Category Archives: Welcomes

The first from Istanbul

After months of (sort of) planning and anticipating, Helen and I have finally arrived and begun settling ourselves in Istanbul. We’ve got a small but pleasant apartment in a hip and rapidly gentrifying neighborhood, not unlike so many of our friends living in New York. The difference is that we have a balcony from which we can watch tankers and ferries glide along the Bosphorus. We’re still getting our bearings in Istanbul, learning how to get around, picking up basic phrases getting familiar with the sights and sounds and smells of Turkey’s largest city.

This seems like an appropriate time to resume my blogging endeavors and to, yet again, attempt to make the upkeep of this blog a regular habit. I’ll start by trying to explain why I’m here. Over the past few months as people asked me why Helen and I were moving to Istanbul of all places, I would often just reply with “Why not?” But there are actual reasons we decided to come to a totally new place where neither of us speak the language (yet) or have any experience.

I’ll admit off the bat that part of why we chose Istanbul is because the city seems fabulous. The weather and the food appeal to us. There is an endless supply of nice restaurants and pleasant bars and places to sit and look at the water. And there’s nothing wrong with moving to a place because it seems like a nice place to live.

There are, of course, more substantial reasons why we chose Istanbul. For Helen, an artist, the city has a large and growing arts community that is innovative and important. The neighborhood where we are now living is teeming with galleries and we’re about a quarter mile from a world-class modern art museum.

But why did I want to move here? As a journalist, I think that Turkey is an important place to be, in many ways much more important than Egypt, where I was living and working last year. This is actually the real point I wanted to make with this blog post, though I’ve kind of buried the lead now.

As the U.S. declines and other countries rise, the world is becoming ever more multipolar. This isn’t a secret and it’s not some kind of out there theory, it’s just what’s happening. For better or worse (I think for better), the United States can no longer be the sole important country in the world and other capitals will have to pick up the slack. Turkey, because of its size, its economy, its geography, is picking up a lot of this slack. I think it will be interesting to see the reconfiguring international order from this vantage point.

So there you have it. A re-inaugural blog post outlining what we’re doing here. I hope you’ll be able to follow along as I blog about my and Helen’s life together on the shores of the Bosphorus and Turkish politics, along with plenty of other stuff about food and Egypt and folk music and everything else.


Photo from my flickr account.



Filed under Life Abroad, Personal Stuff, Turkey, Welcomes

Ahlan wa Sahlan

Welcome back from Spring Break.  I promise that there were no funnels, wet t-shirt contests, swimming, tequila, or bikinis.  There was snow, bacon, veal hearts, wind, blue cheese burgers, white fish, small airplanes, skirt steak, pancakes and really good coleslaw.  Anyway, blogging re-commences now.

I’m still going to put another picture from ABC’s Spring Break photo slideshow last year:

Why doesnt stuff like this ever happen to me?

Why doesn't stuff like this ever happen to me?

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Filed under Welcomes

Comin’ Back

It’s almost finals, but I’m back on the blog circuit.  If Paul Krugman can find time to blog, why shouldn’t I?

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L’shana tova tikatevu

It’s Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, which seems like as good a time as any to revive Next Year In.  So come back soon for new posts.  I promise to deliver.

(L’shanah tova tikatevu, in case you don’t know, means “May you be inscribed [in the book of life] for a good year.  It’s a Jewish thing.)

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Filed under Holidays, Welcomes

Please excuse our closed because for renovations…

I will be taking a hiatus from this blog, in case you couldn’t tell.  For a while I will be blogging  Near a Volcano. Helen and I will be writing and posting photographs while we are in Jerusalem.  Please join us there.

Also, check out Across the Great Divide by Ben Terris.  He is traveling around the US, working at small newspapers and talking to young people about the 2008 election.  Read this blog! You won’t regret it.

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Filed under American Politics, Israel-Palestine, Personal Stuff, Welcomes

Welcome back

College is over for the summer (read my thoughts about that on the Oberlin College admissions blog) and I can finally devote myself full time to screwing around on the Internet, at least until I leave for the Middle East in a few weeks.

A few quick thoughts to share:

  • I’m really glad that John McCain finally rejected John Hagee’s endorsement. Hagee is a bigot and his brand of fundamentalist Christian Zionism is not good for America, Israel or anyone in the Middle East. I hope, but don’t expect, that Joe Lieberman will get the picture soon, too.
  • I feel (sort of) bad for Ms. Emily Gould, who exposed her entire life to the world in the New York Times Magazine. But didn’t she realize that oversharing about her oversharing might not be the best way to solve her oversharing problems?
  • It’s good to see that Lebanon is getting back in order even if the new arrangement is good for Hizballah.
  • I think that Syria will recognize Israel by the end of 2008. I base this partially on the negotiations that are going on now, but more just on my own gut feeling.
  • I am growing to hate Hillary Clinton more than ever before.

Future posts will be more coherent.

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Ahlan wa Sahlan

Welcome to Next Year In, my new blog.  If you are interested in Israeli-Palestinian relations, The Wire, the presidential primaries, Bob Dylan, Syrian-Turkish relations, New Jersey breweries, Burma, the State of the Union, Oberlin College, hating CNN, or beer, then I think you will enjoy this blog.  Keep your ear to the ground and your eyes on Next Year In.    


Filed under Uncategorized, Welcomes