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Istanbul Restaurant Helps Revive Forgotten Neighborhood

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The Istanbul neighborhood of Karaköy used to be a bustling port; home to one of the busiest harbors in Europe. But with the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, the area fell into disrepair. For decades Karaköy, with its gaping naval warehouses, was a gloomy and forgotten dockland. The only people you’d find hanging out there were fishermen, junkies, and prostitutes. 

But all that began to change with the arrival of Didem Şenol. A chef, formerly of New York City’s Le Cirque and Eleven Madison Park, Şenol took a chance on Karaköy when she opened her first restaurant there in 2010.

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On Istanbul's Asian Side: Anatolian Ice Cream at Donurmacci

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Those visiting Istanbul tend to stay on the European side of the city. But there are plenty of reasons to hop a ferry to the other shore. Among them: Dondurmacci a tiny, sliver of an ice creamery, near the Anatolian high street of Baghdad Avenue (Bağdat Caddesi in Turkish).

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