Well, I sort of slept last night and have been awake all day which is more than I can say for all the other days since we arrived. Getting over jet lag with a toddler is much more difficult than on your own.
So, it wasn't until today that I had time to take a leisurely stroll around the neighborhood and actually step into some of the "Antik" shops that my neighborhood is over-saturated with. I knew that I wouldn't be buying anything because it's a shi shi area where everything is marked up to prices I can only call "stupid".
Still, it doesn't hurt to peek in and have a look... and a touch (which is all I want to do with vintage textiles).
The shops with all of the random old trinkets and less useful-more decorate-really just pretty hipster items (not judging, I totally wanted a bunch of things!) were super fun to walk through. Old EVERYTHING YOU CAN IMAGINE lives in those stores.
The shop with the textiles were painfully well-stocked with an assortment of Uzbek, Afghan, Turkmen and Ottoman coats, dresses, hats, vests and robes as well as beautiful tapestries, rugs, vases and bowls. I could spend... well, everything I have there plus all the money I plan to earn for... forever...
One day my walls will be draped in that epic, storytelling tapestry and my floors will be covered in those rugs and my couch will have pillows made from the perfectly faded mirror fabric with soft tassels and I will sit their in the most epic velvet embroidered robe one could imagine. And I shall be contently sewing a new costume made from old indian wedding skirts and vests from who-knows how long ago.
Ahh yes.. a-hem, back to reality.
But, as I said before, I knew I wasn't going to buy anything. This is the first antique store outing and I am Istanbul, such a large place filled with many markets and I am sure even more amazing treasures.
And when I do find those, I'll be sure to take pictures :)
As for music and dance, I have only seen a little music so far. I looked into dance performances and so far the only ones I find are part of a dinner night that costs a bit too much for me at the moment but I'm sure I'll find some more low-key shows once I have ventured around a bit more.
We saw our friend, Peter Jaques, and his band play at a place called "Leyla Teras" and it was really beautiful. The singer, Brenna MacCrimmon, has an incredible voice: so strong and sweet! We went into a Saz Bar and saw part of a one-man show and it was lovely, calm with most of the audience singing along which always makes me happy. Speaking of singing along, there was a clarinetist busking on Istiklal and these three younger men, who seemed fairly intoxicated, were singing the words so passionately... it's moments like that when I feel that irreplaceable sensation of being immersed in a different culture.
Sometimes feeling like an outsider is the most refreshing thing.