‘Stamboul Letter: Ben Widdicombe Finds It Hard to Really Leave

Following his departure from the Daily News, former Gatecrasher columnist Ben Widdicombe took off for Istanbul for a much needed gossip-free vacay. But his job followed him!

“Having run away to Istanbul to try and start enjoying life it’s funny how NYC comes with you,” he writes to The Daily Transom. And:



Jean-Georges Vongerichten is here to launch a Spice Market—direct from the Meatpacking District—at the new Istanbul W Hotel, which opens Wednesday. Mandy Moore is also here at the hotel for the opening, as is W president Ross Klein. Of course Istanbul is famous for its own Spice Bazaar, although at a pre-opening Tuesday J-G told me the inspiration was his time in south-east Asia. The main difference is that everyone smokes in restaurants here, including at the W Spice Market. The other difference is that with the weak dollar, the Istanbul Spice Market will be a lot more expensive. So waiting outside W. 13th St and breathing in cab fumes looks like it could be a good deal after all …