Monday, July 11, 2011

Grand Bazaar

And whats a trip to Istanbul without a walk through the Grand Bazaar.

There are two kinds of shopping in Istanbul.  One can go to MANY MANY different fashionable, modern shopping malls such as Akmerkez in Ulus, Kanyon in Levent, City in Nişantaşı... it goes on and on. Every time we come to Istanbul, there is a new mall.  It amazes me, the constant YAPI YAPI (construction construction). There is even a bank named YapiKredi. Construction Credit. Nothing like supporting new construction, unlike our mall back home that started an expansion and then it was halted due to financing. A few years ago. One nice big chunk of concrete stuck onto the existing mall. Ah, but I digress...

And then there is the infamous covered market ... Kapalı Çarşı ... The Grand Bazaar where one can soak in the trades of beautiful carpets, tapestries, kilim rugs and bags, leather, jewelery, ceramics, hanging lanterns. The lanterns are so beautiful... I would love one but can never make up my mind on which one I want.  In the past I was all over the ceramics and I have a lovely collection of bowls and little cups and vases.  This year, I seem to be led to hammam towels, soaps and tapestries and, well, carpets. I love my carpets.

Our first stroll (7/1) through the covered market consisted of the tram ride up the hill, a walk down some streets and into the bazaar. We wound our way up and down some aisles until we could no longer follow what seemed to be a logical way of walking every aisle. We then exited and made our way down a narrow, cobblestone street of stores selling shoes, formal children's wear and pajamas. Kitchen utensils... everyday kind of stuff.  We ended up at the spice market and it was time to leave as two little people had had enough were ready for some ice cream.  I bought a flute, some wooden spoons and a tiny frying pan. An embroidery hand bag for the house-sitter and some soaps and a couple hammam towels.

We returned a second time (7/9). My intention was to soak up some inspiration, pick up a flute for my sons friend, a couple more hammam towels and get the business card of the carpet seller we spoke to during our first stroll.

We met Recep Ergin during our first stroll as he had an over-dyed carpet displayed in the storefront window. I had first spotted over-dyed carpets on Anthropologie's website a few months ago. They were gorgeous and expensive. So I HAD to check out these carpets. We entered the tiny shop and spoke with Recep. He informed us that he sends lots of the over-dyed carpets to Scandinavia countries.  You see, I had no intention of buying a carpet or even looking at carpets. I was just curious about this over-dyed window display. We left and I was all giggly about the information I had learned. I made a mental note to return with my camera, well fed/patient children and get his business card.

The Bazaar is a seemingly windy and never ending, hustle and bustle place filled with many of the same kind of shops, over and over again making it a bit difficult to find that ONE specific store.

We passed many beautiful items such as this embroidery bedspread / tapestry.

Some lovely pillow cases. I almost.almost bought one of these cases, but decided to wait until I decide on a sofa.

And more tapestries.

While trying to find this persons shop we had to decline many offers to look at other carpets. We  started asking shop owners about this one specific shop and eventually were guided there by another carpet seller.

And finally his shop, Güney Carpet. Ah, beautiful woven art.

The shops are very small spaces, maybe 8x8, yet the space is used SO well. Carpets folded and piled up to the ceiling. After a small discussion about ones preferences, many rugs will have been taken down, unfolded and spread on the floor for you to admire. And then slowly, carpets are eliminated, folded back up and put aside. By the time one is done, 10 carpets will be laid on the ground and you will be sipping apple tea and negotiating.

But I was not there to buy. We talked with the shop owner and got his business card. We looked at a couple of carpets and then left.  Just as I intended, but as we reached one of the Bazaars exits, I hesitated...

No comments:

Post a Comment

Another 100 year old house renovation

Popular Posts