From my window
Above is a photo taken from my computer with my laptop. I haven't gotten the camera thing figured out yet, so these photos don't really do justice to my view, but it will give you an idea. This scene is from my living room window which is in the back of the building looking out over the Marmara Sea. Istanbul is built on seven hills, like Rome, and you can see that this area, Sultanahmet, slopes sharply down to the sea. In fact, the windows in the back of my building are at least two times higher than those at the front. I'm not exactly sure of the height because I can't see the ground since the streets are very narrow and the buildings close together.
It looks like a lot of construction and repair is going on around me, but there are still several old, wooden, Ottoman style houses falling into ruin in this neighborhood. Some are just shells and some are occupied in spite of their extremely decrepit condition.
You can see a mosque to the left in the photo. I'm not sure which one it is yet. There is another quite small mosque I can see from my bedroom windows too, along with the girl's dormitories for one of the universities. It is extremely quiet here, although I am very near the Blue Mosque and all the tourist craziness. It's rare that a car goes by on my street and the only sound I hear at the moment is a saw a few blocks away on a rooftop.
Another view showing more of the ships and the sea. When I sit on my sofa all I can see is the sea and the sky and the ships. I just counted 46, not counting the small boats I see docked in the distance. It's pretty fantastic to have this same view from my kitchen window as well.
More later, including my adventures with cabdrivers, but now I need to run out and buy cleaning supplies and assorted household goods.