Evergreen Goes to Istanbul

Professor Evergreen, in her red Turkey t-shirt, joined her NYU student, Esra, at Bosphorus University, for a long walk down the Bosphorus and a lovely dinner in her family home.

During the winter of 2004, it was so cold and snowy that Professor Evergreen wandered around the Topkapi Palace by herself and camped out in this tree.There was plenty of room to stretch her legs after the long plane ride from New York. Evergreen stood outside the circumcision room,then wandered through the palace.She spent the most time in the Sacred Relics room, listening to the hafiz chant the Koran, and meditating on objects like this gold covering from the Ka'ba in Makkah, as well as this footprint of the Prophet, peace upon him. Evergreen had breakfast every morning on this terrace, overlooking the Hagia Sophia. The Professor visited Istanbul University, where hajib was banned by Ataturk. Ironically the students have this gorgeous view of the mosque:Evergreen fed the birds and prayed at the mosque. One day Evergreen took the ferry across the Sea of Marmara to Yalova and then a bus through the snow-capped mountains and olive groves to visit Bursa. Unfortunately it was a polluted city devoted to the auto industry. Evergreen fell in love with Jalal al-Din Rumi's poetry and philosophy.Evergreen went to a Sufi dance in the Sirkeci Train Station, endpoint of the Orient Express where the Contemporary Lovers of Mevlana played Sufi music and twirled for an hour.

Evergreen's favorite Mosque is the Blue Mosque because of its serenity, but the largest mosque was built by Suleyman the Magnificent.

These cats guard the awning of the Blue Mosque

and make sure the visitors take off their shoes.This marmalade princess is the only living creature allowed so close to the mithrab in the Hagia Sophia. These cats watch the sunset over the Bosphorus.

These cats, Fuzzy, JoJo, Hope and Giggles are waiting in New York, keeping Evergreen's bed warm.