KÜÇÜK AYASOFYA & THE PERA PALACE -Late August – December 2004 -Trici Venola — Workmen putting new terra-cotta plaster on Küçük Ayasofya – Whining again: – The city ruined my view with an ugly streetlight – later fixed with a landlord Sir Galahad – Put me in a good mood all day!——After all that drama and upset, I found this apartment next to Kucuk Ayasofya. I was sitting in it, wondering how I’d pay the rent, staring at my phone. It rang. It was a job. While waiting to plead my case at the university, I sat next to a woman who admired my sketchbook. She told her best friend, who found and hired me to draw children’s books, something I’d always wanted to do. So this was a happy time.
GONNA BE ALL RIGHT
Train racketing by just after the Call to Prayer – full moon soon – think it’s gonna be all right — This view is much better than the old one of glittering windows and misery — Ygor – what a fine little cat he has become! — Still crippled but getting fatter -our little refugee——This was Pinkie, still with us in 2021.
The view from Kalamar Restaurant & Proprietor Celal—–Terrified of overstaying my visa, I’d run into an acquaintance on the tramline. He asked me how I was. When I told him he walked me across the street to a fellow with a large entourage. “Celal!” He said, “This is Trici Venola, a world-famous artist! You should hire her to draw your portrait.” “Yeah?” said Celal, pulling out a large roll of lira, and we went straightaway to a bench and I drew it. That was how I met my friend and patron Celal. I bought a bus ticket that night and did this picture later, at Kalamar in Kumkapi. As it turned out, we were neighbors, and I could walk to the restaurant.
WORKING AT NIGHT
Ömer watching me draw him — Guys fixing the street at night in front of the ruined hamam back of my house——
YONCA AT 22
Yonca has the luminous doll-like quality reminiscent to me of Claudette Colbert——Mike’s daughter grew up a beauty!
JUST ANOTHER FRIDAY NIGHT
…with Gurhan & Ali the Gulhan Brothers & Obi-Wan – music like liquid angst——Those wonderful brothers working a carpet shop up the hill, where I’d drawn a minaret. Gurhan had helped me find this apartment.
BURAK & A HOLYMAN
Full moon splendor over ruined cemetery at Arasta Bazaar & Tavukhane Sk — A Kindly expression, gray beard & flaming red pigtails on this holymaan seen with his acolytes at Fatih Camii — Burak – He helped me – O yardime ti bana——Burak’s family owned the restaurant next to Gurhan’s carpet job, and he also helped me find an apartment. The ruin shown here is now covered with construction.