For those who are fascinated by the ever changing city of Istanbul, there are always new stories and facts to discover.
I’m very happy to read that John Freely, the British historian of Istanbul (known from his book ‘Strolling Through Istanbul’, with Hilary Sumner Boyd), has written a new guide book “Galata, Pera, Beyoglu: A Biography”.
It is an unorthodox biography of this multicultural, multi-religious and multi-ethnic neighborhood.
With gossipy passages that describe ‘legendary pimps, murderers, and pickpockets: one pickpocket was saddened to find a handful of dog poop and a mocking note in the wallet he had stolen from a gentleman in Bankalar Caddesi. You can read the book, also, whilst walking on Nuri Ziya Street and follow its directions to discover the history of the buildings that surround you. One was inhabited by Liszt once; another had wonderfully beautiful trees in its garden; a third was once an Italian school for girls.’
‘There are priceless details in the book, including a sketch of the younger years of Yakup restaurant’s chief waiter (he had worked at the legendary “Love Boat” in Miami). You can also find a paragraph about Fikret Adil’s novel, “Asmalımescit 74” which describes the secret life of an Asmalımescit building numbered 47.’
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