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I’ve got you covered – Cülcan & Leyla-Best friends in sky-blue satin scarves. Beauties from Batman & Mardin——Audrey Hepburn and Angelina Jolie here were thrilled with their portraits but declined to have them sent online. Instead, I photocopied ‘em & left two copies at the cafe for them to pick up later. I I really liked them, and I never saw them again. I hope they’re having happy lives. A year later I had a skirmish with a nasty local character, and asked the police for an escort home. The nasty case was parked in front of my apartment, waiting. On the way home, one of the police said, “You drew my girlfriend in a blue scarf. She loved it.” She was Leyla, on the right. So what the nasty case saw was two strapping armed police walking me up my steps and into the apartment, where they glowered out the windows until he left. He never came back. I owe her one!!


This keyhole-shaped portal rose straight out of the water. The Sea Gate of the great Byzantine Sea Palace, Boukoleon, with the Orient Express railroad line running behind it. Rising at top right are the ruins of the Palace itself, just a small piece of the monumental whole. Built into the city’s sea walls in the late 9th century, the Palace originally rose out of the Marmara Sea itself. This water gate accommodated small craft bearing passengers from the big ships at anchor.Diginitaries stepped onto its carved balconies, to be met with all pomp and panoply. The present ground level is about fifteen feet (5 meters) above the old water level. The carved marble is a balcony that ran the length of the Palace. At this writing the Gate is still there, visible if one walks behind a chain-link fence and a power station topped with razor wire.

SEA GATE WITH LEYLA I had drawn the Sea Gate. But there was nothing in the drawing to indicate how big the thing was, so I asked my friend Leyla to pose for me, and later incorporated her into the drawing. She’s gorgeous, and all the trains hooted madly as they roared by. 


May 2008 – Maya waking up in the garden at Kybele – Maya’s Grandmother Susie and I watched her wake up.


…and we watched her sleep again.


 -Belidiye workers with chunks of the Boukoleon Palace in the railroad below my balcony -Sultanahmet Summer 2008—–Nobody seemed to care about the rotting glory. This stuff is probably all still there, although the rail service is discontinued. “Restoration” on the Palace has been announced.

The view from my balcony summer 2008

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