a transplanted life in China 


5 days in Istanbul

Published on June 28, 2016, by in Travel.

Across Galata BridgeGalata Bridge, Istanbul

I flew to Istanbul for a job interview at a university for an English teaching position. I also spent a couple of days exploring the historic sections of the city, visiting Ayasofya, the Suleyman Mosque, and other areas. Istanbul is a fascinating place, and I barely scratched the surface. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the teaching job, but having a short holliday in the city and sampling some of its delicious food made the trip worthwhile.


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Ayasofya from Karakoy pier


My first view of the old city of Istanbul was from the Karakoy pier, looking across the Golden Horn toward the New Mosque, Ayasofya, and the Blue Mosque. I traveled mainly on foot, crossing the Galata bridge several times, as well as by tram. The sky was deep blue, the sunlight strong, and temperatures warm.

Among my favorite experiences: a huge breafast of eggs, cheese, bread, and olives in Karakoy, eating superb baklava at Karakoy Gulluoglu, observing the huge local cat population, and a side trip to view what remain of Istanbul’s Ottoman-era wooden houses in the Zeyrek area.


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street view in Beyoglu district


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Spice Market



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Ayasofya interior



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Ayasofya columns



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cemetery cat



tram street 2_opt




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baklava at Karakoy Gulluoglu


Aux Folies bar, Paris

Published on June 4, 2016, by in France, Paris.

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evening sidewalk crowd, Aux Folies bar, Belleville, Paris, July 2015


Shanghai street

Published on May 28, 2016, by in Shanghai.

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cafe counter

Published on May 23, 2016, by in Aix-en-Provence, France.

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Aix-en-Provence, France, a cafe near the Saturday street market


le Marais, Paris

Published on May 15, 2016, by in France, Paris.

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corner of Rue Rambuteau and Rue du Temple, le Marais, Paris, July 2015

In a past life, my favorite Paris walk was along Rue Rambuteau in the Marais district, from the Pompidou Center to the Place des Vosges, past the National Archives in the Hotel de Soubise and through a fascinating slice of Paris history. I re-walked this route during my summer 2015 stay in the city, stopping along the way for a superb falafel sandwich at L’As du Falafel in the Marais.