Monday, August 30, 2010

What's lost and left

Cities like New York, Paris, and Istanbul that are firmly embedded in the popular imagination have become concepts almost as much as places themselves. I think that's why I can sometimes feel nostalgic about a city I only saw for the first time nine years ago, nostalgic even for a time before I was born -- the time of wooden bridges, and taxi service to Trabzon, and people dressed properly to go to the islands, as shown in Ozan Sağdıç's photos of Istanbul in the 1950s (currently on display at FotoTrek).

Istanbul didn't make the Matador Network's list of "21 Iconic Places, a Century Ago and Today," but the before-and-after images of Shanghai, Manhattan, Sydney, and other spots inspired me to go dig up some old images of the city that San Francisco photographer-about-town David Gallagher had sent me a while back and go try and find the same locations today.

Looking over the Galata Bridge toward Beyoğlu in a late-1800s Photochrome from the Library of Congress' collection of Istanbul images on Flickr:

And approximately the same scene (with a higher new bridge and lower vantage point) today:

The Yeni Cami (New Mosque) in Eminönü, in 1890:

And in 2010:

The Tophane Fountain, then:

And now:

And the "Place de Tophane":

Now (I think), Necatıbey Caddesi in front of the Nusretiye Mosque:

Click through to see more then-and-now images from Istanbul.


Erica Gies said...

Fun project, Jen! Thanks! Istanbul is definitely one of the world's great cities.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing Istanbul with us. I've made one visit on a cruise ship a couple of years ago, and can't wait to return. It made such an impression.

The Turkish Life said...

Thank you! You should definitely come back, Anonymous -- there's enough to see here for many return visits.

The Turkish Life said...

Another take on the same idea, this one by the Turkish newspaper Milliyet:

100 Yıl Önce 100 Yıl Sonra Istanbul ("Istanbul 100 Years Before, 100 Years After")

The pictures are fun to look at even if you can't read the Turkish captions.