30 June 2008

Few words on Tretyakov Gallery and Pushkin Museum

I first visited Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts which had a nice collection of European arts but then a shock was waiting for me: Some of the pieces in the 'museum' were in fact copies!!!

All art pieces had descriptions but they were all in Russian so I could not undertand which were original.

Then I had the opportunity to visit The State Tretyakov Gallery The National Museum of Russian Fine Arts which had an enormous number of Russian masterpieces,unfortunately due to time constraints I could only see the halls in one building.

I definitely recommend to visit both museums to the ones who are gonna visit Moscow ever.

29 June 2008

Frida (2002)

After I read the novel Mavi Evdekiler,I made two decisions, first one was to visit Buyukada and see Trotsky's house and the second was to watch the movie Frida.

I visited Buyukada and saw the house, it was the movie's turn this time:) which I managed to see this Sunday.

It was a nice movie on the life of Famous Mexican painter Frida Kahlo which happed to cross her live with Trotsky during his exile in Mexico.

Dolmabahce,This is how a palace is meant to be

After my disappointing tour on Topkapi Palace, I went to Dolbabahce to see a real palace as all my friends suggested.

This time I was happy to see an impressing palace.You could feel that a powerful and rich empire passed throught this building.

The room out great leader Ataturk passed away was still full of sadness after all years.Tears came down my eyes.

Documentary: Great Artists with Tim Marlow

I found a nice documentary [thanx internet gods:)], Great Artists with Tim Marlow which is an 14 episode documentary each concentrating on one of Giotto, Leonardo, Durer, Michelangelo, Raphael, Titian, Bruegel, Rubens, Rembrandt, Vermeer, El Greco, Velázquez, Turner, and Van Gogh.

So far, I had time to watch episodes on Bruegel, Rubens and El Greco and all quite seem very well.A twenty-minute tour on each of the the artist's masterpieces,cities he has been to and life.

Maiden's Tower

I attended a sunday-brunch at Maiden's Tower.The restored building was nice such as the view from the tower.Inside was a nice breakfast with live violin.

24 June 2008

Two Books By Buket Uzuner

After I read interrail memories of Buket Uzuner,Bir Siyah Sacli Kadinin Gezi Notlari,I decided to buy the two other travel books which the author has written.I just had time to complete the series after a year break.

One is New York Sehir Rehberi that gives authors memories during her one year visit in New York

And the other one is Bir Sehir Romantiginin Gunlugu,is again her various memories this time in several cities.

Both books can not be exactly categories as travel books as her previus book Bir Siyah Sacli Kadinin Gezi Notlari because all there books do not concantre on where to see,stay,eat information as traditional travel books do but most emphasis is on people she met and her shared moments with her.

Crusades with Terry Jones

This 4 episode documentary gives a short and funny history of Crusades.Some parts of the documentary is shot in Turkey,mainly Istanbul and some parts of Anatolia what makes this otherwise boring production a bit attractive.

Topkapi Palace, what a disappointment

For years I have listened to stories of what a fabulous place is Topkapi Palace.It shows all the richness, power of the great Ottoman Empire.

Bull Shit!

The palace was far from being impressive yet empty.Yes empty, the Harem was a total disappointment.The empty walls painted with cheap white color showed nothing.

The only remarkable section of the palace was the Holy Relics section that contained rod of Moses,hand of St. John the Baptist and swords of prophet Mohammad.

15 June 2008

Book Review: Essential Russian Mythology: Stories That Change the World

Title: Essential Russian Mythology: Stories That Change the World
Writer: Pyotr Simonov
Year: 1997
Pages: 184

I found this book in the English Books section of Remzi Kitabevi at Kanyon. The book contains several short stories about Russian Folklore.The stories are short,simple as if intended for kids.The amazon link can be found here. One interesting story was how Russians adopted Christianity during Prince Vladimir period[includes a visit to Constantinople:)]

13 June 2008

A weekend @ Buyukada

We went to Buyukada via boat from Maltepe port.The return path was the same ,from Buyukada to Maltepe directly.We were so happy yo learn that 3 boats everyday to each direction.

We stayed in a small and old pension which had very uncomfortable beds.

We got to the island Friday evening,ate fish as it is a tradition,made a small tour on foot and went to sleep.Next morning we went to the famous Aya Yorgi [St.George] church on top of the hill.

We spent out saturday going to and returning back to the chuch. Next day we started seaching for Trotsky's house. I had the exact adresss with street name and number but i still had trouble finding it.And I could not make it if i did not saw the photos prior to the trip.It is a shame that there is no single sign and the people around never heard of it.It is also a great shame that the house is in terrible condition.

Book Review: Rusya'da Is Yapmak

Title: Rusya'da İş Yapmak
Writer: Gurkan Suzer
Year: 2007
Pages: 144

In fact this is not a book but a booklet with its small size and thinness,yet another book claiming to give very valuable advice on Russia and Russians which ends of with nothing,absolutely nothing other than very well known cliché sentences such as 'Oh Russia/Russians is different,you don't know them ','Consult advisors',blah blah blah...

Book Review: Bir Sovyet Kahramani'nin Kizi

Title: Bir Sovyet Kahramani'nin Kizi
Writer: Andrey Makine
Year: 2000
Pages: 168

This sad story is in 80's Moscow.Daughter of a 2nd world war veteran,a soviet hero becomes a prostitute in bad old days which leads to his fathers dead from shame.
Not bad,tells how ruined was the soviet period.

Book Review: Galina'nin Nazim'i

Title: Galina'nin Nazim'i
Writer: Dursun Özden
Year: 2007
Pages: 208

I bought this book after I read Vera Tulyakova's book on Nazim and their life together.I wanted to get another perspective which is what the book front and back covers promised.
The book turned out to be a stupid and yet funny book.The book has absolutely nothing about Galina&Nazim other than just 5 pages.The very small information in the book is repeated in the book many many times that it became so boring.The book claming to be on Nazim&Galina had even the writer Dursun Ozen's poems,soo funny.Get away this book!

10 June 2008

Russian language classes completed II

My first post titled "Russian language classes completed" was approximately one year ago.
Now the second round of Russian language courses is completed,this time at Yuksek Kariyer at Maltepe but again for 6 months .Now I can say more than Я понимаю по-русский".