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Tools for the Creative Frontier.

Istanbul

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Istanbul is a city of the full spectrum: old and new, modern and ancient, east and west. The people are some of the most gentle, hospitable and kind people I have ever experienced. The scents, textures, style and panache was inspiring. We were fortunate to be there during a national holiday, so the streets were full of festive spirits, and there was a small portion of the usual traffic and hustle bustle. We are so thankful to our local friends who took us on explorations by foot, car and boat to witness a few real gems in this incredible city.

Creative Spaces

  • Bomontiada - beer factory turned into cultural center with a music venue, beer house, makerspace, boutiques and airy courtyard.
  • Atolye Istanbul @ Bomonti Ada in Sisli
  • Kollective House
  • Impact Hub House Ayse Nur Ozcan
  • Joint Idea (Arnavutkoy) -  Small and intimate space for events and co-working
  • Misir Apartments * - offices and co-working space in a converted old apartment building, with restaurant on top floor 
  • Iskele 47 (Kadikoy)
  • Esma Sultan Yalisi * -  ruin turned into cultural center and restaurant 
  • Topane-I Amire * - used to produce canons, contemporary exhibits

Explorations

Eats

  • Mangerie - Delicious place for a weekend brunch, European-Turkish style, with airy decor and view of the Bosphorus.
  • Delimonti - Incredible deli of fine Turkish goods and foods
  • Karabatak Cafe - Lovely, outdoor leafy cafe in a cool neighborhood with delicious coffee
  • Karakoy Gulluoglu - Bakery serving up the most famous baklava and Turkish coffee. Open late and a great place for a special dessert. 
  • Karakoy Lokantasi - Parisian style Turkish eatery with local fresh, mezze dishes. 
  • Eleos - Hidden gem with incredible Greek-Turkish food with gorgeous balcony overlooking view of the city. Wonderful service and music. Up a few flight of stairs in an old, unassuming building.

Shopping

  • Grand Bazaar - know that everything is marked up 50%, so you’ll need to use your bargaining skills.
  • Leila Boutique - artisan leather handcrafts and owned by a wonderful woman representing other female Turkish artists.
  • Nishantashe * - oldest neighborhood to buy things 
  • Cafer Aga Medrese * - courtyard craft shops (watch artists while they work) 
  • BNQ - upscale, Turkish designer boutique.

Stay

Ten Karakoy, A Morgans Original - boutique design hotel in the hip Kara key neighborhood that was originally the Baliki Greek Hospital until 1753. Wonderful lobby design, rooms and rooftop balcony for a reasonable price.

Neighborhoods

  • Karakoy - hipster central, chalk full of coffee shops and bars.
  • Arnavututkoy Bebek * - hip, cool neighborhood to walk. bring good walking shoes for the steep hills.
  • Beyoglu - Youthful, shopping area with many cool alleys and side streets with kebab stalls and small boutiques

See

  • Ayasofia Mosque & Museum
  • The Blue Mosque
  • Kilic Ali Pasa Hamami - The oldest, most luxurious bathhouse in Istanbul since 1580. Get the full treatment with massage and foam bath. And don’t forget to check out their kiosk store with original bathhouse items.
  • Pera Museum  (museums) - wonderful small museum with just 2 floors of well curated exhibits.
  • Arter - art space
  • SALT Galata - art space
  • Jigange - hipster artist neighborhood
  • Nisantasi - local upscale shopping district
  • Kabak Valley - Fethiye 
  • Sabanji Museum * - museum near sea in forest, modern style in an renovated barn
  • Yerebatan Sarinici - ancient underground tunnels that served as the original Basilica 
  • Piyalepasa Camii - Unique rectangular-shaped mosque with gorgeous interior
  • Ortakoy Sahili - Beautiful rose-colored mosque with a gorgeous view of the Bosphorus river
  • Santra Istanbul - Electrical museum 
  • Galata Anemon - romantic restaurant in Istanbul 
  • Prince islands - lovely local island home to many famous artists and writers. Take a 45min ferry from the main ferry station
  • Galata Tower - incredible 360 views of the entire city

Words

Essential words to know in Turkish: 

  • Tesekkurler - Thanks
  • Serefe - Cheers 
  • Merhaba - Hello 
  • Cok guzel - Very beautiful/good 
  • Huzun- the beauty of sorrow  
  • Mekan - Imkan (space - opportunity)  
 
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SRi Lanka

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Favorites

Stay

Galle:

  • Galle Fort Hotel: http://www.galleforthotel.com/

  • Amangalla: part of the Aman hotel collection

  • Jetwing Era Beach Villa 

  • The Frangipani Tree Villa 

  • Villa Amma Erna 

  • Taru Villas

Around Sri Lanka

  • Heritage Kandalama: http://www.heritancehotels.com/kandalama/ - One of Bawa’s most famous hotels

  • Koslanda: http://www.koslanda.com/

  • Tea Trails: http://www.resplendentceylon.com/teatrails/

  • Jetwing St. Andrews (Kuwara Eliya): http://www.jetwinghotels.com/jetwingstandrews/

  • Mahaweli Reach (Kandy)

  • Heritance Tea Factory: http://www.heritancehotels.com/teafactory/

  • Clingendael (Kandy): https://www.theclingendael.com/

  • Kandy House (Kandy): http://www.thekandyhouse.com/

  • Lunuganga Estate:  http://www.geoffreybawa.com/lunuganga-country-estate/accomodation - Lunuganga Estate was the country home of the renowned Sri Lankan architect Geoffrey Bawa. Started in 1947, the garden led Bawa, a lawyer called to the Bar at the Inner Temple in 1940, to decide to become an architect. As he went on to become Sri Lanka's and one of Asia's most prolific and influential architects, the garden at the Lunuganga estate remained his first muse and experimental laboratory for new ideas. He continued to change and experiment with its spaces and structures throughout his life until his final illness in 1998. Left to the Lunuganga Trust on his demise in 2003, the gardens are now open to the public and the buildings on the estate are run as a country house hotel.

Colombo

  • Jetwing Colombo Seven - http://www.jetwinghotels.com/jetwingcolomboseven/ -  great restaurant and rooftop bar with infinity pool

  • The Kingsbury: https://www.thekingsburyhotel.com/

  • Tintadel: http://www.paradiseroadhotels.com/tintagel/

  • Maniumpathy: http://www.maniumpathy.com/

  • Wallawwa: http://teardrop-hotels.com/wallawwa/

Visit

Galle

  • Maritime Museum

  • Taprobane Island
  • Dutch House

  • Galle Fort Spa

Colombo

Around Sri Lanka

  • Sunrise Safari at the Yala National Park

  • Ella Mountain: Incredible drive through the mountain and tea plantations

  • Visit the Ella waterfall

  • Nuwara Eliya (Little England)

  • High tea at the Grand Hotel (Nuwara Eliya

  • Temple of the Sacred Tooth (Kandy)

  • Cultural Center (Dance Performance)