Istanbul City ManCave with a View

The plan:
1. Workbench-style workspace along one wall.
2. Shelves. Long ones… lots of them.

OK, that’s not a great plan and it’s hardly complete, but I don’t think much of planning something like this. For me, it’s a no-brainer. I need a place to put my stuff.

Moving to Istanbul is not joke, and we looked at a lot of places before settling on this one. We needed something fast and cheap, and Turkish apartments in our target area and price range are often small, moldy, and half underground with discarded cigarette butts falling at eye level.

Definitely not ManCave material.

The ideal ManCave is definitely not in the city, so to start with, I aimed for the country. By that, I mean village. I found some really nice places that were just fifteen minutes down the train line from my day job, but the city has a certain gravitational pull. To be honest, I really don’t know how we ended up where we did.

So if I couldn’t get out of the city, I decided to go above the city. Way above it.

A ManCave with a View
A ManCave with a City View

On the sixth floor (or seventh floor, by the way we count in America), there’ll be no room for a cool muscle car or a motorcycle, but there’ll certainly be room to work, breathe, work out, or whatever else I decide.

Mostly, I’ll probably be fighting the temptation to chuck stuff off of the balcony.

Feels like potential
Feels like potential

I see a lot of potential here!

If you have any comments or suggestions on how I should best use the space, leave a comment below.

Barbecuing in your ManCave… not recommended for Basements

house fire

Recently, I was asked to add barbecue products to the store, which is a fantastic idea.. because like all good vegetarians, I love good barbecue.

At first I said, “No, that’s a niche for another store… maybe I’ll make a barbecue website. I love making websites. All I want to do is make websites and not eat or sleep or enjoy myself… ever.”

So I thought about it, and decided to add some barbecue products to THIS store, because men and barbecue go together like peas and carrots, especially when you add a fire and some alcohol.

I tried this out yesterday and burned a bunch of food, but let’s not talk about that right now, because I’m still looking at the fast food wrappers from last night’s consolation “dinner”.

My thinking is, first, let’s add some Oktoberfest stuff, because hey, that’s what Halloween should be more like, and then let’s think about some stuff that we can char on our porch and pour hot sauce all over.

Now, I’ve known people who accidentally burned down their homes for the taste of barbecue, and it probably smelled pretty good until it was time to call for help.

Do not… DO NOT… attempt to barbecue in your mancave unless you consider the outdoors to be a cave.

DO barbecue some ribs, and then give them to me, because I will eat every last one of them.

Cook them outside, do a good job, bring them downstairs… into the den… into the garage… and watch something awesome with some friends while you eat them and drink something good, because that’s what this site is all about.

Also, feel free to buy stuff from this store… because I’m more than happy to take your money.

Good Barbecuing!

The ManCave Staff

Are you owning or renting?

Your Castle, Your Rules, & Your Landlord

I personally have a wall that I would like to knock out. I want to do it with a hammer, and I want to make a huge mess. Dust everywhere. And I want attractive, screaming party people to watch, and loud music to play in the background. Something awesome and tough, and I would smash this wall down with just three or four blows from my mighty hammer.
My place would be so much better without that particular wall, but my landlord would get angry at not having a kitchen in here anymore.

ManCaves don’t necessarily have a kitchen, but that’s not an explanation. Not even close. Maybe a barbecue.

The sad, sad truth is that when you rent your home, there might be some things you want to do, but can’t. You might like to remove all of the doors and replace them with bead curtains. You might like to build a hamster run that goes through the whole house, or a moat. Or a door for your car so that you can park it in the living room.

Should you buy your own home?

Most of us don’t have a very exciting home. By that, I mean that your home probably doesn’t look like a lair or a playhouse. It looks like a home. But what you do with your home and how you enjoy it (or modify it) has a lot to do with whether or not you actually own it.

After all, a home is more than just a giant box for your stuff. There is a lot of yourself, and your family in it, and how it looks and feels inside and out has a lot to do with the quality of your life.

When you modify your home or move to a new home, what you are actually doing is telling the world, “Hey! I want more out of life… I work hard, and I deserve more!” – and hopefully the wind gods or whatever will listen.

Then you will pay for it. You will pay dearly. Because for your lender, you are just buying a big box for putting your stuff in, and they don’t care about what color it is or how cool that Terminator 2 poster looks on your wall over your television.

Smashing a wall.

I might just buy a home so I can pick up a hammer and smash walls willy-nilly, but that’s just me. I want to modify a structure until it’s practically falling down. Since my landlord is never going to allow that, I think I’ll hold off on buying that giant steel hammer until I find the perfect place.

My ManCave isn’t perfect yet, because I can’t install a fire pit. I can’t do a lot of things that might violate any number of building codes or cause me to be evicted.

Until I find that perfect place…

Bring the Restaurant Home.

The Beginning: The Disappointing Burger

When we order a burger, we know that it’s not going to look like it does in the picture. This is something that we’ve been conditioned to expect, and we’re OK with that. I’m almost always OK with that, and to be really honest, I’ve had burgers that blow away that glossy, groomed looking burger in the picture.

Messy looking food is OK. Messy looking food is all I make. Messy looking food tastes better!


The problem comes when the burger is just something that the restaurant worker wants to throw at you to make you go away. At some restaurant chains, this is all you deserve anyway. When I order a burger, I would like to see a picture of the last guy’s burger. That’s really the only way I know what I’m going to get.

Facing Reality:

It was 2010. I was in a dark place. Living in Turkey and being faced with no good Mexican food. When you buy a burrito in Turkey, the spices they use make it taste… Turkish. It was fried Turkish meatpaste in a flour shell.

My friend told me, “I know where to get great Mexican food.”

“Where?!” I was already drooling.

“My house.”


Cooking was something I’d never thought of before. I like eating out too much. I still do.

The situation was the same with the burgers I was getting. No good burgers to be found. A small frozen patty, sometimes even dropped into a deep fryer and served on a nasty white flour and preservative bun.

Since then, I’ve learned to make a great burrito. I make a mean burger. I choose good bread. The cheese is proper and the vegetables are fresh.

I buy sauces like it’s gasoline.

But there’s still something missing.

The Solution: It’s the booth

Vitro, CB1, Coke Dinette Furniture Set with Coke Dynamic Booth, 24″x42″ Table and 2 Bullseye Chrome Diner Chairs, Red & White

I got a booth. Problem solved.

A restaurant booth is a place where you can sit and eat comfortably. I’m not talking about those ones with a plastic seat that are designed to make customers squirm if they sit for too long. No one should have to squirm in their own home.

Sometimes it pays to bring the restaurant home. No more bar burgers made in the fryer. I choose the music.

Life is Good.


ManCave City