I love the contrast in this shot between the modernised cafe on the right and the more traditional wooden building on the left.
When we lived in İstanbul, we often used to visit İstiklal Cad on our days off. We used to stroll down here, and stop for lunch, usually at a restaurant called Vesuvio, which served pizzas and Italian food. It seems to have disappeared now.
This was also before the trams were brought back, although it was a pedestrian only street.
Sometimes we went to movies in the cavernous old picture palaces, especially during the Istanbul International Film Festival.
İstiklal means "Independence", so this is Independence Avenue. In former days it was known as the Grand Rue de Pera, and was the place to be seen in European
İstanbul. grandually many of the grand buildings became dilapidated and run down, and decidedly less than salubrious. However, as in many cities, the process of renewal and gentrification has brought new life to
İstiklal Cad. once more.
So, today and in coming days, some of the sights along İstiklal Cad., May 2006.