Çiçek Pasajı by Day, Istanbul

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19th Century Renewal

When I made my first trip to Turkey and stumbled across the Çiçek Pasajı (Flower Passage) in the 1960s, restaurateurs rolled empty beer barrels into the passage, balanced white marble slabs on top, surrounded the makeshift table with little three-legged stools, loaded the slab with Turkish meze (hors-d’oeuvres), and brought on the drinks.

It was simply wonderful—and cheap!

Then the roof fell in—literally—and the building was closed for restoration. When it re-opened, it looked like this.

(See next photo for more…)

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