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Tony Fitzpatrick
The Messenger

by Tony Fitzpatrick

After my visit, Istanbul has stayed with me a bit. Upon landing at O'Hare we were told about the suicide bomber that detonated a bomb in Taksim Square -- 150 feet from the hotel we stayed at. It happened about an hour after we'd left for the airport. This shook me up a little. I'd spent a lot of time in Taksim Square over that 11 days; to me it was the picture of a successful multicultural gathering place -- not unlike Millennium Park here in Chicago -- a place where people from every part of the world congregate peacefully and enjoy themselves. I walked there for a few hours each time, shopping and shooting the shit with the locals. I learned a lot about life watching the visitors to Taksim Square. Mostly I learned about what was possible for a city of wildly divergent populations.