The lost folder of photographs that I found from Istanbul this spring.

Spending two weeks in one of the most chaotic, strange, amazing, and labyrinthine cities this spring certainly made March a month to remember. Istanbul, you rule! Although most of the time I was either in a state of awe/confusion/being hurried along somewhere, I still managed to soak up some of the scenery.

I lose things like it’s my job, and I thought these photographs were gone forever, but it turns out I had filed them in with my photographs from Palermo, Sicily. Woo! Please delve into the world of Istanbul seen from a 19 year old photographer. Warning: We were mostly taken to “touristy” spots, so I do not call this an authentic view of Istanbul. Then again, can a city of 16 million that spans two continents really have one identity or one idea of authentic? Nonetheless, we did mostly go to bazaars, mosques, restaurants and main streets, and we were also put up in a “hotel block”- an entire block of just high-security hotels, surrounded by guards at the exit to the block. It felt strange staying in this sort of “island” of hotels, you can be sure.

Although our experience was at times skewed so that we could experience Istanbul’s most famous parts, we wandered and explored, took the public transportation, bought coffee grinds and sipped Turkish tea in multiple-story-high cafes, ate lots of good food, and had a definitely fantastic time. I also remembered some Turkish (mainly on how to order food), which felt nice.

Of course I have more digital photographs of Istanbul that I chose not to put up. These photographs were from the last three days we were there; the only days it didn’t snow/rain/sleet or give us some sort of inclement weather! This is how I want to remember Istanbul: Sunny with a size of haze and choas, enveloped in history and torn between the past and present.

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