Blogger’s Base has been open for a month as I write this, and it’s already the talk of town due to its unique ethos and undeniable cache of cool. Its premise is what the name suggests—a base for artists, musicians, and designers who want to exchange ideas, initiate projects, and who either have their own blogs or create blogs for companies looking for innovative, tailored internet marketing.
Although the venue houses a Caffé Nero (a clear winner with caffeine-addicts), Blogger’s Base is not primarily a café. The Base is a truly unique enterprise as it offers a meeting point for ideas and serves as a creative forum. At Blogger’s Base, it is not all idle chat and artistic ego massaging—the place is clearly well on its way to becoming a magnet for any forward-thinking company looking to invest in young artists who have their finger on the pulse of what’s going on in Istanbul and who can reflect that in blog form.
Hidden in a side street of Galata like a well-kept secret, Blogger’s Base is quite extraordinary with its décor and reflects the eclectic taste and wide-ranging interests of its founder Mansur ‘riffmaister’ Forutan. Having worked as a writer and editor for FHM, a music producer, and a designer, Mansur has a finger in most blog-related pies at the venue.
Walking in Blogger’s Base, you are greeted by an entrance area filled with old LP records and walls overlaid with record covers from the 70s and 80s. Up some stairs lies the Nero outlet and beyond that, the Base itself—comfortable sofas and armchairs with a distinctly modern feel, a few laptops, tables covered in retro magazines, board games, and generally bizarre paraphernalia. Amongst the eclectic furniture and busy people blogging away, there is a small recording set in the corner, which functions as a mini studio for the rock band that has already established itself there. A chessboard shaped like Africa and featuring wooden African pieces (like a roughly hewn giraffe in place of a knight) was a particular favorite, along with a phallic pink telephone, an inexplicable Welsh flag, and a tic-tac-toe board. The bright young things tapping away at computers were for the most part intimidatingly well-dressed and aged in their 20s and early 30s, talking amongst themselves or engrossed in their blog, macchiato forgotten beside them.
Mansur is all in favor of people coming and going, exchanging ideas, and generally having a good time. He does not seem to have a detailed game plan, and that is part of the charm of the Base. The venue features an unfinished part downstairs, which is currently being converted into a stage for concerts and readings. This is exciting stuff, and probably one of many innovations that will take place over the coming months. Watch this blog.