Sunday, May 18, 2014

Sunday, May 18, 2014 - No comments

How Bazaar, How Bazaar (Part 2: The Tailors' District)

Tradesmen of Istanbul's bazaar quarter originally set up shop according to their wares, and they still hold loosely to this tradition today.  Street names indicate what type of trade was centred there, resulting in names like Fincancılar Sokak ("Mug-Makers Street") and Sandalyeci Sokak ("Chair-Makers Street").  Örücüler Sokak ("Knitters Street") today is still lined with shops bursting at the seams (pun intended) with yarn, ribbon and thread.

My favourite discovery of the day was this button shop, Kut Düğme.  As a lover of photogenic patterns and rows, I could've spent all day in there.  The "button man" was dying a set of blue buttons in a pot on the floor, and I was amazed at the speed with which he whipped out several dozen while I was there.

There was an entire district dedicated to everything a girl needs for her pre-wedding henna party - from satin bindallı outfıts to the gloves she wears while the henna sets to the little souvenir henna packets guests take home as party favours.

I am forever in awe of the way simit sellers balance their trays of "sesame bagels" on their heads.  Who needs charm school when you've got on-the-job training like this?

We weren't sure what to make of these bins we saw in the "hunting supply district."  Exploding duck decoys, perhaps? 

Customers with a lot of items on their list can hire a hamal to follow them from shop to shop and carry their load on his back.  That has got to be an exhausting job, especially considering how the entire bazaar quarter is built on a rather steep hill.  

I had to laugh when I saw this - someone clearly got called in to look at a customer the moment they sat down to take a break.  The cigarette is getting what it deserves, but what a sad waste of a perfectly good cup of çay!