• scissors
    December 29th, 2010adminAfrica, Uncategorized

    "Nollywood," now at the Yossi Milo Gallery in NYC

    I did not take this photo and I have not been to the exhibition. But I came across series of photos from Nollywood — Nigeria’s film industry, which is also the second largest film industry in the world after Bollywood (yes, my beloved Hollywood is #3) in terms of annual film production.

    The photos are striking. In some, actors are dressed as brutal soldiers. Others look as if they are ready for a wedding or religious ceremony. In one photo, an actor stands over a slain animal.

    Nigeria is a very interesting country — about 50% Christian, 50% Muslim — and the official state language is English, which is taught in school. It has the largest population of all African nations and the third largest economy in Africa (after Egypt and South Africa). In fact, data suggests that 1 in every 4 Africans is Nigerian — an exceptional statistic.

    More Nollywood photos can be found on the New Yorker website — highly recommended.

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  • scissors
    July 20th, 2010adminIstanbul, Uncategorized

    Now that I’ve been here a month, there’s no excuse NOT to write. In fact, so much has happened — and it deserves recording. But I won’t bore anyone with the minutiae of my daily life. In short: I have a new apartment and a new job. I’m taking Turkish classes and I have a social life again. So, I can now properly blog.

    My new neighborhood, much like Istanbul, is a frenzied mix of old and new. I walked down Hasan Sokak today, heading toward my apartment. On the way, an old man steered his horse-drawn watermelon cart. And I passed cell phone shops, baklava vendors, and bored-looking men, smoking menthols. The horse-drawn cart isn’t common. It rarely happens. But, most often, I encounter the “old” as a constant fixture of every day life — the slower pace of things, the extended tea breaks, the hospitality.

    This country is changing quickly. Will there be horse-drawn watermelon carts in Istanbul in 10 years?

  • scissors

    The first thing that came to mind when I read the Craigslist post.

    I was aimlessly browsing through Turkish Craigslist and came upon THIS:

    Turkish Female Pop-Star For USA Break-Thru (New York City/LA/Nashville)

    I am seeking a female pop singing star from Turkey to break through to USA market. Songwriting a plus. Candidates must be HOT (amazingly good looking and sexy), highly talented (strong music background, exceptional vocal abilities), have dancing ability (preferably Turkish belly dancing), and be willing to emigrate to the USA, at least for several years. If Shakira (from Colombia) could do it, imagine how big a Turkish star could be. This has not been done yet, and will be the first Turkish artist to achieve worldwide fame through domination of US pop market. Very serious inquiries only, must have exceptional talent, ability, look, image, etc. Must have professional recordings and videos in Turkey (do not have to be commercially released). All music will be re-recorded and produced from scratch. Must speak English or be willing to learn quickly. Must be between the ages of 20 and 32. No intermediaries, I will only deal directly with artists. I am a producer and music marketer with high-level music industry contacts and strong track record of major label successes. Send link to website, or MP3s, artist bio.

    This makes me think I should repost a crazy Turkish Craigslist listing EVERY WEEK.

    And who is this guy? Some greased-up wannabe agent? The listing of NYC/LA/Nashville already makes him look poseur and ridiculous — choose a city, man! But Nashville is definitely the best. I’m sure the country music industry is DYING for a belly-dancing Turkish vixen.

    But, best of all, who finds full-fledged, insanely hot pop stars on Craigslist?

    But, then again, I shouldn’t be surprised. It is, after all, Craigslist (and I mean that in the best possible way).

  • scissors
    June 11th, 2010adminUncategorized

    Tonight, I had my first lesson in Turkish grammar (note: You don’t say, “I love ice cream.” You say, “I ice cream love.”). The lesson was conducted by Murat, a new friend, who only speaks Turkish and French. I only speak English and Spanish. It is a pure miracle we can communicate at all, blending romance-language universals, basic phrases and a series of dramatic hand gestures. Murat wears very nice shoes. He also likes Montesquieu and Alexis de Tocqueville. We have known each other for 24 hours. He does not possess Anglo-Saxon social guards. It takes some getting used to. Even for me. And I’m kind-of out there.

    Since I arrived last night, I’ve felt the spectrum of human emotions: overwhelmed, excited, disappointed, intrigued, confused, confident, frustrated, awed.

    But here’s one thing I can say: In Turkish, the words for “foreigner” and “outsider” are the same. Or at least from what I can tell, in my basic phrase book.  But I have felt nothing of the sort. Despite the language gap, and despite my current unemployment (though I *did* only arrive here last night), I feel welcomed. Incredibly and sincerely invited into this new world.

    Now, it is just a question of how to make it all “work.”

    Objective #1: Find a job.

    Now off to bed.

  • scissors
    May 1st, 2010adminUncategorized


    Banana Leaf Tamales

    I’m writing this blog to give “lost” a better name.

    Yes, “lost.” In the 14th century, the word was synonymous with “defeated” or “wasted.” And now it’s some breech of cool – lost in the crowd, lost on back roads, lost in life.

    But I’ve had a different experience with the word. Honestly, I’ve been lost too many times. And it’s been a good ride. Now that I’m moving to Turkey, I expect to be lost again.

    Okay, I don’t expect this blog to rival Perez Hilton. Thank god. But this will be my tiny space, in the vast void of the Internet, and I hope some of you will enjoy the “journey.”

    Tomorrow, I’m heading for Los Angeles – land of freeways, late-night diners, Mexican street food, rhinoplasty, boho 12 year olds, health gurus, cult masterminds, legitimate freaks, divine Persian food, gnarly beaches and aspiring actresses (currently employed at your local coffeehouse).