Boys playing with guns as I walked to my favorite café, “Free Gaza” posters everywhere, view from the Galata Bridge and always conscious of the meeting of East and West and the wealth of history, intrigue, romance and violence, this is the Istanbul that inspired me to write. On the streets of Los Angeles, these boys might well be shot by the police or at the very least be put in juvenile hall. Since returning to LA, I am conscious of how there are police everywhere. Sirens going off all day and night, people being pulled over constantly, searched at gunpoint. In Istanbul I was not aware of the police although I noticed cameras. Protests were escalating and one evening as I sat in the café, riot police marched by and then a demonstration and I ran after them to film it. The demonstration was peaceful and the police stayed at a distance. But for how long, who knows? Back home, now, I feel like the police are in everyone’s faces all the time in this city and the unease is even more unsettling than it was in Istanbul.