urban photography

The Neighbourhood of the Gods/Η Γειτονιά των Θεών

ladygrafittitext.jpg

A woman walks by the graffiti.

plakatext.jpg

A view of Monastiraki square below from Plaka.

smallpathtext.jpg

Narrow cobble stone path in Plaka.

The neighbourhood of Plaka in Athens is nicknamed ‘ the neighbourhood of the Gods’ becaue of  its close proximity to the Parthenon.

It is a very touristy neighbourhood,  and it has so many hidden features. You can never take enough pictures while in Plaka. I read that settlers from the Cyclades built the neighbourhood which explains why the architecture is similar to the architecture of the Cycladic islands specifically from ‘Anfi’ from where the settlers came from.

Η γειτονιά της Πλάκας στην Αθήνα έχει το παρατσούκλι «η γειτονιά των Θεών», καθώς βρίσκεται πολύ κοντά στον Παρθενώνα.
Είναι μια πολύ τουριστική περιοχή, και έχει τόσα πολλά κρυμμένα χαρακτηριστικά. Δεν μπορείτε ποτέ να τραβηξετε αρκετές φωτογραφίες στην Πλάκα. Διάβασα ότι οι άποικοι από τις Κυκλάδες εχτίτησαν τη γειτονιά  και γι ‘αυτό εξηγεί γιατί η αρχιτεκτονική της είναι παρόμοια με την αρχιτεκτονική των Κυκλάδων, συγκεκριμένα από το νησί της«Anfi»  όπου οι έποικοι προέρχονταν.

The Agora of Athens/Η Αγορα Της Αθηνας

Creative Entrance at a Shop

Happy to Serve You! 

Bakery with heart-shaped chocolate cakes. Not for the diabetic.

Sign says ‘Small goods. Soft drinks and cigarettes’ Healthy stuff.

Colourful Chairs at Restaurant at Psirri

A basement shop that sells  Greek traditional clothing and footwear in Psirri

A Flea Market at Thiseio

Thousands of small business owners have had to close up their shops during the economic crisis in Greece.   Athenians can’t believe how  many ‘for rent’ signs they have seen on every shop window they happen to walk by. The hardest small businesses hit are the neighbourhood businesses just outside the city center. When a shop closes downtown a new one quickly opens because downtown Athens will always have its crowds of shoppers.  It’s a tourist area and there is a lot more to see and do than in any other area of Athens.   Many business owners have now realised that to survive they have to come up with an idea for a business that is s unique and creative and that people will really like and will want to come back to again.  Hundreds of  ‘souvlakia’ shops appeared like mushrooms and several months later those shops have had to close down.  How many ‘souvlakia’ can a person eat anyways? It’s not very healthy either.  Healthy eating is popular now and that is why frozen yogurt shops do well, but there are already enough of those now. The only positive thing about an economic crisis in that it can inspire people to be more creative. The competition is a lot more fierce now.  A new shop  cannot not be a carbon copy of a shop down the street.  The business should be unique and the business owners have to supply the people with the things that they really want.  Of course, it helps if  people (the customers) had  more money in their pockets too.

 

 

The Artsy Avenue/Ο καλλιτεχνικός λεωφόρος

Narrow street with couches on a tiny sidewalk from an outdoor café in Psirri

Open shutters of an old building

Row of lamp shades against a back drop of a run down building

Funky lamp shades and chandeliers light the street at night

Lamp shades in Psirri

Chandelier in the sky with crystals

How can a creative person like myself not take a few photographs of the quirky and creative neighbourhood called ‘Psirri’. Psirri is located in the downtown area of ancient Athens and is a well-known ‘artsy’ area with a shady reputation.  Many university students live there and they have made their presence known to visitors, an example would be the lamp shades and chandeliers hanging above the streets. They light the dark and narrow streets beautifully at night.  These photographs are just a glimpse of the offbeat quality of Psirri that you won’t find in other areas of Athens.

Technopolis/Τεχνόπολις

Technopolis is located in a trendy district of ‘Gazi’ with its many cafés and restaurants. Technopolis was the site of a gas factory that was built in 1867 by a French gas company. With this new innovation Athens was able to be lit at night like Paris.  The site didn’t have much character in its day as it was industrial and  it was considered a nuisance by the nearby inhabitants. In 1984,  after some protesting by the nearby inhabitants the gas factory shut down.   Years later,  the site was renovated and in 2013 it was open to the public.  Today,  Technopolis hosts many art exhibitions, fashion shows, and concerts and much more. Each building is dedicated to famous Greek poets and even opera singer Maria Callas has a building in her name.

Gasworks buildings and chimneys

Exterior of Gasworks building

Gasworks Pipes

Kiosk At Gasworks

Gas works building

Η Τεχνόπολις βρίσκεται σε μια μοντέρνα συνοικία «Γκάζι» με τα πολλά καφέ και εστιατόρια του. Η Τεχνόπολις ήταν η περιοχή του εργοστασίου φωταερίου, που χτίστηκε το 1867 από μια Γαλλική εταιρεία φωταερίου. Με αυτή τη νέα καινοτομία της Αθήνας ήταν σε θέση να φωτίζεται τη νύχτα, όπως το Παρίσι.  Τότε η τοποθεσία  δεν διέθετε κάποιο ιδιαίτερο χαρακτήρα καθώς ήταν βιομηχανική. Μετά από μερικά χρόνια  θεωρήθηκε ως μια ‘ενόχληση’ από τους γύρω κατοίκους . Το 1984, μετά από κάποια διαμαρτυρία από τους κατοίκους  της περιοχής, το εργοστάσιο του φωταερίου εκλείσε. Χρόνια αργότερα, ο χώρος ανακαινίστηκε και το 2013 ήταν ανοικτή για το κοινό. Σήμερα, η Τεχνόπολις φιλοξενεί πολλές εκθέσεις τέχνης, επιδείξεις μόδας, και συναυλίες και πολλά άλλα. Κάθε κτίριο είναι αφιερωμένο σε διάσημους Έλληνες ποιητές, ακόμα και η τραγουδίστρια της όπερας Μαρία Κάλλας έχει ένα κτίριο με το όνομά της.