Tag Archives: Nisantasi

The Holiday Season in Istanbul

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streets of nisantasiLess than 10 minutes from my apartment lies a magical place. The streets are filled with toy soldiers, sparkling lights and even  a Christmas Tree (or more accurately ‘A New Years Tree ‘ for the Turks).  Stars and lights hang from restaurant windows, store entrances are decorated with ornaments and to my surprise , even familiar Christmas music plays in the stores. For this homesick American, it is to my sheer delight to see familiar symbols, decor and music to celebrate the holiday season in the Istanbul neighborhood of Nisantasi.  Read the rest of this entry

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Photo Credit: http://www.breadandbutter.com.tr/index.html

Walking distance from my apartment, I have found my haven! Bread & Butter is a sidewalk cafe that offers a variety of drinks, lunch dishes and special pastries.  With shady street seating and wonderful ambience, Bread & Butter serves as the perfect place to spend the afternoon. For anyone missing their local cafe or bakery from home, your needs will be met at Bread & Butter. You will be greeted by a smiling waitress eager to make you feel at home.

Location: Nisantasi
Closest Metro Station: Osmanbey, Pangalti Exit

Bread and Butter

Birthday Dinner

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We spent last night with friends at Quick China. This is one of my favorite restaurants in Istanbul, and offers the best Asian food in the city. It is dark, intimate and oh-so-chic. It is walking distance from our apartment, and offers some of the best sushi I have ever tasted. This is an incredible statement to make because excellent international cuisine is almost impossible to find in Istanbul. Of course, there are numerous restaurants in the city that offer an array of Japanese, Indian, Chinese and Thai cuisine, but rarely do you leave successfully satisfying your craving. They are often incredibly overpriced, and they are often foreign dishes made with Turkish ingredients. I admit, I have been very spoiled in my life. On the small island where I grew up, there were a plethora of restaurants that met every craving and represented the best in international cuisine. As I search for these flavors abroad, I have come to appreciate the diversity of flavors and cuisines that exist in the United States.

For my birthday, we reserved a table for 16 and enjoyed the company of friends as we ate sushi, fried rice, dumplings and more. Both my current and my beloved past teaching partner were in attendance, as well as many co-workers and friends. I felt very loved and very happy. We chatted into the evening, and the waiter spoiled us with late-night treats, ranging from jasmine tea to caramelized walnuts and fortune cookies. It was nice to catch-up with new and old friends, and to be surrounded by so many people who I love.

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The Cat Park

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There is a park less than 15 minutes from our apartment that we have affectionately named the ‘Cat Park’. This park is technically in Nisantasi, and is often overlooked in contrast to Macka Park, which is a much larger park directly below it. However, we love this park. Not only is there a fountain, trees and two cafes, there are also numerous cats.

As many of you know, I love cats. Most Turks do not feel this way. Like many Middle Eastern countries, the majority of cats and dogs in Istanbul do not lead comfortable spoiled lives. They live on the streets, they dig (and sleep) in garbage and scrounge for food. However, this particular park can be considered cat paradise for Istanbul cats. They roam free in a beautiful park. Local residents bring them food (everything from milk to meat to bread), and have even built special homes for them.  And the cats themselves? They are friendly and affectionate. You cannot sit down in this park without being surrounded by 4-5 cats. They purr, they play and they crawl into your lap. We come to this park at least once a week simply to pay a visit to our feline friends…

 

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