February 6, 2011

Karaköy, Istanbul. June, 2007

Every neighborhood in this evocative city possesses its own brand of visual magic. Even the tiny section of Karaköy tucked in behind the waterside fish market, filled with hardware shops whose wares spill out into the dizzying maze of tiny alley-like streets. Tubs of shiny nails and screws (some on display in wine goblets), pipes and plumbers’ snakes that shape a practical calligraphy as fascinating as any in nearby mosques, toilet seats, tools, tapes...or buckets of pure bright pigments like these, ready to be mixed up into any kind of paint or stucco a tradesman might fancy. On our way from Aya Sofia, trying to locate Tarihi Karaköy Balikçisi, an elusive restaurant we’d read about, Nick and I were bombarded with a rich palette of colorful distractions that almost (but not quite) prevented us from finding what we later renamed “Screwdriver Fish,” a simple and satisfying seafood lokanta that’s been serving up fresh fish in this down-to-earth tool-based neighborhood for more than 80 years.

1 comment:

  1. Dolla Bill Y'allFebruary 6, 2011 at 4:34 PM

    Speaking of hardware and visual magic, try the Lowell-adjacent residential nightmare known as Chelmsford, MA, home to the elusive Tandy Leather outlet and a can't-get-it-anywhere-else $9 E-Z grommet and rivet kit. Fabled production designer Henry Bumstead could not have envisioned a more depressing urban setting. Timbos Chinese Take Out and Jazzercize are strip mall neighbors with a tiny Greek restaurant called Evzon where a stuffed cabbage appetizer at $6.95 promises an orgy of greasy delight.