OSMAN AS ARCHTYPE
A carpet salesman, sitting out on the street trolling for customers. He hated this drawing, but it’s dead to rights.
Still a friend all these years later. Billy was a printer by trade but became a commission man to support his family, bringing people to find what they were looking for. He’s the nicest one I ever met.
-This 81-year-old dreamboat stopped in the doorway of the shop at quitting time and played me a Kurdish tune- Everyone was dancing in the doorway – March 25 ’04
OLD BUDDIES ON THE BRIDGE
-Nizamettin Bey – Kemal Bey – Nizam & his old buddy Kemal on the Galata Bridge, posing while I smoke nargile & draw – 25 March ’04
TAKES ON ATATURK
Ah, he was everywhere, on every wall and on all of the money. The hero of Gallipoli, the Founder of the Turkish Republic. Credited for having brought Ottoman Turkey into the 20th Century. To Americans we say, “Take George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King and all of the Kennedys, and you have a rough idea of how the Turkish people still feel about Ataturk, who died in 1938.
AT KIS KILESI
Maiden’s Tower——This Medieval tower, an Istanbul landmark, had just been radically “renovated” into a fancy restaurant. Very little of the original Tower remains, but it’s still wonderful. The story is that a king was told that his daughter would die by snakebite. So he put her in this tower in the Bosporus, away from all snakes, until one arrived in a basket of apples.
HAGIA SOPHIA ON A WINTER DAY
-The view from Dubb Restaurant, Sultanahmet on several icy days in March-April 2004 just before the leaves came and before the warmth, but the sun is here behind the clouds, shining on Ayasofya in its 1,467th Spring——-I had a compulsion to do a panorama of the old girl with trees, and am I glad I did. Now Ayasofya’s a mosque and the trees are gone. But she’s still magnificent.
JUST ENGAGED / WATERPIPE STREET
Just engaged! – Sunday morning in Sultanahmet just outside the Water Pipe Cafe——People still lived on this street back then. I was drawing this when I became aware of a large group watching, while a tour guide expostulated in French. I realized I had become colorful. The beautiful couple were staying at the Kybele, before going to Switzerland to get married. She’d just left a university and had nothing good to say about it. Scary, as they’d just hired me.