Sunday, November 18, 2007

Mantzarou Str.

What's in a street: Named after Greek composer Nikolaos Mantzaros it is a little street in central Athens, but one that still remains in the hearts of many Athenians. It connects the centre to Kolonaki and in the past, if you were chosen by Gods, you might even see Odysseas Elytis on his way to the "Estia" bookstore probably murmuring the Hymn to Liberty.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I know nothing...

He appeared, unassuming, and sat on his chair. He refused to use a microphone and spoke softly with amazing sharpness despite his advanced age. "I can tell you one thing" he said when asked to share his knowledge, "I know nothing of the sort". This was Frédérick Leboyer talking to mothers and mothers to be about pregnancy and delivery. It was not a speech; he was answering their own, personal questions. He spoke not like their father but like their mother! The women listened, replied and cried the cry of a young child.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Chestnuts in October

Normally around October it gets cold and the street chestnut-grills show up all over Athens. Not this year; it has been inexplicably warm this October with temperatures around 25 centigrade. We are missing the cold that penetrates our coats and the smell of chestnuts around the city. "The chestnut-seller" would be a popular theme for an essay excercise at school; I wonder if it is still the case.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Modern Sculptures

There are many contemporary sculptures scattered around Athens that we normally miss and continue walking right past them. Modern or classical they are of high artistic value and some connected to the history of Greece. The statue of Palamas right outside the cultural centre of Athens municipality preserves so well the image and I dare to say even the poetry of Palamas in such a simple way. It's such a pitty that along with most works of Art out in the open this one too is deteriorating under the harsh atmospheric conditions of Athens.

We're part of the Graffitti

Graffitti works because it can include what's going on around it. The interaction between grafitti and people around it creates an urban image slighly away from everyday reality. This way a man carrying a sailing boat in the centre of Athens does not seem unusual.

Stoa Flagged

Stoa is the name for a shopping area covered with a ceiling or inside the ground floor of a large building. There are many around the centre where you can still get good prices, have a coffee or browse a book. This is the "Stoa Vivliou" off Panepistimiou avenue - I am sure it has another name too - just before the celebration of the "OXI" day on October 28th. National pride and flags are visible everywhere in the centre and suburbs.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Full Moon

End of October and we are missing the September full Moon under the Acropolis. The splendid nights of September fill you with joy and appreciation of what this city is. The walk from 'Acropolis' metro station to Thesion with a stop at Herodion theatre to check what's on and a dinner with a view of the illuminated Parthenon is invaluable.