I first visited Istanbul immediately after graduating college in 2001, writing for a guidebook for tourists and travelers on a budget. Ever since, I have considered it my favorite city in the world.
In 2006, Istanbul was one of sixteen cities about which I made a video montage for the Venice Architecture Biennale. In the catalog, I described the Istanbul video collage (embedded left) as follows: “Istanbul’s urban landscape is a palimpsest. In an attempt to probe some of the city’s layers, the video collage is organized as a journey from the periphery to the center, where the simple act of cross the Bosporus encompasses everything, from the quotidian realities of commuting to the urban pressures of de-industrialization and incomparable quality of light in this vibrant city.”
I have tried to visit as often as possible in the years since. In 2015, I spent a week in a transformed Istanbul, spending time with old friends while working on the manuscript for Citymakers. And in 2020, I wrote a piece about the city for the Mediterranean issue of the excellent magazine Strangers’ Guide.