The immediate takeaways - before I inundate you with hundreds of photos of Porter and me standing in profile with our hands on our hips:
(1) No matter how sunny, the Istanbul skyline always evokes an old autochrome image.
(2) The House Cafe is amazing. All nine (or however many there are) of them.
(3a) The Turks should teach lessons on street maintenance. They seem to keep their steep-as-an-Alp roads pothole free - while maintaining the sea shell mosaic cobble stone pattern (with no stones out of place).
(3b) The garbage men may be the hardest working on the planet. They haul the bags at light speed and then follow up with hand brooms and large dustpans (while wearing quite cute Wellie-esque rain boots also favored by the hundreds of fishermen).
(4) There is absolutely nothing of interest in the Grand Bazaar. At all. The Spice Market beats it hands down (world's greatest string cheese (sold for pennies), wonderfully packaged Turkish coffee...).
(5) New York dogs and cats should go to obedience school on the streets of Istanbul. Feral, yet so well behaved! (Also, a proliferation of comparably cute feral cats = no rats).
(6) Infinity pools are amazing. Especially infinity pools "spilling" into the Bosporus.
(7) The Turkish contacts/Lasix lobby is beating the vintage-inspired thick rimmed glasses lobby hands down. I was the only person in thick frames at a solidly packed gallery opening (in New York, the average is more like 50-70% (20% of whom probably have 20/20 vision)).
More to come in parts: shopping/acquisitions, key sites, eating!
Photo: Porter, in front of one of the
Dolmabahçe Palace gates overlooking the Bosporus