Two days to go until we leave...
Things seem a bit calmer in Taksim lately. I spoke to my colleague, Ed Slipek, who had spoken to an alumni who was just over in Istanbul and commented that the "activity" is very concentrated in one or two areas around the city. I plan on giving these area a pretty wide berth. I will be monitoring events closely.
I wanted to share some of the tech that I'll be bringing to document the trip with you all.
I'll be using this Weebly site for the purposes of blogging. It can be hooked up to Facebook so my posts automagically get shared there as well with a minimum of data usage.
Speaking of data, I've upgraded my AT&T plan to have 800MB of International data. It's not cheap at $120, but it'll be nice to know that I can pull up Google Maps in a pinch or get the latest flight info without worrying about data overages. After the data fiasco during my trip to China, I have TRIPLE CHECKED with AT&T about the proration of data. The good news is that while they prorate the cost of the data, they do not prorate the amount of data. For example, I've got international data starting on the 24th and my cycle ends on the 29th. So I pay only $16 but get the full 800MB of data! On the 29th my 800MB starts over again, this time at $120. You probably don't care about any of this, but having been burned in the past, I find it's better to confirm before you leave rather than face a nightmare bill when you get home.
I'll be using my iPhone 5 as my primary camera. With only 16GBs, I'll be dumping photos to an iPad mini using Apple's AWESOME Camera Connector Kit. I've used this on past trips and it works like a charm. People seem to never believe me on this. The only work around I had to do this time was add a 30pin to Lightning Adaptor in the mix. Hook that up to the Camera Connector, plug it into the iPad mini, plug the other end of the cord into your iPhone 5 and you can easily transfer photos AND video from the iPhone to the iPad. This is useful because it allows you to continue using the iPhone as your main camera by opening up more space. I know you can use iCloud to do this too, but with spotty wifi and limited cellular data, having a hard-wire connection is the only way to go when traveling internationally.
I'll post a video later showing how this works for those of you who care.
I'll save some of my other tech for a later post
I've been monitoring events in Istanbul closely over the past week. I had hoped things would calm down, but the conflict seems to have heated up yesterday.
We will have to wait and see what happens, but I'm putting Plan B and Plan C in place. Since our hotel is near Taksim Square, we have opted to switch hotels to one in the more "touristy" Sultanahmet District.
I've been so focused on what's happening in Istanbul, I've have very little time to read much news about the Venice Biennale. Plan C is in case things get really rough in Turkey. We'll stay longer in Venice and then fly to Greece instead.
Just heard some news about protests in Istanbul about saving some trees in Gezi Park.
I can image if someone came into New York's Central Park and said they were going to build a mall that there would be protests too.
Still, I hope it settles down soon.
Here's a news report outlining the protest.
Jeff "Coach" Hall is an artist and art educator who is currently the Fine Arts Dept. Chair at Maggie L. Walker Governor's School for Government and International Studies located in Richmond, VA.