Sketching Sights: Istanbul, City on the Edge

The Bosphorus splits Istanbul in two parts. A rift in the madness of Europe and Asia, drifting between bodies of fresh and salt water cooling the heated passion of a most ancient urban jungle.

The hot, hot, heat of human movement generates organized chaos as this great strait, this rift, cushions the blow, keeping this romantic city on its axis.

Gulls parade our smooth cruise to the Black Sea as Istanbul, in all its glory, surrounds us reaching out with minarets and the omnipresent aromas of a heavily spiced city.

It’s here, in the interstitial space between East and West, that time stands still…


About Nicholas Andriani

In 2012 I bought a one-way ticket to Casablanca, Morocco, sold my car, picked up an Arabic dictionary and enrolled in an archaeological field school in the Middle East. As a student of archaeology, driven by the desire to see every inch of this planet (borders and politics be damned), I set out to get to the bottom of who I am and what I want from this world. Traveling mostly on foot I hitchhiked around North Africa, hiked Spain’s Mediterranean coast , caught a plane to Egypt where I wandered across Sinai into the Middle East and settled in Jordan, living amongst Bedouin and colleagues working on an excavation. Intrigued by the crisis in Syria I began tagging along with journalists, who were anticipating the extreme force that was to come, before making my way into Palestine and Israel where I found a land cloaked in obscurity and experienced a full paradigm shift. Landlocked I caught a plane to Greece and roamed the ancient landscapes, island-hopping my way to Turkey. Experienced the best of Byzantium, Constantinople, and Istanbul. And with one final burst of energy, found my way back home to the States.This is my story, and those to come. Posts are not sorted chronologically, rather they find their way to the blogosphere when I feel it’s high time they make their debut. Between travels i’ll be working on my first book. A memoir titled “Yallah, Bye“ in which i’ll recount my wild days abroad during the Arab spring. Finding love, loss, and culture shock a way of life, a right of passage. I’ll be diving into anthropology, foodie nonsense, history, and daily life of the worlds I had the good fortune to visit. Thanks for taking your time to visit my page and be sure to say “hello”! -Nicholas Andriani
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5 Responses to Sketching Sights: Istanbul, City on the Edge

  1. ninamishkin says:

    Gorgeous sketch, lovely writing….

  2. Thanks for visting my blog. I went to Instanbul on a whim in 2006, jumped on a ferry that criss-crossed the Bosphorus from Europe to Asia until it reached it’s final stop on the Asian side. I loved the chaos and contradictions; I might go back some day but the world is wide. Carpe diem.

    • Ah, the Bosphorus Cruise. I took the same ride, the last stop being Anadolu Faneri, just on the Black Sea. Gah, I found it fascinating how the waters, when hitting the Black Sea, became turbulent, more unsettled. And the Sea was shrouded in dark clouds while the whole of Asia/Europe, as far as the eye could sea was under clear skies. Quite an experience!
      Right back at you, thanks for stopping by and taking the time to say ‘hello’.
      Indeed, it’s a vast world, yet I feel Istanbul requires supplementary visits ;)

  3. Khai says:

    I have heard that the Asian part of Istanbul and the Western part of Istanbul offer 2 distinct features and feels. How true is that man? Is it like… totally different?

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