our first full day in istanbul we took the trolley to the other side of the golden horn and walked around the beyoglu neighborhood. we started by walking down istikal caddesi which felt much like 34th street in ny- starbucks, body shop, mac cosmetics and converse stores filled the street's ( ok, full confession- i did pop in the converse store to see if they had any styles not in ny, as all-stars are my shoe of choice. but alas no.) the street is closed to traffic and just teeming with people walking and on the trolley car going through the middleof it all, so full there are people hanging off the sides. it was a bit sad as it was so westernized. but then we would turn down any of the side streets and it was a whole different world. narrow cobbled streets with vegetable and fish stands, jewelry stands where the artist was actually making the jewelry he was selling right there. we found the musical instrument area- blocks and blocks of stores selling all types of musical instruments. the lighting district selling bulbs and lights. it felt like the old ny when there where lot's of varied neighborhoods not just one big gapified, stabuckian world.

oh...... and did i mention the cats-everywhere!!!

then we climbed the galata tower- yes a touristy thing to do but still an incredible view of istanbul.

we ate dinner at a street cafe- one of many lining the streets and then walked across the galata bridge and discovered a whole world below the bridge! there is a second level underneath the roadway filled with cafe's overlooking the river. we sat on beanbag chairs listening to live music and drinking raki the drink of choice here.