Mahmoud Bakhshi Central Tehran Backyards 13 Be Dar Street Cat Named Stubborn Tehran Pars Niavaran Hot American Sauce in Tehran Tu-Sorkh Orange Reform of the Consumption Model Fruit Juice Bars Paykan Salesman Arabic Writing Supoor Iran Film Set Iranian Zamyad Blue Truck Atisaz Laleh Flowers Kid Riding Bike Sofreye Aghd Iranian Wedding 1970s Tehran Building Biker in Tehran Chamran Rush Hour Traffic Empty Apartment Construction Breadmaker Moby Dick Restaurant Tehran Love Birds Taa-chin Grand-Uncle North Tehran
Industrial Revolution (it spins and you can control its speed and direction with a switch), an art installation by the Iranian artist Mahmoud Bakhshi.
Backyards, narrow back alleys and trees managing to co-exist.
A thirteenth-be-gone conversationalist party.
A street cat named Stubborn. She jumped off only after I reached 15 km/hr.
A rainy day in the Tehran Pars neighborhood.
Niavaran neighborhood in northern Tehran.
A variety of sauces have found their way on the tables of Iranian restaurants. Including the HP steak sauce, and a hot sauce from Louisiana.
A tu-sorkh (crimson-inside) orange.
The Iranian year of 1388 (2008-2009) has been named the year of "Reform of the Consumption Model" by the Leader of the Islamic Republic. Billboards run across town with that message. A positive step towards wasting less and more efficiency and I find it agreeable. I wish the UN would call for reform of the consumption model around the world. The positive environmental impacts could be beneficial to all mankind.
Palizi fruit juice bar on Sohrevardi street. Fresh melon juice is back in the market.
A man selling green plums (goje sabz) on his jalopy of a make-shift store.
Many cars feature Arabic writings on their windows to show their support, admiration and love for Islamic figures and values. Imam Hussein, Muhammad's grandson, is the most revered Imam in Shia Islam.
Two supoors (coincidentally sounds like "so poor") working the day shift in a north Tehran neighborhood. They are paid city-workers who have the tough task of sweeping the streets and alleys all over Tehran and making sure the trash is disposed of in a timely fashion.
On the set of an epic film where a crew of 30 gathered to shoot an insert of a ship's watch tower splitting in two and falling down. The high wind made it impossible to get the shot. It's really miraculous that people don't die on film sets as often as one would think considering the lack of safety precautions.
The worst and the most dangerous drivers on the road are the blue pickup-truck drivers who have the least interest in traffic laws and act like they are immune to laws of physics. I heard somewhere that one-fourth of fatal car crashes in Iran are caused by these blue Zamyad pick-up trucks. Needless to say, seeing one carrying red roses while managing to stay inside his own lane is very refreshing.
With $10,000 down and $900 a month you can rent a nice 3 bedroom apartment in Atisaz complex. A person my age can go so long without a chahar-divari (four walls) of his own to call home.
After many of you fine folks pointed out the name of Wisteria flowers from last months issue, I've come to the realization that I am very much a flower-illiterate. I specially don't know the English names for many of the flowers that are readily available across Tehran. Including these Laleh flowers in the middle of Tajrish square.
The after school bike rides, as joyous now for kids today as it was for me when I was a kid.
A meticulous collection of sweets made specially for a sofreye-aghd (as part of the engagement ceremony).
Another one bites the dust. Sooner than later, me and my unmarried friends will be a minority. We no longer act surprised when someone says they're getting married, but will soon see the surprised reactions of people who will ask "What?! You're not married yet?!"
An older apartment building in central Tehran that can be easily filed under So Ugly It's Beautiful.
I still haven't had the courage to hop on a motorbike for my inner city travels. It's the fastest way of getting around, but at the same time the most dangerous.
Rush hour traffic on north-bound Chamran Freeway.
A small one-bedroom 60 square meter apartment in central Tehran goes for about US $90,000. This is after a sharp decline in housing prices over the past year. I don't know how ordinary people (myself included) can ever afford to buy anything worth living in.
Construction goes on in Tehran.
The breadmaker over at the popular Moby Dick self service restaurant in downtown Tehran giving me the eye as I take his picture. I wonder how long I will go before getting a beat down for randomly taking someone's photo!
Fortune-telling love birds on a street corner. They're all over Tehran. Faal-e-Hafez, which features select verses from poems by the famous Iranian poet Hafez, is the most popular form of having your fortune told in Iran. These birds are trained to pick you a Faal when you pay their keepers. Kind of cute.
The thick crunchy outer shell of a Persian dish known as taa-chin. It's rice with saffron, yogurt, eggs and chicken.
I've never met either one of my grandfathers. But in an attempt to make my family tree and discover my roots, I've met my grandfather's brother (both pictures above). He's 95 years old. Both him and my grandfather were cops and served in Reza Shah's military. My great-grandfather was a merchant who had a caravan of camels (!). He was from the historic city of Hamedan. Amazing what a difference only a couple of generations make in a family tree!

My sincerest apologies to all those who write me personal emails and or leave me nice comments on my Facebook fan page. Lately I haven't had the time to write everyone back. But believe me when I say it always puts a smile on my face to hear from a total stranger from somewhere on the planet. Thank you for always inspiring me to keep this site going...

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