All posts tagged: Athens

a positive mentaleaty

In the somewhat edgy, yet lively and up-and-coming neighbourhood of Kerameikos, as you walk past a scattering of cozy, youth-filled cafes and bars, you’ll arrive at a restaurant with the curious name Mentaleaty Asian Food Therapy. Created by the Athina-Elipis social cooperative that started in 2011, bolstered by European Union funding, Mentaleaty offers employment opportunities to individuals with severe mental health issues as well as offering all profits toward their care. “A group of us started the Athina-Elpis social cooperative in 2011,” says psychologist Effie Koutsi. “The objective was to provide good employment opportunities to individuals who otherwise have little or no chance of earning their own money and getting social benefits, and to help them integrate socially. We started by running a cleaning service for public and private businesses and organisations. After that we ran a small photocopy shop in a clinic for people with Alzheimer’s, and next a small café. Mentaleaty is our most recent project, opening at the start of 2016”. The team opted for Asian cuisine in order to stand out …

Forget IKEA – Egneus is Sweden’s loveliest gift to Greece

Daniel Egneus made a colorful splash on the Athens art scene last summer with his exhibition of 100 drawings of Athens streets at the Zoumboulakis Gallery, titled ‘As I Walked Out One Morning’. His juxtaposition of vivid, fantastical and beatific elements with gritty, harsh or eerie characteristics is a common thread in his work, displaying a complex and profound perspective about people and the urban or natural worlds they inhabit, both materially and figuratively. In only four years of living in Athens, following decades in a string of other European cities, Egneus has created hundreds of paintings, sketches andillustrations that, critically, attest to an impressively illustrated and highly original perspective of the city. I interviewed the artist on a rainy day in his apartment at the border between Syntagma and Plaka, sitting at his desk to take a privileged look through a lot of his work on giant screens and sipping tea that took him several attempts to make, because of a temperamental kettle it seems. Let’s start at the very beginning… I quit school really early. All …

marina’s mindfulness maze

Upon entering the As One experiential event premises in the Benaki Museum Pireos St Annexe, I’m handed a locker key and asked to put away any technology used for timekeeping or outer communication (phone – optional). Being the mum of a toddler this is quite challenging to do. Next starts a walk through a series of rooms separated by curtains, in each of which a black-clad volunteer guides participants through exercises for shaking off the outside world, stretching, breathing, opening up (lungs, muscles, mind), creating flexibility. Participants are then shown to a large table covered in black headphone sets and invited to take one. The moment I put them on I am immersed in complete silence as if plunging deep underwater, and as I turn the corner along the wide corridor leading into the main hall where all the mindfulness exercises take place, it looks more like a performance art piece that enhances my light-headed feeling of surrealism. At the same time, somewhere inside me is the blissful sense of connecting to somethin new – an idea? a possible reality? – that …

female scientists wanted!

GIVING girls the green light to explore, discover, enjoy and master science is Melissa Rancourt’s   biggest goal, and she herself has been surprised to discover how much help has come along the way in developing her project, and how very enthusiastic girls have been to take part in it throughout the world. The international organisation is volunteer-run, and has gathered a significant number of interns, “ambassadors”, teachers and other helpful individuals who support its projects, messages and initiatives in various ways. With the affirmative mantra of “anything is possible!”, girls of a school age are encouraged to pursue STEM subjects – Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics – while having a really great time, and realising that the sciences are just as much about reasoning and logic as they are about creativity and resourcefulness. Girls are encouraged from young ages to see that despite the field of science today being mainly male-dominated, (regardless that there have been a good amount of awesome female scientist predecessors rocking the science world in history), they too can play a significant role and turn things around in …

I have nothing to wear!

UNLESS you’re one of those people who have a walk-in wardrobe that looks like Vogue’s September Issue clothing department, you’ll have experienced, at least once in a while, and at most, every other day, that disempowering, frustrating, downright infuriating feeling that you have nothing to wear. There you are, looking at a wardrobe full of clothes, yet in your mind’s eye there’s something absolutely wrong with every single item. You may start by calmly perusing your lot, and then move on to a more active searching mode. Oh, there’s that shirt you wore the other day and felt so good in! Why not match it with those funky trousers? You thrown them on, and are faced with your frowning, frumpy reflection: “I look like crap!” Suddenly the shirt makes you look lumpy and the trousers are far too tight on your bum, not to mention that your legs look like those of a miniature horse. How did you ever even wear these trousers? Or buy them? They’re terrible! In fact, everything you own is terrible! For a moment …

the notebook (greek edition)

MIRIAM Beard wrote: “Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.” Richard Clark, an English writer and journalist who has dedicated a lot of his life on writing about Greece, would tend to strongly agree with that thought, as he feels that the country has created some profound changes in him. He first visited Greece in 1982, when he went to live in Heraklion on Crete to work as a teacher. Since leaving the island to work for the BBC in London, he has returned on many occasions, now visiting the islands at least three times a year. He has written six books, Crete – A Notebook (two editions), Corfu – A Notebook, Rhodes – A Notebook, The Greek Islands – A Notebook and Richard Clark’s Greek Islands Anthology a Greek translation of his Crete book will be out later this year. Richard is married and has two grown up children and lives in Kent in the UK. How Greek are you? As far as …

visual flight through elliniko airport

PHOTOS AND TEXT BY GIORGIO BOULASIDIS These photographs are the kind of images that can be shown without any captions, because it doesn’t matter what the subject depicted in them once was, What matters is what it is today, as it’s caught through the camera’s narrow lens. All these objects — from flight boards, waiting areas, doors, offices, ventilators and every kind of place that once served the thousands upon thousands of world passengers, staff and crews on a daily basis  — have by now mutated into abstract sculptures and landscapes, formed and deformed by fire and time. Elliniko was the first and main airport of Greece for around 50 years. It received fame and admiration and offered most of us our first flight experience, thus becoming seeped in our excitement and fears. .   And now it is burnt, locked up and filthy, continuing to be a sitting and transit area but by today for every kind of bird, creatures that seem to appreciate its history far more than humankind. Giorgio Boulasidis has been a passionate photographer since his teenage years. For …

Onassis Cultural Center

rediscovering athens

IT HAD been a while since I’d read about an art exhibition with a concept that truly excited me – so when I found out that the Onassis Cultural Center (OCC) had set up Strange Cities Athens I headed straight to Theatrou Square in Psyrri to check it out. The exhibition displays the result of a challenge set to 23 visual art units from around the world, who have never been to Athens, to create artworks based solely on their impressions of it. The OCC, in collaboration with the team of curators from London’s Double Decker, provided the artists with a triangular “inspiration box” that contained: a recipe, a scent, a poem (Jasmin by Giorgos Seferis), a book, recordings of urban soundscapes, and music by Konstandinos Vita (Song “II”) and Manos Hatzidakis (the song A Magic City), and asked them to take it from there. The impressions of Athens that are formed in the minds of the millions of visitors who come here, as well the multitude of ideas, feelings and attitudes of people who have never visited, …

syntagma’s mexican street food

MEXICAN food is not a novelty in Greece, but a truly successful rendition of authentic (as opposed to Americanized or Europeanized) Mexican food is. So when the My Greek Review’s Food Task-Force (TFT) read about the arrival of Taqueria Maya in central Athens, we were excited. We first headed out there on a Sunday for a leisurely lunch but found it closed, so we opted for an empty, six day old Indian restaurant nearby instead, much to our deep regret (N.B. As our Food Task-Force member / experienced chef Dimitris Panteleakis says, when a restaurant manager answers your comments about inedibly dry, rubbery chicken with the ‘reassurance’ that the restaurant is open to receiving your comments, good and bad, via their Facebook page, one cannot help but yelp at the thought of being part of some amateur cooking experiment). The interest in trying out Taqueria Maya was met almost a week later when, strolling up chaotic Ermou St in a state of near-murderous hunger, the taqueria came to mind and we headed to Petraki St, popping our heads into …

the expat novelist

I HAVE been caught in the middle of a protest and a riot. I have faced culture clashes, language barriers and have been surrounded by a headlining economic crisis and social unrest. Thanks to Greece, I also discovered a creative side to myself, inspired by the beauty of the country, a beauty that requires living here to be discovered. It all started with a move across the Atlantic. BY MARISSA TEJADA I had followed my husband from San Francisco to Athens, Greece. A New Yorker, born in Brooklyn, raised on Long Island, I graduated from a college in Upstate New York and then followed my television, journalism and PR career to cities in Washington State, Florida and then California. While I was used to making a new start, I never had to do it in a foreign country. I quit my job. Left my friends and family and I was set on discovering, understanding and finding the best in the experiences that would come my way. One experience ended up being my marriage, which was falling apart. I had to …