If you walk north along University Place and approach the southwest corner of Union Square at 14th Street, you will encounter an incongruous feature of the cityscape amid the perpetual film crews and packs of professionals pouring from the subway with their heads tilted toward their iPhones. There’s a five-foot tall, hand-painted Galatasaray logo on the back of a box truck. The Turk truck is parked in the same spot near one of Manhattan’s busiest crossroads every day.
Oz, a Turkish Gala supporter who runs the long fruit stand outside the Bank of America on the corner of 14th and University, owns the truck. When the graffiti artists who painted his truck asked him what he wanted on the back, he chose the Istanbul club’s crest, he said.
I always wondered who owned the truck so today I sought out the owner on my way to class at NYU. I spoke to a few confused vendors nearby before I saw Oz opening the driver’s side door. I started talking to him and he didn’t seem surprised or weirded out. He agreed to pose for the photo above. I recommend you buy your bananas from Oz next time you’re near Union Square.
Galatasaray is a Turkish power and a perennial Champions League participant, but it’s definitely an obscure club in the United States. That makes the truck a fun Easter egg in this immigrant city. It’d be like spotting a big St. Louis Cardinals logo on a truck in Istanbul.