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The Cats of Istanbul

You may have heard that Istanbul is home to a cat or three. Most of the cats that crossed our path through Turkey looked very… unfortunate.

Icky Kitty, Goreme

But the ones in Istanbul seem pretty healthy and manage to navigate the rooftops, alleys and crowded streets in their own self-assured way.

Tiger kitten
They’re skilled beggars at restaurants, and the waiters only half-heartedly shoo them away.

French fry feast

Aya Sofia nap kitty
1,500-year-old UNESCO World Heritage Site? Ideal nap spot.

Hostel cat

Mustachio Kitty
Alicia could hardly contain her excitement at discovering this little mustachioed friend outside of a Galata antique shop.

Inkstanbul kitty
One of Danny Garcia’s menagerie at Inkstanbul.

Cat house near Galata
Street cat comfort station, Galata.

Taksim kitten
Kitten near Taksim Square.

Orange tabby in Kadikoy
Kadıköy

Cat in window
Kadıköy

27
Sep 2012
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Turkey

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Toulouse Hospitality

In January, Tony scheduled a tattoo appointment for May 11 in Toulouse. An old friend of his happens to live there, so he emailed her to see if she would like to meet us for coffee while we were in town. Sharla, her husband, Laurent, (and fancy kitty friend Eugenie) ended up hosting us for five days. Despite the fact that Tony hadn’t seen Sharla in over a decade, Alicia had never met her, and neither of us had met Laurent, we had a great time. Sharla took us to a sorta-almost-secret spot to look out over the city, to a great crepes place, and on an evening walk through the park. Also, she makes really, really good granola.

Laurent’s parents, Jean-Pierre and Anna, were determined that their son’s American guests would have the opportunity to sample the best of French cuisine, so they hosted us for lunch on Sunday. After meeting their teenage and half-century old tortoises, we had champagne and sampled a variety of canard delicacies. There was magret séché de canard (salt-cured duck breast), three types of duck sausage, crispy fried duck skin, and some foie gras Jean-Pierre potted himself. Then came wine and salad and delicious cassoulet, which featured more duck sausage and duck legs. Then five different types of cheeses, ice cream and chocolates for dessert, and a sampling of the sole remaining bottle of Laurent’s grandfather’s homemade plum liquor.

It was a marvelous feast and we enjoyed every bite. Toulouse duck is far and away more delicious than any wild Mississippi River duck. Thank you Sharla, Laurent and family very much for your kind hospitality!

(The dinner photos in this post are courtesy of Jean-Pierre.)

13
Jun 2012
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France

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Animal friends in Iceland

Kitties and ponies* everywhere.

(*Technically little horses, not ponies.)

18
Apr 2012
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Iceland

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