Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Check it out: Coetzee reads Summertime

"...Do you have children?"
"I am a child. I mean, I live with my father..."

What would the world of literature do
if it had no father issues to make art with?

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Places I've been - NYC

Most of my time in New York was spent walking. East to West, North to South, I walked the grids just to avoid the stinking, unbelievably complicated subway lines. Besides, unlike other things in New York, walking is free of charge and you don't have to tip anyone afterwards.

At the end of the day, when I was overwhelmed with fatigue, I awarded myself with a good draft beer or cocktail and some awesome live music. I only regret not having eaten more street food - I never tasted those giant pretzels, for instance. Now I'll never know if they taste like the small packaged ones. What a shame.


Some of the most memorable:
The music scene: Nublu62 Avenue C b/w 4&5th
The better ales: D.B.A.41 First Avenue b/w 2&3rd
Lovely jazz: Iridium - 1650 Broadway
and the lovely peach muffins at Bread Factory Cafe - 785 Lexington Ave.

Theater Posters

Good art investment for the weak of the wallet, methinks.

Czekajac na Godota / Waiting for Godot
Samuel Beckett
Designer: Tomasz Boguslawski
Year: 1982 

Idiota / The Idiot
Dostoyevsky
Designer: Wieslaw Walkuski
Year: 2002

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
Tom Stoppard
Illustrator: Brian Grimwood
Year: 1995

King Lear / Richard III
Shakespeare
Illustrator: Brian Grimwood
Year: 1995

Monday, May 3, 2010

For the love of vintage silver

I grew up thinking silver was the most precious material on earth. My mother, who adored gigantic silver jewelry, was the most important cause of this belief. Later on, I experienced one of the most memorable shocks in my life when I learned that gold - instead of silver - was the material upon which humanity's economic life was founded, and for which wars broke out throughout history. The other most memorable shock came when I learned there were negative numbers. I felt heartbreakingly deceived in both cases.

Silver rings are small things, but there is no reason not to take small things seriously. To the contrary, small things are especially valuable because they carry so much untold or unwritten history that tends to go unnoticed or forgotten. One could trace several family histories in one single ring that might have travelled more than we could ever hope for.

I bought my first silver ring from an adorable couple in a flea market in Kas when I was thirteen years old. I wore it almost everyday for about 7 years, and still keep it. In time, however, my silver ring stash grew large enough to fill a small size basket, so now I can no longer employ the kind of obsessively monogamist accessorizing I enjoyed back then.

Here are two vintage couples from my little basket:





Sunday, May 2, 2010

Enjoy - Django Reinhardt

Minor Swing performed by Django Reinhardt in 1937.

The First Sunday in May

This year, the second day of May happens to be its first Sunday.
And that's today - Sunday, the Second of May. Such a lovely day. So lovely that I put on my best mood (in contrast to what I'd donned yesterday) and went out for a happy walk followed by a lovely lunch outdoors.

We went out to this place nearby called Cafemiz
Once when I came to Ankara to visit my grandmother, my older cousins had taken me there and it was even a more magical place to my nine-year-old mind back then. I was wonder-struck. So I always remember that day fondly as I walk past this place, and although I've been living in Ankara for six years now it never occurred to me that I could actually go back to it find it ultimately unchanged in its beauty. Until today, that is.

Here is how it looks like indoors: 



White-washed and charmingly innocent as it is, the weather was so nice we headed at once for the tables outdoors. And, it turned out, volunteered to be the occasional target for bird shit.




Back home, I'm cuddling in my armchair with yet another book by Coetzee. 


And in a couple of hours we'll walk down to Kizilay to watch The White Ribbon by Haneke, another one of my beloved geniuses.

I'll leave you with a favorite poem from, well, another beloved man. I took the liberty to offer a rough translation, hope it's not too bad. (Please forgive me, NHR.)

Bugün pazar.
Bugün beni ilk defa güneşe çıkardılar.
Ve ben ömrümde ilk defa gökyüzünün bu kadar benden uzak
                          bu kadar mavi
                           bu kadar geniş olduğuna şaşarak
                                       kımıldanmadan durdum.
Sonra saygıyla toprağa oturdum,
dayadım sırtımı beyaz duvara.
Bu anda ne düşmek dalgalara,
bu anda ne hürriyet, ne karım.
Toprak, güneş ve ben...
Bahtiyarım...

Nazim Hikmet Ran, "Bugün Pazar"

Today is Sunday.
Today they let me out into the sun for the first time.
And I, amazed for the first time in my life 
                   at how far the sky is away from me,
                     how blue,
                     how wide,  
                         stood without a stir.
Then I sat respectfully on the earth,
leaned my back against the white wall.
At this moment no thoughts wandering,
At this moment neither freedom, nor my wife.
The earth, the sun, and I...
I am happy.

All the best,
H.
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