Thursday, November 5, 2015

Istanbul is as dynamic as ever!

During my recent stay in Istanbul I was fortunate to be visiting during the Istanbul Bienal and had the opportunity to see loads of contemporary art that was provocative, interesting, and quite apart from the image that seems to be prevalent of Turkey being a culture at war with itself.  Istanbul was as dynamic as ever.

I took the opportunity to explore some historic sites and neighborhoods on the Asian side during my stay in Kadikoy and also made it a point to visit several smaller museums and galleries.  One of my favorites is Salt Istanbul on Istiklal Caddessi, a four story gallery with free admission that hosts a variety of exhibitions that are always cutting-edge.  Salt Istanbul also shows films, check the schedules on line or when you visit.  Right in the heart of Beyoglu, Salt Istanbul is a fine place to visit in the midst of this energized shopping, dining and yes, drinking, hub.

Salt is just about directly across the street from the Koc University exhibition space, within the Koc University building.  This is another very worthwhile stop that offers historic/cultural exhibitions exploring Turkey's history.  Also free, always worth a visit for 20-30 minutes.  Good bookstore in the lobby area adjacent to the exhibition space as well.  And a very nice (pricey, modern Turkish restaurant on the top floor.

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