The house was amazing; I'd seen buildings like that but had never been in one. It's a 150 year-old Ottoman mansion that has been divided into apartments. It has actually four gardens, each on a different level, separated by retaining walls. The lower two walls are somewhat visible in this picture. There is a natural spring in the next wall which flows continuously, ensuring that the lower levels are always somewhat moist; the water is collected in two large tanks and used for watering in the summer. As we walked through the various gardens, I found myself struggling not to be jealous. I didn't have to struggle very long - my friend said, "Actually, I've been looking for a housemate for a while. You can live here if you want." I wasn't sure at first, I didn't know him all that well, and the promise of a wonderful garden battled with visions of an uncomfortable living situation. But we talked about all the particulars and I decided to go for it.
Monday, March 17, 2008
Back In Business!
There are times when one feels just...blessed. I have been so incredibly busy the last month or two that I hardly had time to do a proper search for housing. One day, talking with a new acquaintance with whom coincidentally I have at least 5 friends in common, I mentioned that I was losing a garden and looking for a new place. He said I had to see the place he lived in, a place with probably 4 acres, in the area of Anadolu Hisarı, up near the second Bosphorus bridge, on the Asian sides. Anadolu Hisarı has always been one of my favorite neighborhoods in Istanbul. It's very unspoiled, with old houses and narrow stone-paved streets. The quarter is centered around one of the two fortresses the Ottomans built when closing off the Bosphorus, in preparation for the capture of Constantinople.