Sunday, 5 December 2021

Walking around Thisio

Dionyssou Aeropagitou is one of the nicest walks in the city of Athens: it's quiet, pleasant, with excellent views and there's always lots going on.

Sellers abound if one wants a nibble: koulouria

roasted chestnuts and corn


Haunting music from this guy

We had arrived at one of my favourite buildings in Athens, an art nouveau gem


the Acropolis on our right.

We continued on our way

This dog that had been walking alongside us, suddenly stopped and gave up

note the shirt collar and tie

Another Art Nouveau building in a side street on our left

There are quite a few magnificent buildings on this street

hardly any street art, except for this one

And then, we saw the dog again, in his pram this time - lying down in the middle of the street was obviously his way of saying he could walk no more! 

On our left, the Irodou tou Attikou Roman open-air theatre

We decided to go up the steps to have a closer look and reminisce about all the wonderful concerts and ancient Greek plays we have seen here over the years

Back on Dionyssou Aeropopagitou and opposite the steps leading to the theatre, we saw the newly-installed sculpture of Maria Callas.

We continued on our way

Lots of places to sit and soak up the sun here

A good view of the Acropolis and the theatre 

another street musician

and a couple setting up

and a third lot

The Fountain of Pnyx.

During the rulership of the tyrant of Peisistratos (6th cent. BC) the growth of the city's population necessitated the construction of a well organised system of fresh water to supply the city's needs. An extremely complex water-providing net was opened, subterranean to a great extend, divided into several branches, covering a distance of more than 9,500 metres. The fresh water was led from the Hymettus mountains into the town through sealed clay pipes, laid in underground tunnels. A certain branch of this network has been traced to the east side of the Pnyx hill, and supplied water for more than eight centuries.

The installation consists of a rectangular chamber, chiselled into the bedrock with a shallow well across the entrance where the water is collected. By the time of the emperor Adrian (2nd cent. AD) the floor of this chamber was decorated with an elaborate mosaic.

Past Thiseion, the outdoor cinema. Very few of those left, unfortunately.

A performance artist

Another well-preserved Neo-Classical Building

A good view of the hills in the distance from here

and Lycabettus Hill on our right

The church of Saint Marina and the Athens Observatory. The church was built in 1927 and was originally designed by Ernest Ziller.

Zooming in for a closer look at the tiny, round chapel of St. Marina. Inside the chapel, six superimposed series of wall-paintings dating from the 13th through the 18th century are to be found.

Looking closer

We were coming to the end of this long pedestrianised street

lots of people sitting in the various bars that line the street

We turned right into Apostolou Paulou which is full of stalls selling jewellery, knick knacks and some antiques

The commercialisation of the image of Frida Kahlo.

Yet her paintings don't fetch the kind of prices that those of male artists do.

In a recent article Hall W. Rockefeller argues that despite the fact that Kahlo's face has been emblazoned on everything from t-shirts to tote bags and pencil cases, and despite the fact that she has been the subject of tens of museum shows and books and even a Hollywood, film she is still not considered a 'great' artist. She argues that there have still been no great women artists, and here, she quotes Linda Nochlin, because: 'the fault, lies not in our stars, our hormones, our menstrual cycles... but in our institutions'. In the 21st century, for an institution, read the market: 'greatness, in this new golden age of wealth and vanity collecting, is inextricably linked to money, selling prices and auction results, and in this realm, women fall short of greatness'.

We turned left, through this little park

into Eptachalkou Street

The queue outside this shop that sells organic produce was long, people waiting patiently for their turn.

Past this church

and this little chapel.

The gallery we wanted to visit was still closed

So we walked on,

we could see the chimneys of Gazi, the old gas works, in the distance

came across this taverna with lots of tables on the pavement - must visit next summer.

At 12:00 o'clock we retraced our steps and got to the gallery just as the owner was arriving. The Richard Long exhibition was wonderful.

Again, we retraced our steps, and walked through the little park.

The sight of the homeless people sleeping under this awning broke my heart. One woman was awake, sitting in the midst of her meagre possessions, so I went up to her and had a chat.

Soon, we had reached Asomaton Square, the main square in Thision.

MOMus gallery is just around the corner. The Cornelius Grammenos exhibition was thought-provoking and fun.

After the exhibition, and a five minute walk, we had reached Adrianou Street.

Lots of restaurants and bars here,

including Diego, with its unusual outside seating arrangement

Lots of street sellers as well. You can still pick up a bargain here if you look closely enough: a few years ago, I picked up an Emile Galle bowl for 7 euros.

Finally, we stopped for a delicious lunch at Kuzina.

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