Hagia Sophia, Istanbul.


A very beautiful and intimidating building. Originally built as an Orthodox basilica (and used as a Roman Catholic cathedral for about 60 years under the Latin Empire), it was converted to a Mosque, but is no longer used as either and is completely open to visitors.

It is considered to be the epitome of Byzantine architecture, and has served as a model for several Ottoman mosques. I actually enjoyed this building more than the Blue Mosque itself. (Although the Blue Mosque is incredible from the outside.) 


We found the vintage neon sign shop without any difficulty, which made me assume it was going to be a bit rubbish. But it wasn’t. It was, in fact, just as magical as I had hoped. The signs included old american classics like Route 66 and HOTEL in vertical red neon lights, as well as any number of designs from ‘girls girls girls’ cabaret signs to a graphic and bright palm tree. All of which were fabulous. There was also a downstairs cellar/cave, which hid some bigger, modern art pieces -collaborations with artists and fashion designers (a neon Mickey Mouse by Marc Jacobs, for example)- alongside a bar. 

The only problem is that I now want to replicate the inside of that shop in my living room (when I finally get my own living room, that is), and the signs weren’t cheap. Is this the start of an expensive new habit?