Jerkin’ It In Istanbul – The Museum

Posted: April 18, 2012 by jerkmag in VAULT -- archives

It’s like entering into a bohemian paradise; walking into a realm of soft light and antique furniture – tables with fragile legs and chairs of suede. Traditional lamps hang from the ceilings of the teahouse, the quaint hotel rooms for two and the famous museum. Not actually famous, but more of a surreal experience to the foreign visitor.

Original rugs from centuries past are folded in piles surrounding the room, while costumes of beautiful fabrics, hand-sewn from the early 19th century, dangle from racks for visitors to dress up in; books too, layered with dust, enfold original carpet designs that still have a texture to the paper from the ink. It’s unlike anything I have ever seen or could imagine, especially since the owner, Mike, encourages both visitors and guests of the hotel to touch everything.

At first visitors sit in the teahouse, amazed at the lamps that suspend form the ceilings; they photograph one another sitting in the chairs sipping on traditional Turkish tea, while consumed by the soft light and pleasant vibes. It’s not until they are invited upstairs, past the roof terrace painted in vibrant colors that they enter into the palace of valuable possessions and treasures from centuries passed.

As one of those visitors, my first thought was – holy shit, I can’t even believe they’ve invited us into this place, we must be special or something – not special, just fortunate like every other visitor, which is why people return.

Mike offers the visitors wine and we sit with feet crossed on suede and satin cushions that form into a pile in the corner. Wine bottles are plastered with wax from candles that burn most days and ashtrays made of tile sit on every surface. It’s better than any gift shop souvenir for the reason that it’s one of those experiences that almost sounds made-up or at least exaggerated when you share it because it’s only believable when you’re in one of those dresses drinking wine.

-Beatrice Schachenmayr


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