Where to Stay in Istanbul? Consider Basileus Hotel

The other day, I posted about an experience my friend had in Istanbul. It started off not so well. But it ended well when kind and professional hotel staff helped out!

I sent a note to the hotel to say “thanks” with a link to the above post and they wrote back. I won’t post their whole reply, but these parts will give you a sense of what nice people they are!

Dear  XXX,

Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful mail with us and sharing this on your blog. …

We always want all visitors to our city, no matter they stay at our hotel or not, enjoy their (visit) in our beautiful city and country. Therefore we try our best to give real the best sample of hospitality and try to explain how local people live and advise them to localize.

We feel very honored by hosting (your friends) at our hotel. It is always very special and privilege for us to know them, chat with them.

We are small family run hotel .We always accept our guests like part of our family and we would like to take care of them as much as possible.

We wish one day you also visit our country and to meet you ,it doesn’t matter you stay at our hotel or not we will be quite honored to meet you.

We will be in hope of meeting in the future.

Kind Regards,

Muharrem ,
Sehit Mehmet Pasa Sok. No:1
Old City Sultanahmet Istanbul Turkey
Tel:+90 212 517 7878
Fax:+90 212 517 7879

So, how could you stay anywhere else?


Thinking about the “Go to” Place for Pajamas

I saw this headline today

Sleepy Jones, the Go-To for Pajamas, Opens Its Very First Store in NYC

Interesting. At first, I wondered do we really need a “Go to” store that specializes in pajamas? My pajama thinking — something that I took to in my teen years — is  that sleep wear is the second use for worn out cotton dress shirts. You couldn’t buy cotton shirts that would have that same soft texture, and in bed you didn’t need to worry about the frayed collar. And of course, undershorts did just fine for the bottoms. If there is any doubt, yes, one removes one’s socks.

One heard horror stories. For example, there was a rumor that a dude down the hall in the dorm once found one of his boots at the end of the semester when he finally stripped the bed. Yikes! But these were urban legends. One could be sophisticated without buying into the pajama trade.

Hmmm … but I read that

Sleepy Jones makes some of the finest pajamas that are cozy enough for napping in, and stylish enough to wear in public.

Aha! Now I have it! it is that “wearing in public” thing. And I remembered then about dear old dad who, in his day, was a pajama guy. I can say from experience living with him that those duds were not for wearing in public. I won’t go into the details, but let’s just say that they were loose fitting in certain places.

But do you aspire to wear your pajamas in public? I thought that was what dressing gowns were for!

Speaking about Nipples

A long time ago, wardrobes did not malfunction very often. They were designed not to. But these days, you rarely get through the week without a salubrious glimpse of the naughty nip. Young Kristen Stewart’s … errr …. stage appearance  is but the latest example.

The surprising thing is that this is still news. After all, we have been aware for quite some time now that females actually have this particular body part. Usually, two of them, though I once heard that Ann Boleyn had a third one. We even know what they look like, in general terms. If there was any doubt, one need only explore the internet to sample thousands upon thousands of them!

But despite this, the public still gets agitated about a nip appearance in the real world. It is like seeing a vampire stroll down Park Avenue enjoying the mid-day sun. It is not supposed to happen! It violates the laws of nature! But why? Well … as a young stud muffin, I thought it was because the mere glimpse of a nipple was dangerous to man and beast! A female needed only to reveal this heavy weapon and I would be reduced to a bowl of quivering jello. It was only later that I began to realize that the excitement was in seeing a breach of standards. Seeing what is not supposed to be seen.

So when did toplessness achieve such a powerful taboo status? It turns out that It is by and large a holdover from Queen Victoria. England buttoned up before (for example under Cromwell) but it was Victoria who set the standards that are still only gradually loosening up.

Thank the Lord that some Victorian standards have disappeared – like taboo against women wearing trousers. This quote gives you the idea (from the above link)

It is difficult now to understand (and very easy to laugh at) the horror with which women wearing trousers were once viewed. There is the comical 1920s story of Mrs Aubrey Le Blond, the first president of the Women’s Alpine Club, who, climbing in Switzerland, left her skirt by mistake up the Zinalrothorn. She made the decision to climb the mountain a second time to retrieve it rather than return to Zermatt in trousers.

BTW, Ms Aubrey Le Blond was a remarkable woman! Here you can learn more about her exploits. I would not have believed females wearing trousers was scandalous, but my dear old dad confided once that he found the sight of ladies ankles to be rather stimulating. Ankles? Now I get it. They were not supposed to be exposed!

So in an odd way, we thrive on the standards that we take pleasure in violating. And what will happen if the taboo against toplessness is forgotten? Would we all be reduced then to a less sensual existence? I think not. There is always another standard to be breached … errr … if done in the proper way, of course!

What Matisse Searched for!

A fascinating comment on the career of Henri Matisse by matisse himself

In a 1951 interview, the artist expressed the consistency of his pursuit: “From the Joie de vivre—I was thirty-five then—to this cut-out—I am now eighty-two—I have remained the same…because all this time I have searched for the same things, which I have perhaps realized by different means.”

He searched for the same things. And what are they? Of course, they are there right in front of you. Freedom and vibrancy in color.  I loved this quote from the same article

As (his) cut-outs grew in scale from the intimate to the monumental, Matisse could no longer compose them on a small board, and they migrated to the walls of his studios. Archival photographs show the studio walls as a ground for ever-shifting arrangements of colorful cut-paper forms. But long before the studio served as the canvas on which the cut-outs were made, it constituted a central subject in Matisse’s paintings.

Stuff like this

Henri Matisse. The Red Studio. Issy-les-Moulineaux, fall 1911. Oil on canvas, 71 1/4" x 7' 2 1/4" (181 x 219.1 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Mrs. Simon Guggenheim Fund. © 2014 Succession H. Matisse/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York