After coffee we split off from our new friends and headed back to the hotel where we relaxed for a bit, worked on our blog, you know, the usual. Come dinner time, we made the 2 block journey towards the nearby street with a million great little restaurants (who knew our hotel would be in such a good location!!) and grabbed a simple dinner at one of the many cafeteria-style places. Around 9:45 we headed over to the bar we were at the night before, but this time we were going to see Volkan, Hakan, and the rest of their band - "Native Project" - playing what they call "underground clarinet" music.
(Jay continues...) Native Project has become a small sensation in this bar and neighborhood. The write-up in the New York Times a few weeks ago (http://travel.nytimes.com/2008/05/11/travel/11surfacing.html) hasn't yet affected their local popularity, but it got us here. (yesterday, I think I gave sole credit to Kim for leading us to this bar and music... Marilyn and Cameron also sent the article, as did a couple other Times regulars who knew we were coming here.)
The band is amazing, and after a few songs, the place was completely packed, the tables were pushed aside and everyone was dancing.
Earlier in the day when we talked about their dreams and plans, I offered to videotape the concert to be able to put some clips on YouTube or their website (youtube, by the way, is banned in Turkey, though they have figured a way around it). So I was in heaven... a great band, a videocamera in my hand, and a table right in front with Hannah and Nicole. The little clips I'm including here aren't from their video camera, but from our little digital camera, and they are much darker and poorer quality... but they give you an idea.
The thing to understand about this little bar is that it is among a hundred other restuarants and bars and coffeehouses. Here's the scene around the corner, viewed from table where we ate dinner. And here are a few other photos of the day...
Ok now for coincidence number 3 (Hannah here). While we were sitting at the coffee shop, we got more into talking about our backgrounds and Nicole mentioned that her dad is from Colombia. One of my closest friends from Tufts, Vivian, is Colombian and Jewish so I mentioned her last name and it turns out that Vivian's aunt is one of Nicole's father's best friends. In fact, at first, we thought that Nicole and Vivian might have been at the same wedding in Columbia a few months ago. Talk about Jewish geography, via Turkey and Colombia!