Istanbul, Turkey

The Livingston Family just returned from a great week in Istanbul, Turkey. This ancient super-city on the Bosphorus is home to 14 million people. The history of Istanbul is almost unbelievable. The place just oozes old world charm. Yet, Istanbul and the entire country of Turkey have become economic dynamos in this modern era. The country is blessed with a young population. Industry is absolutely booming.

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Known as the unofficial connection between Europe and Asia, the city was prized for its trade route status. The architecture is stunning. The cobblestone streets are full of character. I saw less of the city than I would have liked, but Debbie, the kids, and Mrs. Schieffer did some nice exploring while I was busy.

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We were drawn to Istanbul by the YPO Global Leadership Conference (GLC) and Global Leadership Summit (GLS). We have been fortunate to see some wonderful places with our YPO friends. The business networking, leadership development, and education were fantastic. I had loads of meetings, but it was well worth it. YPO is an organization driven my member volunteers and the GLC is always our largest gathering.

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More than 120 countries were represented by nearly 300 chapters and 2,500 members/spouses/partners. One highlight was the launch of the YPO-WPO Global Family Business Network. I am a past chair of GFBN and remain on the committee. Family business education is a passion of mine, and it is great to be part of GFBN’s growth.

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Debbie and I got to see some neat places, including Topkapi Palace and Çırağan Palace. We also squeezed in several early morning runs, and one long run, a three-hour jaunt. Last Sunday, we ran 15 miles all over Istanbul and got to really connect with about a million people and thousands of cars. It was crazy. The traffic in this city is unreal. Debbie describes it as “a dance” between the pedestrians and the motorists. I call it insanity.

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Running was difficult with so much congestion, but it worked out. I love seeing a new city on my feet. There is no better way. While I was in meetings, Debbie, the kids, and Mrs. Schieffer also visited the Spice Market, Grand Bazaar, Blue Mosque, New Mosque, a Turkish Bath, the Hippodrome, Galata Tower, a Turkish rug factory, and some Cisterns. They really took in the sights of the city.

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They used all modes of transportation. They rode the funicular, the gondola, the tram, and the nostalgic tram. Of course, they walked a lot too. In many ways, using your feet is the most efficient way to navigate this crowded metropolis.

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Another highlight of the conference was my short stint on CNBC to discuss the impact of the sequester on Horst Engineeering and the aerospace supply chain. We have a few customers in Turkey, where the aerospace business is strong. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time on this trip to leave the city, but I hope to return and see more of the country in the future.

Click for: CNBC Video: Horst Engineering-Impact of Sequester

We are happy to be home and even happier that it is March. Quite a bit of snow still remains in our yard in Bolton, Connecticut, but we went for a walk this afternoon and saw some new birds. That is a good sign. The YPO GLC is usually a turning point. We know that when we return from our annual trip, that there isn’t much winter left. Of course, last year, we came back from the trip to Singapore and Indonesia with suntan’s!

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Now that swimming/biking/running season is around the corner, it is time to get in shape. The season kicks off, appropriately, in town next week at the Bolton Road Race. A week in Istanbul wasn’t the best preparation, but there we still have 10 months to go in 2013.

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@thecubscouts #pinewoodderby never gets old. Pack 157 Bolton, Connecticut #cubscouts So that little injury caused by my @renocxnats crash on Saturday afternoon wasn’t so little after all. It’s a broken leg (fibula). Prognosis is good, but it hurts like heck. My blog post report with blow by blow details is linked in my profile. #cxnats #teamhorstsports @horsteng #crossspikes #crossisboss - - -

This #lifedeathcyclocross stuff is true!!!! I crashed out of the Singlespeed Championship @renocxnats (on the dreaded off-camber) but not before having more fun. @artroti43 raced on the frosty course ❄️ at day break. 🚴🏽 We met a lot more @horsteng #crossspikes customers. I hung with little bunny hopper 🐰 Miles, the Junior 11-12 year old Silver Medalist.🥈I cheered for Nic, who represented @the_ccap in the Junior 15-16 age group. @sportstert and Iva came down from Tahoe to cheer LOUDLY for me. 🎺 I got my badly sprained ankle taped and iced. I had a beer. 🍺 I’m even looking forward to my red eye flight home ✈️ . Best of all, I’ll see @trailrunningmom and the kids on Sunday. I can’t explain the sensation, but despite the pain, I’m ready for next #Cyclocross season to begin... after some rest. #teamhorstsports #cxnats #horstengineering @parkavebikeshop #crossisboss #lifedeathcyclocross #crossiscoming You could say that at least for this week, I’m married to my #bicycle - - -

@renocxnats #cxnats @seven_cycles #sevencycles #teamhorstsports #horstengineering #crossspikes @horsteng #chapelofthebells #Cyclocross #lifedeathcyclocross Good day representing @horsteng at @renocxnats in the 45-49 age group. It’s a great course. The wind was blowing hard, but the sun finally came out. I’m happy with 37th place but should have made a move to get to 29th, which was 30 seconds ahead. That’s a long way when you are going flat out and cramping. 4,500 foot elevation was a factor. I’m disappointed that they cut one lap of my race when I wasn’t close to getting lapped by the leaders. You train this hard and come all this way; and you want to get the most racing for the $ and time invested. They only let 25 riders do the full six laps. The only positive to come out of that was that I watched fellow New Englander @adammyerson execute a perfect final sprint to win the Stars and Stripes again. Teammate @artroti43 had a good ride too. 
@seven_cycles #sevencycles #horstengineering #teamhorstsports @bicycleseastct #crossspikes #cxnats #renocxnats #Cyclocross #crossisboss @therichardsachs didn’t have the race he hoped for but it was still great to see him @renocxnats and “pit” for him. He said he officially started his second off season, but first of 2018. @artroti43 and I played soigneur/mechanic for 90 minutes, but minus the massage! atmo #renocxnats #richardsachs #teamhorstsports @horsteng #crossspikes #hauteframebuilding #Cyclocross #crossisboss #lifedeathcyclocross I previously hadn’t published this image, but it recently received an Honorable Mention in the 2017 @appalachianmountainclub Photo Contest for the People Outdoors category. Check out my blog (link in profile) for the interesting story of his photo (shot with this iPhone 6s), a trip report from this amazing Maine adventure, and past contest history. I love this image of two of my favorite women. I’m barred from submitting images to the 2018 contest, but I’ll be back in 2019. #appalachianmountainclub #baxterstatepark #katahdin Congratulations to Master Park, the Park Family, and the entire team at Park’s U.S. #Taekwondo at the Grand Opening of the new facility in the former VFW building. Our kids love it! So much better than being next door to the pawn shop and liquor store.😊#tkd 🇺🇸🇰🇷 This morning, the @trinitycollege Main Quad was bathed in beautiful sunshine ☀️but it was frigid and the wind was blowing! ❄️ The chapel was packed with an overflow crowd to celebrate the (shortened) life of a lovely friend. She will be missed. #circleoflife 🌏

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