PRESSURE GAUGES IN THE DORMANT SANTRAL POWER STATION.
In Istanbul the question, “when am I?” sounds in my head frequently. Its passages and corridors, its city streets and vistas that could belong to any number of eras. But then someone yanks out a cellphone and my dreamlike sense of dislocation is shattered. Once again it’s an old city pocked with wear.
There are two places where I get a particular kind of steam punk feeling though, the kind of mood that China Mieville’s gritty nightmare fantasy Perdido Street Station elicited in me.
Both are vast and filled with quiet, but evoke volumes of wonder. Both belong to the dwindling days of the Ottoman Empire, where history and tradition began to be steamrolled into the modern era.
HISTORIES COLLIDE AT HAYDARPASA STATION.
The first is Haydarpasa Train Station. Imagine the awe it must have inspired … you’ve lived in central Anatolia all your life—no matter how long or short—and you’ve boarded a train and left some shambling village and out you step onto the platform and into Haydarpasa. Suddenly the vast skies you’ve grown accustomed to are cut into by soaring monuments of human engineering. Read More…