I’m getting ready to pack up and leave Istanbul tomorrow, after over two years and one baby, so you’ll have to indulge me in a bit of preemptive nostalgia. Amidst the photos of Hagia Sophia and kebab vendors in the Gadling photo pool of Istanbul images, I was surprised to see this photo by Flickr user BrettDresseur, of a view almost identical to my own a few doors down on Vali Konagi Avenue. Taken in Istanbul’s Nişantaşı neighborhood, she captured the beautiful architecture and European feel of the area. Similar to Manhattan‘s Upper East Side, Nişantaşı is where to find Turkey‘s priciest retail stores (more Chanel suit than carpet seller), Turkish and foreign ladies who lunch, and the childhood home of Turkish Nobel Laureate Orhan Pamuk. Visitors to Istanbul can now visit the innovative Museum of Innocence, based on his novel of the same name. The museum is near Taksim square in Çukurcuma, but the setting is pure Nişantaşı. I’ll miss this view and the feeling of living inside one of his novels; goodbye for now, Istanbul!
Gadling bloggers are a busy bunch. When we’re not posting the latest travel news or accounts of our adventures, we’re writing for newspapers, magazines, and anthologies. Many of us have written books too.
David Farley takes the prize for weirdest subject matter with An Irreverent Curiosity: In Search of the Church’s Strangest Relic in Italy’s Oddest Town. So what’s Catholicism’s strangest relic? Nothing less than the foreskin of Jesus!
Some of us have jobs other than writing and this is reflected in our work. Talented photographer Karen Walrond has published the only photo book so far by a Gadlinger, The Beauty of Different: Observations of a Confident Misfit. Flight attendant Heather Poole is coming out with Cruising Attitude: Tales of Crashpads, Crew Drama, and Crazy Passengers at 35,000 Feet in March 2012. Foodie Laurel Miller is coauthoring Cheese for Dummies, coming in 2012.
Sean McLachlan will become Gadling’s first novelist when his historical novel set in Civil War Missouri, A Fine Likeness, comes out in October. When he isn’t traveling he’s writing history. His military history books for Osprey Publishing include American Civil War Guerrilla Tactics, Ride Around Missouri: Shelby’s Great Raid 1863, Armies of the Adowa Campaign 1896: the Italian Disaster in Ethiopia, and Medieval Handgonnes: The First Black Powder Infantry Weapons. He’s done three books on Missouri: Outlaw Tales of Missouri, Missouri: An Illustrated History, and It Happened in Missouri. He dipped into medieval history with Byzantium: An Illustrated History.
Given that we’re all travel writers, it’s no big shocker that we have a slew of travel guides between us. Andrew Evans wrote the Brandt guides to Iceland and Ukraine. Pam Mandel wrote the Thomas Cook guide HotSpots Hawaii. Matthew Firestone is a Lonely Planet regular. His titles include Costa Rica, and Botswana & Namibia. He’s contributed to several other titles. McLean Robbins contributed to the Forbes (formerly Mobil) Travel Guide (Mid Atlantic). Melanie Renzulli shares her love of Italy with The Unofficial Guide to Central Italy: Florence, Rome, Tuscany & Umbria and Frommer’s The Irreverent Guide to Rome. Libby Zay has coauthored three VIVA Travel Guides: Quito, Ecuador; Macchu Picchu & Cusco; and Guatemala.
Don George takes the cake for travel writing. Not only has he given us all some good tips in Lonely planet’s book on Travel Writing, but he’s edited a long list of travel anthologies such as Lonely Planet’s Lights, Camera, Travel!, A Moveable Feast, The Kindness of Strangers, By the Seat of My Pants, Tales from Nowhere, and A House Somewhere. Besides his LP titles, he’s edited Salon.com’s Wanderlust and Travelers’ Tales Japan.
So if you in the mood to read something offscreen, pick up a title from one of these talented authors!
[Image courtesy Yorck Project]
Funny man Chris Elliott has taken his comedy to new heights in his third book, a comic spoof on a classic travel adventure that was released last month. Into Hot Air: Mounting Mount Everest is a novel that pokes fun at, well, just about everything, including the author himself. Elliott’s narrator, also named Elliott, wonders if it really was Sir Edmund Hillary who was the first to scale Everest. The discovery of a diary written by a crazy great uncle begins the questioning, and readers are dragged along on a mysterious and laugh-out-loud journey that includes a cast of all-star celebrities.
Elliott depicts epic adventure at its funniest, and ” …also takes aim at disaster movies, celebrity activism, and reality TV shows like Survivor and The Amazing Race.” As Chris explains in this recent Gothamist interview, CNN and the titles of other folks books did inspire some aspects of his own story: “It’s more or less using Everest and the action-adventure genre as a backdrop for my goofiness.”