The next two nights we stayed in a different neighborhood, one next to sultanahmet – taksim. It’s supposed to be trendy and more local. In fact, the area was very similar to a fifth avenue with all the high end shops. It certainly was pleasant to be surrounded by locals rather than crowded tour groups and haggling shop owners. We really took it easy and just ate the next two days. We had dinner with a high school friend who was also in Istanbul at that time. Most of the meals consisted of kebabs, doners, kofte (turkish meatballs), kokorec, and lots of sweets. The best dessert I’ve ever had is Kunefe in Jordan at a dessert shop called Habibi. It’s basically a tray of really hot melted white cheese topped with flakes soaked in honey. I can remember tasting every bite of the dessert when it came out of the oven. Turkey had its own version but it wasn’t as delicious. I was really looking forward to having it again but it was nice to try something similar. Will try to find a dessert spot in New York that has it!