Sunday, February 28, 2010

From Tullahoma to Turkey

A brief stop at the Pera Museum in Beyoglu. There is an exhibition of Picasso's etchings commissioned by Ambroise Vollard.  This is an apt segue for my upcoming residence in Vallauris where Picasso created his work in clay and in the process revitalized the local ceramics industry.  The work has been installed on walls painted in a rich red and all the labels throughout the museum are in English and Turkish.  

There are primarily historical exhibitions here. One hall displayed a show of weights and measures.  I noted that the transition to the metric system took them about 60 years, from the first imperial edict by the sultan in 1869 through several re affirmations of the edict as they kept reverting to the "dirhem" until finally, after the Ottoman Empire was replaced by the Turkish Republic, the metric system was irrevocably established with the Measurement Act of 1931.  

Walking down Istiklal Caddesi we came across a film crew. The lead character was apparently a current heart throb as a tall imposing bouncer leapt to admonish and disperse a clutch of squealing fans who had managed to cross the barrier to photograph themselves with the star. 

We headed to Hazzopulo Passage for tea and a chat before dropping by BabaJim, a recording and mastering studio in the neighborhood.  

Before leaving Turkey I spend time with my sister E. poring over the yellowed pages of our father's  journals and drawings, composed 40 years ago.  He was a bluegrass fiddler and country songwriter who died at age 50 when E. was around 13.   

 It seems a long way from the Lincoln Cafe in Tullahoma Tennessee to the Hazzopulo Passage in istanbul, but I could swear our waiter in the passage today was the same guy in one of Daddy's quick sketches.