Announcing: It's Just a Game

About the book: Similar to how H.G. Bissinger’s Friday Night Lights uses high school football in Texas as a lens to look at society, Brian Carriveau’s It’s Just a Game observes adult amateur baseball in Wisconsin as a means to examine small-town America. The non-fiction book,...

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Istanbul Photo Journal, Day 7


It was a day of culinary adventure in Istanbul on Saturday, but on our way to breakfast, this caught our attention. Ordinary back guard posts line the street everywhere in the city, a barrier along the side walk from the traffic… …except a local street artist, decided to add a little paint job. If you haven’t noticed the similarity already, they’re painted to look like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, four in a row with orange, red, purple and blue …

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Istanbul Photo Journal, Day 6


On Friday we took a ferry to cross the Bosphorus and visited Kadıköy, a neighborhood on the Asian side of the city, the first time we’ve stepped foot into Asia. We passed the Maiden’s Tower. A vendor sells juice, tea and sandwiches on the ferry. Our day included a lot of walking and window shopping. We paid a visit to the fish market. Unlike in Wisconsin, a reference to sheep’s head isn’t a card game. More street scenes… The ride …

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Istanbul Photo Journal, Day 5


Our day began by getting breakfast from a street vendor. We bought börek, a flaky pastry filled with cheese. We got up early to visit Topkapı Palace, the residence of the ruling Sultans of the Ottoman empire from 1520 to 1855. It is a sprawling ground covering 700,000 square meters. This is the Gate of Salutation. Among the many buildings and displays are dormitories, the imperial treasury, armory, several kiosks and a mosque with someone singing the Quran 24/7 as …

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Istanbul Photo Journal, Day 4


The plan on Wednesday was to visit The Museum of Innocence, an accompaniment to the novel of the same name by Nobel Prize winning author Orhan Pamuk. Pamuk conceived of the idea of the novel with the museum in mind, such is his creative genius. Amanda and I read the book before coming to Istanbul. In a nutshell, here’s what both the novel and the museum are about. It’s difficult to tell from a distance, but this is over 4,000 …

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Istanbul Photo Journal, Day 3


The plan for Tuesday was to visit the old town, Sultanhamet. To fortify ourselves for the day ahead, we bought simits, known as the Turkish bagel, covered in sesame seeds. They are sold by street vendors everywhere in the city. Our first stop was the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, popularly known as the Blue Mosque for all the blue tiles adorning the interior, and one of the most notable landmarks in the city. It was originally built in 1616, during the …

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Istanbul Photo Journal, Day 2


Our day began by getting some lunch in the Çukurcuma neighborhood of Istanbul. Amanda got stuffed peppers and chick peas. I got köfte, which is a kind of meatball, and potatoes. We then strolled around the Çukurcuma neighborhood, which is known for its old antique shops. We visited St. Anthony of Padua Church in Istanbul, the largest Roman Catholic church in the city, which was originally built in 1725. Amanda reads up on its history. For an afternoon snack, we …

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