We have decided to visit Taksim the next day.
Taksim is one of the shopping and entertainment districts of Istanbul, and a famous place to be. To give a general idea of how busy it is, there are 3 Starbucks coffee shops on one street alone. The main street is mainly used by pedestrians, however service and Police vehicles do patrol the street every now and then, causing major discontent among the walking public.
The Police in Taksim drive… Mini Coopers! Yes, they are that stylish!
The architecture as marvelous. You come across every single style you can think of, from Victorian to Byzantine to Brutalist to Arabic to Modern! The greatest thing is — none of it looks fake, and it all fits really well together!
Apparently Taksim hosts some opposition party headquarters or something that the government really dislikes. There was some protest going on, and there were more policemen than actual protesters.
The protesters were yelling some things and applauding. The police didn’t intervene, although they did stand really close to each other and formed kind of a tight circle around the protesters.
Of course they had full riot equipment ready!
The tourists and the random pedestrians, however, were not disturbed by the protest. Everything seemed OK. We shopped, had Starbucks, and really enjoyed the place. Even though the personnel are painfully slow, the stores are really nice, and you can find almost any brand you want. I got myself some pink Converse chucks and a Diesel wristband!
Starbucks in Turkey, by the way, is really pricey. Here’s to being a programmer!
Besides the stores, you can find several museums of different kinds. One of these even hosted some contemporary art sculptures dedicated to motorcycles.
Taksim is gorgeous during the night. It is well lit and not any less lively than it is during the day. It also hosts a number of quite cool clubs, some of which play electronic and dance music. I think Taksim’s idea somehow resembles our very own Northern Avenue in Yerevan, except its architecture does not suck balls and people actually live and party there.
Content with my day, I rode my motorcycle back to the Asian side to get a good night’s rest — Sultan Ahmed Mosque was waiting for me tomorrow!