city+INTELLIGENCE: We round up a few of the best sources of local intelligence on the Istanbul scene. Recommend this list to anyone visiting — any time — to tap into what the local lifestylers are up to.
UPPER CRUST ADVICE
Istanbul Arts Diary is an “opinionated guide to what’s on in Istanbul” by the editors of this enduring and sophisticated magazine for connoisseurs of Turkey. The Traveller guide lists the town’s best museums, monuments and cultural hot spots. Directories of “everything from antique textiles to boutique hotels” highlight the advertisers of each issue and readers’ top choices in hotels, shopping, restaurants, travel resources and property managers.
Specializing in “hidden boutiques and indie shops”, this weekly newsletter and archive site run by woman-of-the-world Ilgin Yorulmaz is full of insider’s tips on what to do and where to go. Need a yoga studio, a fancy hamam, a colonic? Check out Wellbeing. Arena rock your style? Entertainment will point you in the right direction. There’s also Art&Design. Fashion. Lifestyle. In both Turkish (most up-to-date) and English versions.
An alternative city guide. Subscribe to this free weekly emagazine – heavy on the hipster graphics – to find out what’s happening when you’re in town. Manga festivals! Dance performances. Rockstar DJs.
The town’s best food blog by Ansel Mullins and Yigal Schliefer features local dishes and the people behind the cuisine. At the blog you can also sign up for guided culinary walks. Then take home your experiences with their new book.
A German Turk guides you through Istanbul’s contempo art scene, introduces newcomers to the bazaar and navigates what he calls “a city between tradition and modernity”.
SOCIAL + POLITICAL LIFE
Novelist Jenny White’s coverage of all things under the skin of Istanbul, often highlighting press reports and providing analysis and commentary. Topics often include urban renewal and civil society.
+The Turkish Life
Blog of freelance journalist and photographer Jennifer Hattam, a San Francisco native, touching on her interests in art, culture, urbanism, the environment, lifestyle and travel. Check out her then-and-now images of Istanbul.
This “unvarnished, sardonic” new multi-author blog on city life features cool stuff to do in Istanbul among posts with an academic slant, attempts at breaking Turkish news and admissions of food crushes on things like raw meatballs and purslane.