view of the city. Unfortunately it was too windy to operate during my time in Istanbul.

One of the things  I love about Istanbul is that the city is filled with music. This guy was performing on the street in Ankara.

One of things I don’t like about Istanbul is the disregard shown towards the disabled. Often disabled people are used as “props” on the streets (frequently by friends or family members) in order to beg for money.  This blind man was sitting alone, outside of a bar off of Istikal, drinking an muttering to himself. Nobody seemed to even notice that he was there.

I saw this little girl as I was sitting in a sidewalk cafe drinking tea. Unfortunately I wasn’t fast enough to catch a shot of her face. She was adorable. This was taken without me even looking through my camera. My camera was sitting on the table in front of me when I clicked the shutter.  I know it’s not sharp, but I still like it.

View of Sultanahmet taken from a ferry crossing the Bosphorus.

Another shot taken from my perch in the window of my hostel room.

The Bosphorus.

The Boy and I on our last day together. Tearful goodbyes followed.

Museum of Ethnography in Ankara. Playing with Depth of Field. Also might want to note that this pocketwatch was behind glass.

Ataturk’s Mausoleum in Ankara.

My classmate and friend Liv.

The cistern in Sultanahmet.

A playful little girl. She got a little freaked out when she noticed I was taking her picture.

More fun with depth of field at the Museum of Ethnography in Ankara.

View from Galata.

The AyaSofya. Once a mosque. Now a museum.

Museum of Ethnography in Ankara.

Heart Balloons.


The Galata Tower

I shot this around 2am on a side street off of Istikal. Not sure what this little boy was roasting. He is one of thousands of children seen working the streets in Istanbul at all hours of the day or night.

I just liked the color of this boat.

The changing of the guards at Ataturk’s tomb. This is the only time you will see the guards move. Once they are in their stationed spot, they remain perfectly still. I was told that they even inject some sort of drug in order to stay so still…

Along the coast of Asia.

Take from it what you will…

A couple of Muslim women enjoying the breeze on the Bosphorus.

My heart belongs to Istanbul.

Peace and Love.


This is it! I am finally done. My profile is written, my photos are done and, the biggest thing, my multimedia project is done!

This past week has been a whirlwind. Interviews, filming, shooting, more interviews, more filming, more shooting, followed by a lot of crying and multiple moments where I had to fight to not throw my computer against a wall. I was thoroughly convinced as I had to start my piece over for the third time, and find a whole new topic, that there was no way that it would be possible for me to actually produce a finished piece. I am still in disbelief that it is done… and that I am actually really pleased with how it turned out.

Here it is!!!!!!

This past month has been a lot of things: amazing, hectic, spiritual, insane, beautiful, frustrating, fun, intimidating, sleepless, romantic…. the list goes on and on. I can’t even begin to describe how much this experience has meant to me or how much I feel like I have changed because of it. I have learned so much about myself, my trade, my passions, and my beliefs. Honestly, as cheesy as it sounds, this has been a life changing experience. All the stress, the fear, the doubt, the questioning, all of it are by far outweighed by the things that I have gained while being here.

I was talking to someone about this today. I have received so much more from this experience than I ever expected or thought possible. Not only did I learn to improve my writing and photography, not only did I learn to shoot and edit video, and not only did I learn a little Turkish, but I also gained new perspectives, ideas, and beliefs. Previously held conceptions and ideas have been smashed. My eyes and my heart  have been opened  in a way that I never thought possible. I feel happiness, love and contentment in the depths of my soul.

Priceless gifts that have been given to me. Grateful doesn’t even come close to describing the way that I feel.

Peace and Love.

The countdown has begun! We officially have 4 days left to finish our projects and hand them in and I am definitely feeling the pressure. I have 4 days to edit, translate, and splice my multimedia feature piece together and I don’t feel like I have made much headway. I am totally intimidated by Final Cut and I feel like I don’t know where to begin. I guess I just have to start somewhere.

Today, I went to see Janset, the pantomime, in order to pick up some music tracks from her for my feature piece. After that I spent several hours watching my computer convert all of my usable video clips into files that Final Cut can read. All in all, a semi-productive day. It’s a start at least. I have made peace with the fact that sleep is not an option (or at least much of it) if I am going to get this piece done by Tuesday.

I have been thinking a lot about my time here and the fact that it is coming to a close. I feel like I have learned so much from this experience. I have faced many fears, experienced a lot of firsts and immersed myself in a culture totally different from my own. I am so grateful to have had this opportunity and I am sad to see it coming to an end. Although I miss my son, my family and my friends, I know I will be leaving a piece of my heart here in Istanbul. I hope to one day return, maybe even to live, and I absolutely want my son to experience the magic that is this place.

Until tomorrow…

Peace and Love.

The last couple days have been a whirlwind of interviews, transcribing, filming, photographing, editing, heat stroke, and not nearly enough eating or sleeping… However, I feel like it’s paying off. The intimidation of the world of multimedia is lifting and I am starting to feel more comfortable with the new elements of my trade. If that’s the only thing that I gain from this experience, it will all be worth it. Of course that’s not the only thing I have gained from being here, but it is a big one.

I interviewed my subject for my feature again today; this time with video and sound. It was my first time ever doing anything like this and I have to admit, I was incredibly intimidated. My subject, Janset Karavin, is a pantomime performer and she performs almost every day on Istikal (an extremely busy shopping promenade in Taksim). We interviewed today in her home, a little flat just off of Taksim Square, and aside from the man outside her window tearing the roof off of a shed and then replacing it, all went smoothly. Janset was very much at ease and easy to interview. She was agreeable, patient, cooperative, the perfect subject for my first video interview. I am so grateful to her for being so willing to work with me over the past 3 days. It has really been a great experience.

After our interview, we made our way to Istikal for her performance, which was really beautiful… Unfortunately, my filming of it was not as successful as I would have liked. She moves around a lot, and does so very quickly and I felt the whole time like I was scrambling or missing things. Additionally, I was having a hard time with the tripod I was using. I eventually got frustrated and gave up on the filming, which I figured it would be ok because I was much more successful filming yesterday’s performance, and I just sat and watched her perform. That was what I really enjoyed. Her movements are so calculated but graceful and the music she performs to is insightful and beautiful.

I was thinking about this whole experience today as I was watching her perform and how grateful I am to be a part of it. I have learned so much since I have been here and not just about my trade, but about people and cultures and religion and art forms and faith and courage and most of all, myself. My heart is happy.

Peace and Love