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south williamsburg and bushwick

you never know what expects you on the streets of brooklyn.

random installations:

a fake mouse:

and some other friends:



pen·i·ten·tia·ry. noun.


some time in january i had decided to go on a vacation between spring and summer semesters. the plan was to fly to los angeles and drive to san francisco. the whole trip would take about a week.

instead, i went to philadelphia. for a day.

this time there was only one thing i had planned in advance: a visit to eastern state penitentiary (a word i cannot seem to spell correctly). you take the train from penn station to trenton and then another one to philadelphia 30th street station. the penitentiary is about half an hour walk from there. the weather was nice and i really wasn’t in the mood for more public transport.

i must have been to philadelphia more than twenty times by now, but i didn’t even know about the penitentiary until a couple of days ago. and i’m happy i wasn’t tempted by the idea of going to philadelphia museum of art, or having lunch first. the penitentiary turned out to be one of the most impressive things i’ve seen in the states. it’s almost impossible for me to believe that this whole thing actually existed, with inmates and guards and all. it looks as if it was built for a hollywood movie and it’s beautiful in a very strange way.

the audio tour (narrated by steve buscemi, accompanied by some gloomy tunes) is pretty informative. you learn about the history of the building (it was built in 1829, and had central heating and running water even before the white house), about the popular inmates (including al capone) and life in prison in general. this is what one of the cells looked like:

the penitentiary was apparently designed to provide minimum interaction between the inmates. the idea was not only to punish the criminal but also to make him a better person. the building definitely has a church feeling to it and the only light in the cells comes through a small skylight (hinting to the fact that “God is watching”).

that reminds me:

“the third planet is sure they’re being watched / by an eye in the sky that can’t be stopped

when you get to the promise land / you’re gonna shake that eye’s hand”

i don’t want to repeat everything i read on the brochure or heard during the audio tour. if you happen to go to philadelphia, imho, this is *the* thing you should do.

the rest of the trip was pretty random and it included a walk to the rocky steps, watching wedding photo-shoots, more walking, hanging out on south street, and missing the train! when eventually on the train, i fell asleep right away and had a dream about the penitentiary, which wasn’t at all as eerie as i would expect.


i just had to go to cappadocia.

my parents said they’d join me.
and they did!

we hit the road around 7:30 am on a monday morning and arrived at urgup at 6:30 in the evening. after leaving our bags in the hotel and having a quick rest, we walked to the city center and had dinner. it was goood.

next morning.

it helped us a lot that my father went to (a boarding) school in urgup for two years. (he was twelve at the time but nonetheless he knew the area pretty well.

and also, it was my mother’s birthday! ❤

my father said it would be best if we went around with a tour (mini)bus, so that’s what we did. in our group were 4 italians, 2 aussies and 2 brazilians, all of whom turned out to be really cool people. (aussies being just a little bit cooler than the rest.)

this is obvious but i just have to say it: the whole place is absolutely surreal. some volcanic ash, some wind, some rain. and apparently you can get this:

or this:

you can even get a camel if you really wanted to.

at some point they took us to a pottery place. which proved useful for some reality check after seeing all these bizarre formations. the master (hallelujah!) allowed me to play with the clay a bit. i have a feeling that i’ve made a sugar bowl. or a vase.

then we had lunch at some place and i swear to god every single thing i ate tasted the same. pretty amazing, huh? i don’t know how they managed to do that. anyways, at least the wine -being local- was pretty decent. oh yeah, the cake was good too. after lunch, they took us to the goreme open air museum. this used to be a monastery complex where people carved out the rocks and built houses and churches (and some other things).

apart from the 7-story nunnery (see above) and the kitchen and the dining area, what i found really amazing was “the dark church.” this one gets very little light so the frescoes are really well preserved.

we spent quite some time there going in and out of the rocks but i should better not go crazy and upload all the pictures i have. just know that you’ve got to see this place at some point. and that you have to give me a call when you’re going there.

after the museum we took a break at a place where you can enjoy a nice panoramic view (with mount erciyes in the background — look all the way to the right)

and some turkish coffee in the foreground (also, on the right)

what else? hmm, i did some wine tasting and watched some camels chill. as you all know, camels and wine go really well together. well, that was pretty much the end of our tour. then we went back to the hotel to take a nap and perform some internet activities. in the evening we were out again for a walk. my mother and i climbed up this little hill for yet-another panoramic view. this time of urgup.

i loved this place. thanks to it, now i know what “serenely beautiful” means. i’m planning to go there again with cagla this december. let’s see if we can do it.

oh yeah, what we did the day after is a whole different story. coming up next.

this route has tolls

so here’s what i’ve done in turkey in the past 5 weeks. spent roughly 60 hours on the road, and did 4000 kilometers. and loved it!

will be back with pictures, (some) details and instructions.

back in the city right before irene

after irene had passed, i went out to look around and take some pictures. thankfully new york city looked pretty much as i’d left it. so here are the pictures i took:

i have some from turkey too. will try to upload them soon.


rambling nature of my posts

we’re burning.

i read the elegance of the hedgehog and i think some of you might like it. a lot. click here to find out if you think i’m talking about you.

okay, no, i wasn’t talking about you really.

yesterday one of you told me to start thinking about what i want to do next. that for the first time made sense. i’ll think about it. i mean, i’ll think about if i should start thinking about what i want to do next. good.

last saturday i got sick and i didn’t know why. i still don’t know why. then on sunday i watched the french open final. it was good but predictable and, as you can guess, was easily predicted by me (and many others).

speaking of many others, you know they support cloud computing but of course žižek is criticising it (werner herzog style). this guy here, i think, is also against it. he wants us to un-cloud our files in cement:

i like him.

i found this book called strong poison in the bathroom and started reading it. old school mystery is good for you. and if you want to know why we all love a victorian murder, this guy here thinks it’s because of sexual repression, dark alleys, great detectives, and ornate prose.

let me post a picture and i’ll get back to my book. and tea. later.

urban flowers

goddammit! is it june already? where did may go?