INTERVIEW WITH ZAMAN

-Anne Andlaver & photographer Onur Hoban of Today’s Zaman interviewing me at Kybele.-Onur-Anne-Trici Venola ©2008 

As I recall, a huge black cloud came and squatted over the city, making it pitch dark at about 4 PM. In this, we got some interesting photos. Trust me, very dark! I drew this because I liked their contrasting faces.

A CAT & A DRUNK IN PLOVDIV
-[Drunk] Charleton Heston here had bits of leaf in his hair & 3 words in English: “Bill Clinton (I made a kiss face) “George Bush” (I spat) and “Bourbon?” (I said No thank you.) I told him he looked like Moses. He bought me 2 coffees & was still trying to get me to join him w/a bourbon when I left at 1:00 AM. Plovdiv -[Cat] I’m drawing this filthy little charmer with a tight tummy, which is how I left him after a trip to the fast food place across the street… sight… hope he finds another cat sucker soon… -TriciVenola ©5/2008

CAN AT PEKAR MARKET
Can at Pekar Market & Helper-Sultanahmet ’08-Trici Venola ©2008

When I moved to Sultanahmet in 2004, Can was 20 and had just gotten out of the Army. He was the youngest of the five Pekar brothers, and I was happy to see him when I moved back to Sultanahmet in 2007. The store had a tiny wall-mounted TV. One winter night very early on, when I owned no movies and had no Internet, we watched the end of ‘Gladiator’ together, tears in our eyes. The little kid, who I called Little Big Man for his insistence on carrying huge water bottles, is all grown up now. Big!

BABES IN PLOVDIV

The fashion: Bulgarians seem to be pulling away from the detestable tight-ankle boot-Best fashion accessory of the day: black grosgrain ribbon bows on the back of the boot. Cute as lace pants!-Only saw one woman with this look- white leather &white &apricot fox- looks dated to me.-Baby Boris Karloff from Book 19’s name is Nikolay.-Drunk on the trees! Gloriously natural as God made them-I sit on a hard wall with freezing feet in the sun here in Plovdiv. A few dirty looks; dunno if it’s my sitting on the wall or my Russian hat.-Izdrafko-Zdravko-TriciVenola ©2008
KAMIL
-Kamil-TriciVenola ©2008 

A rare fellow: a local who is also an historian for the neighborhood. He told me things like Cervantes, who wrote Don Quixote, having built the mosque in my neighborhood in Tophane. True. Mimar Sinan built that mosque, and used slaves to do it. Cervantes was one of them, and to the end of his days he loathed Turks and all things Turkish. How the Spanish came to loan slaves to the Ottoman Turks I do not know.O

CHECKING IT OUT
-Actual profile seen on the ferry-Winter ’08-TriciVenola ©2008

Women in Turkey are quite polarized on the headscarf issue.

THE GIRLS
-Liz-Leyla-Beyza-Leyla NW Dogumgünü-A night out with these babes put me back on the map emotionally-Like fresh wind blowing through my old attic-Trici Venola ©2008
OH, GRANDMA!
On the feribot-TriciVenola ©2008 Universal teenage eye-rolling at the prudish insistence of grandmas worldwide.
SHRIVELED STONE WALL
-Golden sandstone- I don’t know how old this wall is, but they just told me in the history museum that Plovdiv goes back to 6000 BC , a lot longer ago than this wall’s probable builder, Philip of Macedon.-Trici Venola ©2008 

Having drawn dozens of walls since, I now think this one is a mere five or six centuries old. Philip of Macedon more likely built its foundation. I drew it because of the way the sandstone blocks are actually shrunken in their frames, like really old people.

EAGER STUDENT
Boukoleon Ruin resident Ahmet Dal was my companion while drawing the Boukoleon window (Room with a View). He made store runs, loved the book on Byzantium & kept the creeps away. “I may be poor,” he said, “but I live in a palace.”-Ahmet Dal-Walking Thru Byzantium-Trici Venola ©2008

This excellent book is from Byzantium1200.com, one of the best references on Byzantine Constantinople. I don’t know what became of Ahmet, but I hope his fortunes improved.

TWO TAKES ON HISARKAPI 

-Hisarkapi-Oldtown PLOVDIV-Bulgaria-Just a layout-TriciVenola ©2008
-Another study of Hisarkapi-Krasi

On several successive visits to Plovdiv, I started to draw this Byzantine city gate. The one at left was probably abandoned because of the harsh line at the top of the wall, where I started to draw it too high, and the one at right, because I simply ran out of time. I eventually got it, in another book. 

Hisarkapi, in the middle of Oldtown,  is on ancient Greek and Roman foundations, with fabulous gabled wooden houses built onto it a couple of centuries ago by wealthy Ottoman Turks.