Showing posts from May, 2013

Why Constantinople got the works, that's nobody's business but the Turks

So first of all let's talk about the cats. The Internet has an inordinate fondness for cats, right? So too does Istanbul. In the evening it is not uncommon to see three or four feral cats perched or prowling along any given short stretch of street. Black, ginger, chiaroscuro and (mostly) patchwork, in the Sultanahmet and Taksim districts alike 1 they wander into and out of cafes, they walk straight down the middle of streets like they own them, they trade glares with the two-toned crows that roost here, they rest beneath cars and on windowsills. I do not doubt that some of them have ascended the minarets of the Blue Mosque, climbed into the galleries of the Hagia Sophia, patrolled the harem of the Topkapi Palace, descended into the cistern built for Byzantium 1500 years ago, and even crossed the bridges across the Bosphorus to Asia Minor. (It's also possible that given my, um, idiosyncratic authorial history, I notice urban animals more than most. But everybody notices a