Here’s my urban forecast: the area around Feriköy and Bomonti will be the next big thing! These big neighborhoods have been home to Istanbul’s Greek and Armenian families for centuries. Now, new ‘residences’, offices and shiny buildings are rapidly gentrifying these historic areas. The gorgeously aged Bomonti Beer Factory will be hosting Babylon in the coming year, and even this is enough buzz to take Feriköy and Bomonti to a new height.
That said, Feriköy has been quite buzz-worthy in the Istanbul hipster scene for a few years now. The flea market is set up every Sunday, and crowds gather to browse the stalls and have a quick bite at the gözleme place at the entrance. You can find old LPs, cutlery, jewellery, books, clothes and every other typical flea market item among the 200 stalls. What I liked most was the middle-aged ladies behind the stalls, drinking tea and chatting with each other: I guess setting up shop at the flea market is a social event, rather than a commercial activity.
Although I couldn’t find anything to buy at my recent visit, I might have found one of the rarest things to find in today’s chaotic Istanbul: a cozy neighborhood atmosphere. I advise you go there to see the nostalgic artifacts and knick-knacks, imagining who these might have belonged to in the old, diverse and beautiful Istanbul.
(As a side note, an organic farmer’s market is set up at the same location every Saturday.)