Istanbul - shopping and pampering in Nisantasi

Nisantasi is a famous shopping area in Istanbul. So how could I not go there?

But before I started spending money, I only strolled down Tesvikiye Caddesi, the main street. And I didn't only look into shop windows but also up because there are some beautiful old buildings here.
The bees were going crazy for these flowers.
Tiny balconies
True to its name, this building has nice Izmir tiles around the entrance.

Of course there is also a mosque
I left out the big "Citys" shopping mall with the international brand stores.
Instead I walked through the smaller streets nearby that have a lot of boutiques with local designers for clothes, shoes and other things.
There are also plenty of small restaurants that manage to look at the same time modern but also cozy and inviting.
So many shops sell crazy high heels. But all you ever see in the streets are women in comfortable flat shoes and sneakers (like in the picture above). Too many hills to walk up and down!
Anyway, I found some nice shoes for myself and the occasional clothes on Indirim (discount).
You can't just buy almonds, you have to choose a color!
One of the cat homes for Istanbul's many thousand stray cats.
There are a lot of flower vendors in the streets.
In the early afternoon I went to California Nails for a manicure and pedicure. It's not the cheapest place in town but very nice, with super comfortable chairs. 

While I waited for my nail polish to dry I also got a back and neck massage. It was done on a massage chair and with clothes on. But that didn't stop the lady from going at me like a berserk, using all her force and the occasional elbow if she deemed it necessary. This also included my arms - apparently she thought they really needed some work.
"Relaxing" is not the word I would use for the experience... But in the end she checked my back muscles and said approvingly "evet" a few times. It must have worked - and my skin sure was tingling and my neck relaxed.
A view through the veil in front of my massage chair:
I zig-zagged my way back to the metro station from one shop to the next, buying some more stuff.
When my bags were getting heavy I headed home, not to spoil the effect of the massage completely!

At Taksim square they were preparing for the 1st of May demonstrations on the following day. I already made plans to go over to Üsküdar to stay out of trouble!
All this shopping only leaves little time to eat. But now I was hungry and went to one of the little restaurants in my street for some home cooking style food.

Then I just rested until I was contacted by the guy from the optical shop that my glasses were ready to be delivered.
The shop is across town, so I met one of his employees at the Starbucks on Taksim square. It had seemed like a good place to meet - but there are TWO Starbucks, just 50 meters apart! And of course he went to the other one than me. But when I didn't see him right away, I just ran over and found him there. And I thought Zurich had a lot of Starbucks... They love them here!

Now I have new double vision glasses that I have to get used to. But man, suddenly I can read much better! I had no idea that my near sight had become this bad. I'm getting old...
I got my tango groove on again in the evening. It was just a short walk over Taksim Square to get there.
Lonely chestnut roaster by the side of Gezi park
When I arrived I met Joanna from Monday again. We shared a table and it was nice to chat a bit before we got to dance. It was around 10 PM and the milonga had just started.
But it filled up nicely as the evening got later.
I also took a moment to go out on the terrace to enjoy the view.
There's a giant construction site to the side with an interesting clash of old and new buildings.
Two visiting guest teachers did a show dance. They seemed very young.
I didn't stay too long though because I wanted to get up early the next day.

After midnight there's a different kind of market on Taksim.