• masaola regenwald – another zürich hotspot

    December 6th, 2017

    Winter, when it arrives, can knock me sideways. This year, with the change in city, being farther north was a doozy. So for a dose of wellness and a mental escape from pervasive greyness, I sometimes like to visit Masaola Regenwald, a simulation of a Madagascar Rainforest at the Zürich zoo. This 11,000 m2 lush, oxygen-infused dome teems with life. Flora and fauna abound. Razor-edged ferns and soaring bamboo, trees and countless other species of plant provide a home to low swooping fruit bats and colourful birds to tiny geckos and multi-hued chameleons, tortoises and even tree-clambering lemurs. It’s more economic than a plane ticket, and yet still a transporting, mind-bending experience. The Treetop Walkway is particularly elevating, like a path to endless summer. And who doesn’t dream of that?

  • paradise street

    July 17th, 2017

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    In the pauses, a trill. Birdsong? A sound almost forgotten. The bus, the trams, always on time, and clean, but sometimes a meandering path home in late afternoon leads to new discoveries. There’s no hurry. A detour here and there makes life more interesting. Houses on hills. A church with a drinking fountain. Here and there are pastures, a scattering of chickens, even a cow idle on the slopes. Bees buzzing away in wildflowers. Only five minutes before, the high street. Where is this place? It is as if someone has wiped everything, even the pavements, clean. A sign that reads, Paradise Street. Crazy… it might just be right. In any case, it’s the road that leads home.

  • bubbles

    June 9th, 2014

    sof holding out flowers

    sof & pera

    pera and flowers
    sof flower

    running away

    just picked flowers. an ice cream cone. harmless mischief. light through green trees, tag through the tall grass. sunday afternoon. the quirk of your smile right this second. your first childhood and my second … don’t stop.

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  • peace, lily

    May 7th, 2014


    As some of you know, I’ve become a little concerned of late with what I consume. The other day, though, I realized perhaps it’s just as important to think about what I expel. Hence these pictures of houseplants. The quality of air in this city is, how shall I put this, diminished. Luckily in an effort to beautify our personal environment, my fantastic wife acquired a number of nature’s most elegant air purifiers. Read More…

    Posted in Mind / Body | | 2 Comments
  • bosporus tree tops

    November 6th, 2013




    Ever notice that tree tops resemble diagrams of the capillaries in our lungs? Lately I’ve spent a lot of time considering tree tops against a naked autumn sky. Perhaps it’s the fact that they really are the lungs of a great smoky city like Istanbul. They’re working their trunks off to provide us with oxygen, shade and a whole bunch of beauty in an increasingly concrete and asphalt landscape, despite the fact we treat them no better than obstacles to a new underpass, overpass or some other ugly piece of infrastructure meant to carry more polluting, carbon-emitting exercises in vanity and wasteful personal expenditure — sorry got into a little rant there … so let me put it another way: ever conceived of an urban paradise that didn’t involve more trees? More green space? Didn’t think so.

    tree top 2

    This post is dedicated to Nicolas Delsol who has been enduring the conditions in a terribly smog-ridden city in the Far East.

    Posted in Mind / Body | | 2 Comments
  • mercury in retrograde

    October 30th, 2013



    olive tree - windmill




    This week the Marmaray Project opened. While I was away, I missed a chance to do a BBC radio interview and publish a photograph in the Globe and Mail. Must admit there’s a side of me which is inclined to curse. Another part of me, instead, looks back at the good people, good food and lengthy dose of extended summer I found in the Aegean region. Mercury is in retrograde.

  • what day is it today?

    September 30th, 2013



    Sofia Diptych


    Sofia Diptych 2

    Friday evenings: fresh air, ice cream, playing at the park, pasta, pizza, and plenty more. Monday mornings: traffic, telephone calls, deadlines? Perhaps it’s time to reconsider when the week actually begins and ends.

    Posted in Mind / Body | | 2 Comments
  • pony time

    September 1st, 2013


    Hidden in between the confusion and chaos of Maslak traffic and the monstrosity known as Istiniye Park is a small strip of heaven and quiet designated for horse and pony lovers. I am always surprised and pleased with how striking and magnificent horses can be when viewed up close. It’s also difficult not to appreciate how special the bond between horse and rider is. It always seems like such a gift that these awesome and powerful creatures are so willing to calmly carry the burden of another creature around on their backs. For one three-year old, I know it was a particularly giddy new surprise. There are small ponies for the little people and proper horses for bigger and more experienced riders. Memberships and rider training is available for children and adults. I have a feeling we’ll be back soon.





  • a different landscape

    August 19th, 2013





    Sorry to have been so long absent. If you’ve been wondering where I’ve been, look north to vast skies and a windswept place of houses sunken into sand dunes and long, lingering evenings where the light is loathe to dwindle.  Sometimes in order to un-clutter your mind  you have change your mental address, at least temporarily. Sometimes you even have to abandon social media — believe it — for a while.  Still, it’s been too long since I last saw you. I sure hope you feel the same.


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  • the biggest mistake

    May 4th, 2013


    This week I made a big mistake, Sof. I sought out an opinion on some of my work. That wasn’t the mistake. But rather than take the opinion in the spirit in which it was intended, which was to help, I allowed it to paralyze me. For a couple of days it stopped me from doing something I really love. That is a stupid mistake. It’s one I’ve repeated throughout my life. While there are times in this universe when something is right or wrong — mathematically, legally, physically — there are other times, especially when it comes to creativity, that there are no rules, only different choices. The other day I let an “expert” opinion stop me from continuing my work. Why? Perhaps my first error was in hoping for some sort of recognition, when doing something I’m passionate about is a reward in and of itself. I let my resulting disappointment derail me, and further my disconnection from the world. It’s good to seek out opinions, Sof. Just don’t let those opinions change how you feel about yourself. And don’t let them stop you from doing something you feel passionately about. Keep working. Keep your wonder alive.


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