Upon the recommendation of an artist friend who spent six months living in Istanbul last year expressly to paint oil paintings —who would ignore a travel recommendation from someone like that, right?— I set off to have an afternoon stroll around Fener and Balat, traditionally Greek and Jewish (respectively) neighbourhoods of Istanbul. It was a quick bus ride, via the 55T, from Taksim.

aynalarAn area that has seen better days, Balat’s streets are lined with brightly coloured, often dilapidated (if not outright hazardous) houses. In contrast to the many abandoned and decaying buildings, there’s a strong sense of vibrancy and general ‘neighbourhoodliness’, with its many shops selling household and everyday foods and goods, and countless children running about playing in its streets.

watermelons

sekerli

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