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ISTANBUL NEIGHBOURHOOD GUIDE

Contributor: Moshe Aelyon Author: Contributor: Moshe Aelyon
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Last updated: 18 July 2019

Moshe Aelyon / Creative Director tells YOTEL why he calls Istanbul “home”

I am excited to share the best spots in Istanbul on my blog - in documenting my journey I hope that you may find inspiration for your best life too. 

The best thing about living in the Asmalı Mescit district of Istanbul is the overall feeling of living in an authentic neighbourhood. While I love my apartment, I attribute my sense of belonging to my neighbours. One of the most lovely of them is Arzu Çapar Tabak, the owner of
Comedus.

Arzu greets all her store’s patrons with a huge smile. “Our mission here is to offer local and traditional flavours from our hand-selected purveyors. We try very hard to curate a blend that our customers will enjoy.” Her knowledge of the wine, beer and local cheeses she sells is impressive, as is her work ethic.

Each time I walk through the door she welcomes me with a “Hi Sweetie” that just melts away my day’s exhaustion. I am not the only one who is a big fan and the proof is how all of us living and working in the neighbourhood invariably stop by this charcuterie for a regular dose of Arzu. You should stop by too. You will enjoy the huge selection of cheese, cured meat and wine. Yet the most delicious thing here is the conversation with Arzu: she and Comedus are worth discovering for yourself when you visit Istanbul.

 

  • Two people drinking wine and eating cheese in a cafe
  • server in a small shop
  • people rolling cigarettes in small cafe
  • server and customer high five in small shop

ANOTHER BEAUTY: ISTANBUL MODERN MUSEUM

Istanbul Modern was founded in 2004 as Turkey’s first museum of modern and contemporary art. Committed to sharing Turkey’s artistic creativity and cultural identity with the local and international art worlds, the museum hosts a broad array of interdisciplinary activities.

Istanbul Modern embraces a global vision to collect, preserve, document and exhibit works of modern and contemporary art and make them accessible to the public at large. The museum offers a variety of cultural activities in its permanent and temporary exhibition halls, photography gallery, spaces for educational and social programs, library, cinema, café, and store.

Established in a building occupying an 8,000 square meter site in Karaköy on the shores of the Bosphorus, where it hosted exhibitions and events for 14 years, Istanbul Modern has now moved to a temporary space in Beyoğlu, where it has been welcoming visitors from May 2018 for three years while its new building is being constructed.

I wander in from time to time to get my “fix” of culture and feel so much gratitude to have the Museum in my ‘hood'.

  • Man stood outside Istanbul modern museum

EARLY MORNING GALATA 

When I have a day off, I wander the streets of the Galata neighbourhood, just a few blocks away from my apartment. At the heart of the neighbourhood, the Galata Tower is one of Istanbul‘s most iconic landmarks. Typically it is mobbed with tourists taking selfies, this spot is most beautiful first thing in the morning before the city wakes up. 

Built in 1348 during an expansion of the Genoese colony in Constantinople, the Galata Tower features a panoramic viewing balcony at the top, giving visitors one of the best views of the city. The tower also hosts a restaurant and café that stays open longer than the regular visiting hours.

The tower was used as a prison and a fire tower during the Ottoman era. The nine-story tower is 66.90 meters tall and was the city’s tallest structure when it was built. The elevation at ground level is 35 meters above sea-level.

Monuments and history have a way of making me feel that I belong. By recognizing certain references to my past I truly feel my journey is extraordinary, for that I am grateful. Visit spots that give you comfort, I do! Happy gratitude walking everyone.

Man walking away from Galata Tower
Man looking at a cat next to a vesper
Man leaning against vesper