About the cafe society: being in Yeldeğirmeni

By on January 7, 2022 0

Yeldeğirmeni’s social vibe is so laid back that the whole neighborhood feels like an old friend’s messy apartment. It is a quiet, residential neighborhood, where every day of the week ritual coffee drinkers gather near their respective watering holes, open a book, and let their minds wander in the romantic fantasies of a Russian novel. classic or feel the tensions of a domestic drama. in a short history of Ankara. Despite the hour or the business that presents itself, the people of Yeldeğirmeni seem to pass their time without caring about the pressing problems of the world. It’s as refreshing as a morning cup of coffee.

If Istanbul were someone’s home, Yeldeğirmeni, which means ‘windmill’ in Turkish, would be the most comfortable part of the living room where guests will curl up next to a cat and watch the steam from their herbal tea rise. and disappear into mid-morning air. The arms of the mythical mill whose name the district seems to bear turn with a soothing, deliberate and sleepy momentum. When not dipping their noses into a dusty book, the caffeinated people of Yeldeğirmeni are usually engaged in a benign but stimulating conversation, often probably about an artist, musician, or intellectual who has just come from. ” move in near the studios that line its streets.

Yeldeğirmeni is like its neighboring community of Moda, but its homes and businesses are generally more affordable, down to earth, among the people. It has gained notoriety among self-employed housing workers who spend their busiest hours making articles and creative works of all kinds. There are boutique botanists, like the one at the Roots Cafe, and ceramists serious about the countless workshops where skillful workers of all ages and cultural backgrounds make objects from the raw material they have gleaned from. near or far, withdrawing from the capitalist market just enough to breathe a little more freely.

Yeldeğirmeni means “windmill” in Turkish. (Photo from Instagram / @yeldegirmenimahallesi)

Along its main artery, Karakolhane Avenue, there are alternative places to express ideas that go against the norm, as a more foreign population passes by. It’s not uncommon to hear French, English, Japanese in passing dialogues, discussing everything from David Ben-Gurion’s studies at Galatasaray High School, to Voltaire’s epic wisdom in Istanbul in his 1759 book, “Candide”. Next to a particularly legendary place for such a noble conversation is a bustling cafe and cozy kitchen called Kuff. Her clients are a welcome mishmash of socialites and polymaths.

Another cup, please

Kuff is right next to the Agios Georgios Rum Orthodox Church, which is a basic historical point of interest for travelers who might be ready for a getaway to the high sights of Istanbul when its diversity encompassed the specter of its former days. Byzantine heritage. Behind its stone facade, the solemn affairs of heaven are underway, gleaming in gold and fire of crosses and candlelight icons brushed with the vivid colourations of late antiquity. A few blocks around the corner is a DIY cafe called Arthere, which demonstrates a consistent cultural solidarity with Istanbul’s Arab communities through the arts.

But Yeldeğirmeni’s wonders lie in his modesty. At the mouth of its widest and most popular avenue in Karakolhane, there is a bakery called Cağrı Fırın, which sells perfectly leavened breads, like their salty and olive ‘açma’, which almost looks like a croissant. Great for a taste on the go, the many cafes that run along the main street of Yeldeğirmeni are also furnished with assortments of baked goods in abundance. A kind man from the eastern town of Gaziantep named Yunus Bey runs a shop specializing in sweets, including the various ranges of baklava that his region is famous for.

Yeldeğirmeni means

Yeldeğirmeni means “windmill” in Turkish. (Photo from Instagram / @yeldegirmenimahallesi)

And on the road, towards the outer reaches of the district where the sea begins to appear before getting off on the suburban ferries to Kadıköy, the municipality’s performing arts venue, Yeldeğirmeni Arts Center, hosts concerts, among a wide range of concerts. ‘events and programs. Over the winter, they hosted a classical music series, featuring two flautists accompanied by harpist Aslıhan Güngör. Led by Belgian flautist Berten D’Hollander, and alongside him on silver flute Leyla Bayramoğulları, they performed a quiet set with everything from arrangements of “türkü” folk songs to Bach and Telemann. Under the impressive dome of Yeldeğirmeni’s proudest concert hall, the music transported effortlessly.

A particularly unique feature of Yeldeğirmeni, perhaps one of its best-kept secrets, is a small pedestrian alley that runs alongside the closed Hemdat Israel Synagogue. Although the long-neglected Star of David can be seen above the high wall, it appears to be intact since the place of worship opened over a century ago. It is one of the mysteries of the neighborhood that it has also become a ground for improvised artists to present their latest ideas in its surroundings. And not far away, after the dissonant vibe of adolescence and age, there is one of the many theater houses, as Yeldeğirmeni is a hotspot for theatrical productions.

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