• that london book fair

    March 5th, 2013

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    Today I just wanted to take some time to give a shout out to friend and frequent collaborator, Simon Johnson, who has taken his small, bicycle-delivered cult publication THAT from the streets of Istanbul to Art Dubai and now to the London Book Fair. A special LBF issue is about to hit the presses showcasing just a small portion of this city’s tremendous local talent and will be distributed throughout the fair, which runs from April 15-17 at Earl’s Court. The LBF is one of the world’s most important meetings of agents, publishers and authors, where deals are brokered and fresh talent comes to light. It’s also further indication that print, especially independent print, is still a very meaningful medium of expression. Whether you’re a writer, photographer, illustrator, or artist THAT continues to go places and take its contributors with it. Should you be interested in getting some good press for your work, consider submitting ideas to THAT Magazine via dubfield@yahoo.com (a.k.a Monsieur Editor-In-Chief). You never know where THAT will lead you.

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  • The Book Bazaar: Sahaflar Çarşısı

    June 1st, 2012

    On rainy days there’s nothing better than taking refuge in a book. Yesterday I escaped a flash downpour in the Old City  under the awnings at the Sahaflar Çarşısı, a book bazaar located right next to the Covered Bazaar’s Beayzıt door.  While the slate sky above lit up and roiled with thunder, I discovered that there’s everything here from university textbooks to religious scripture, out of date travel guides, pulpy pocketbooks, massive coffee table tomes—and even a book claiming it had the inside scoop on the steamy life of Ottoman harems. Most of the stores don’t have a great selection for English readers but there are a few with a decent stock, including Gözen Kitap ve Yayın Evi, which has some splendid art books. As usual if you have cash, you can talk down the price of discovering all those sordid Ottoman Harem secrets. Definitely worth a peruse — the book bazaar, I mean.

    Read More…

  • Reading List: That Magazine #6

    June 1st, 2012

    I’m pleased to announce that another issue of THAT MAGAZINE is hot off the press. Okay, perhaps I’m more than pleased, perhaps I’m a little self-satisfied because my Marmaray photography also landed the cover, and it’s always a nice ego boost to see your work in print. In addition to that there are essays, more of Zeynep Aksoy’s compelling India Emails, some fantastic art spreads and writing from the late Refik Halid Karay (1888-1965) eloquently translated from Turkish by Alexander Dawe. So if you’re here in Istanbul, keep your eyes open. THAT will be appearing again in your favorite swanky little watering holes and eateries.

     

  • City Sketcher

    March 31st, 2012

     © Samantha Zaza

    One of the things I wanted to do when I started this site was to provide sketches of city life. Before launching I worked furiously for a couple of hours every day, honing my skills. But I’m not there yet, and will continue to rely on my photographic skills in order to present the visual component of most of my stories for the time being.

    © Samantha Zaza

    That’s why I want to take the time to introduce you to a terrific artist we have working away right here in Istanbul already providing incredible glimpses into the beauty and mystery of this city and others. You may have noticed her site Harika (meaning wonderful, fantastic, incredible … in Turkish) listed on the blog roll to your right before today, but I really hope you’ll visit it — that’s why I’ve stopped myself at just three of her sketches. The thing I really like about Ms. Zaza’s work is that she’s a fantastic story-teller. In every sketch of hers there’s something interesting going on, something that suggests a grander, ongoing plot to me. You can feel her characters, her streets with a single glimpse.

    Sketches are also fascinating for what the artist omits. It’s not just about technical skill, it’s about mood, giving just enough to suggest or make the two-dimensional come alive. If you ask me, her work does just that, each line, each brush stroke gives a vivid impression.

    © Samantha Zaza

    I hope to get the opportunity sometime in the near future to put down my camera and work with Ms. Zaza on a project or two. Until then we’re all fortunate to have her site Harika. Check it out. 

  • Reading list: THAT MAGAZINE.

    March 16th, 2012

    Crack the champagne! Another of my favorite quarterly magazines has just celebrated its first year with its fifth issue. Though its distribution is limited to Istanbul (for the moment, as my sources tell me a special issue is headed to Art Dubai) THAT MAGAZINE  is well worth looking for and holding onto. I have to hand it to Editor-In-Chief, Mr Johnson, each issue gets better and better.

    Highlights from the latest include a photo essay in one of Istanbul’s recycling plants, as well as an excerpt from Brendan and John Freely’s upcoming book. The article is entitled Your Guide to the Best Pubs & Clubs of Galata circa 1900-1930. I loved the excerpt and I’m now really looking forward to the release of the book. I’ve often imagined all the wild characters and intrigue circulating through that era of Istanbul, and from the details in this piece, I have to say reality seems no less enthralling than I’d thought.

    THAT MAGAZINE is free and available throughout Istanbul’s finer drinking holes and swankier cafés. Simdi on Asmalimescit has some, and I’m told a fresh shipment has just dropped in Kadiköy. Drop me a line and let me know what you think of the latest issue. I’d love to know.

  • Reading List: Port Magazine

    March 8th, 2012

    In the contest of print versus pixel for my reading time, this is a victory for the old school. Port Magazine is a magazine for lovers of print. However, this doesn’t make it fussy or stuffy, or the slightest bit behind the times. This is merely a testament that print is still a very relevant, far from dead medium.

    A lot of magazines, rather like newspapers, these days feel like vanity, or seem to be struggling with their transition from print to pixel. Quite frankly a lot of them should abandon the paper they’re printed on.

    This doesn’t seem the case to me with Port. This is an assured magazine. And it has to do not just with the crisp paper it’s printed on, or the elegant design, but the content. Yes, this magazine has content, and it’s so good, I’m almost relieved it’s published on a quarterly basis. This is a magazine to flip through once identifying your subjects of interest and then return to later when you can properly, consider the articles, essays and opinions, the wonderful photography at a more leisurely pace. This is not a hasty, waiting room sort of mag.

    If you’re truly reluctant to part with your tablet, both the premiere and third issue are available in iPad format. Just type in Port Magazine at the iTunes store.

    But really, I think it’s worth putting your hands on the latest copy and losing yourself in the tactile pleasures of print once again.

  • THAT MAGAZINE: worth looking and looking for?

    December 21st, 2011

    OCTOBER 2011 — My burning red eye lights upon a small blurb in Monocle Magazine telling me about the existence of an English language publication out of Istanbul, aimed at helping the local community of English speakers to “CONNECT, CREATE, EXPLORE and LIVE GOOD.”

    What! I nearly shout, leaping from my seat, nearly toppling the table. Read More…