ERTEN KONAK HOTEL
A commission. Erten Konak is still there, at the bottom of Sultanahmet, and they still have my drawings framed on the wall. This one was done in the rain, with an umbrella fixed over my head.
An attorney, she decorated the newly-restored family hotel, and posed for me while Atahan was working the desk downstairs.
SOPHIE GOING HOME
-Sophie – 10 May 2009—–She went home to Paris, which is the richer for her presence. Oh I miss her!
She was a good friend.
THE COCA-COLA KIOSK
-Kösk Cafe, Grand Bazaar, Istanbul—–Another surreal juxtaposition of American culture and Byzantine/Ottoman/Turkish architecture, with harem pants.
–Ran into her up on Istiklal & got this—–We shared two apartments, put in a lot of time in a garden, told each other everything and watched many movies, when my old cats were young. Ida is Maori, from New Zealand, and turned me onto whale riding… as a spectator.
TOUGH COOKIE ANTHONY
-Oh he grew up nice! – My old friend Anthony: half Hungarian, half Persian, half of a couple, forty-five, filled out & happy at last—–When my former husband and I lived on the walk streets in Venice, Anthony was across the way. An expert stone mason, he built our front wall. I was gloriously stunned to find him here in Istanbul. He was having tea in Sultanahmet, asked if they knew me, and fifteen minutes later, there we were. He and his girlfriend Samantha walked all over the Old City with me. Everybody loved them. I found a little calico cat with a flopping front paw, and he carried her home for me, where she lived the rest of her life. Anthony showed me the wood laterals that the Byzantines cemented into their walls to take the shocks from earthquakes, which is one reason they’re still standing.
CJ AT MIKE’S
-CJ her first time at Mike’s – Kybele Hotel Sultanahmet Istanbul—–Ravishing CJ- just turned 20- moved into my spare room after Ida went back to Beyoglu. We had a splendid time as she was avidly interested in everything. She’d spent the winter working for a carpet company, living in the owner’s hostel. He and all his co-workers hated cultured, successful Mike. When one of them discovered I’d taken CJ to Mike’s Museum, he flipped out. He parked in front of my apartment, waiting for me, calling and threatening. I called the police. One of them was the boyfriend of a girl I’d drawn, had the print I’d given her. As the two tall strapping policemen and their machine guns escorted me up my steps and kissed my hand goodnight, the nasty case drove away. I never had any worries after that. CJ is happy now in Canada.
FAST TAKE FLOATING MOSQUE
Coming down the hill from my show in Cihangir, I was transfixed by this surreal sight of the Blue Mosque, on its hill all the way across the Golden Horn. Stopped in the street and sketched it ethereally floating amid prosaic storefronts and cars. Little dreamed that I’d live across the street from where I drew this. Since then I’ve tried photographs, I’ve tried denser drawings, but nothing conveys the hallucinatory quality of this view. Still we try.
JUDITH IS JUST LEAVING
–Judith 6:05 PM 10 May 2009 Istanbul—–During Judith’s years here, we spent a lot of time together running around Istanbul. She asked for this commemorative drawing, and I was just able to catch her before she left for Italy with the Consulate.
Robert Friedman from San Francisco-
OLD DUDE IN KASIMPAŞA
Seen from the car in Kasimpaşa—–