Monday 9 July 2012


I have posted on Gazi before as going there is a guarantee of a good night out.  Gazi is a very run down area in the process of regeneration where loft living for the trendies is pushing the old residents out.  The Pireos annexe of the Benaki Museum is here and the old Gas Works have been transformed into an art complex where all kinds of events take place. The main buzz of the place is around the square where tavernas, restaurants, bars and clubs dominate, including a large part of the gay scene which has moved here recently.  At night it is noisy, vibrant and full of life  and makes you feel that you are right in the centre of things - which you are.

We arrived early. It is 9:00 and the place is relatively empty - most people will not start arriving until after 10:00

Mamaca's is empty except for a table of tourists: no self-respecting Greek will go out to eat before 10:00 at the earliest, but we are hungry and don't want to eat too late. The food at Mamaca's, as always, is delicious.

We then go to the Old Gas Works to the Meet Market, an annual sale of vintage and handmade objects.

It will be open until midnight so we have plenty of time

there is lots to look at, both outdoors

and indoors.

There are stalls selling food and lots of people are hanging out.

The magnificent staircase which is part of the Gas Works dominates

as do the chimneys, illuminated with red light at night.

We leave the Gas Works and wander around the area

which is throbbing, pulsating with life.

So, has the economic situation affected what is happening here? Definitely. I can see a real difference from when we were here last.

This is Mamaca's at 11:00. This time last year, it would have been impossible to get a table on a Saturday night, the place would have been heaving, and that would have been the case with both Mamaca's restaurants: now, they have had to let go of one of them and the one remaining venue has more empty tables than not.

People will go to bars and cafeterias where buying one drink will last them the whole night: they come here not to get drunk, but to talk to friends, for a cheap night out, to see and to be seen

I also noticed that an awful lot of people just hang around the square

you don't have to spend money

to be where the action is.

It is a hot night

and being out is so much better than staying at home

and a good night out is guaranteed if you go to Gazi.

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