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Food for thought I August 1, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Culture History Mythology.
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Food for thought > > >
Going in search of an honest man

Diogenes, the c. 412-323 B.C. Greek Cynic, was said to have wandered ancient Greece carrying a lantern in search of an honest man. He believed that men and women lived a life dictated by rules and taboos, and therefore no one was really truthful and honest. His search was in vain.
In our modern days it is disappointing because it may be the closest thing to the Diogenes ideal that we are likely to find an honest man.
Alas, we’ll head home as disappointed as Diogenes.
However, the ancient remainings of the Diogenes lantern, at Plaka area, Athens, a reminder of our heritage and maybe the ideals which are so hard to find. Signs of the times?
Any comments and opinions?

The Athens City Hall August 1, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Architecture Greece, Greece Athens.
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In the heart of Athens, Europe’s oldest capital, on central Athinas Street, stands the “Dimarcheio”, in Greek, the word for the “people’s home”. Designed by P. Kalko, Athens City Hall is a fine example of neoclassical architecture. The foundation stone was laid in 1872 and the building was completed in March, 1874. It was inaugurated a month later on 22 April 1874, when the municipal authority moved in.

Athens City Hall has undergone several renovations throughout its 133-year history. It started out as a one-storey building, the ground floor rented out to shop owners.

In 1901, Mayor Spyros Mercouris ordered new alterations and the addition of a garden. In 1935-36 under Mayor Kotzias, City Hall was expanded to include a second floor. The shops were closed down and in their place offices were established to provide space for the expanded city government. By a unanimous decision, City Council commissioned acclaimed artists of the day Giorgos Gounaropoulos and Fotis Kontoglou to paint frescoes with motifs highlighting Athens’ history from antiquity to modern times.

The year 1983 saw the mayor and his administration move to a new building on Liossion Street, where today deputy mayors, City archives and administrative services are located. In the meantime, City Hall on Athinas Street was left to go to ruin. Recognising the historical value of City Hall, Mayor Miltiadis Evert revamped the building in 1987, re-establishing it as the seat of the municipal authority. Today, it houses the mayor’s office, council meeting rooms, function rooms and the mayor’s cabinet offices.

Athens City Hall is located on one of the most popular squares in Athens, Kotzia Square, at the crossroads of the capital’s most vibrant districts: Psyrri and Monastiraki. Much like Athens itself, City Hall has one foot in the past and the other in the present. To its left, Omonia Square, the centre-most point of Athens’ hustle & bustle, marks Greece’s rapid urbanisation. To its right stands the Acropolis, eternal symbol of Athens’ glorious past.

Upon entering City Hall, the bronze busts of Aspasia and statesman Pericles greet visitors as they make their way up a striking red-carpeted, marble staircase surrounded by stained-glass panes crafted by Takis Parlavantzas. The colourful windows tell the tale of Athens in myth and history, beginning with the contest between the goddess of wisdom Athena and god of the sea Poseidon, who fought over the patronage of the city.

They lead up to the first floor, where the Mayor’s office is located. Adorned with portraits of past mayors, precious gifts as well as part of Mayor Dora Bakoyannis’ favourite komboloi (worrybeads) collection, the mayor’s office is a treasure in itself, always brimming with fragrant flowers – a female touch.

Mayor Bakoyannis, the first female mayor in Athens’ 2,500-year history, renovated City Hall yet again in 2004, making it accessible to people with disabilities, and introducing a roof garden, where she hosted prominent guests and provided journalists from around the world with information about Athens during the 2004 Olympic Games.

Besides the unique murals (the only remaining complete works by Kontoglou), the highlight at Athens City Hall is undeniably its collection of Miniature Mayors crafted in terracotta by sculptor Loukia Georganti (1919-2001). The collection, located in the Ceremonies Hall, attracts the attention of hundreds of journalists and visitors and provides historical details of the fashion of the era.

Once Mayor Bakoyannis’ term is over in 2006, she will be the first female statuette among 38 of her male predecessors. “I would love to be wearing a bright red dress. I think that would definitely make me stand out,” she often jokes.

On February 23, 2006, following the appointment of Dora Bakoyannis as the Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs,  Theodoros Bechrakis was elected Mayor of Athens by the majority of the City Council.

About the Athens City Hall related pictures just check our Flickr Photo Gallery.

Athens. Sparta. Yes, but which Athens, which Sparta? August 1, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Hellenic Light Americas.
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If you google Athens and Sparta (two names of Greek ancient cities, as an example) I’m sure your search will show a few hundreds, if not thousands.

Again as an example, for Athens, here are some >





Greece. Yes, but which Greece? August 1, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Hellenic Light Americas.
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Welcome to Greece!
When you look at the night sky you see constellations named for heroes and heroines of ancient Greek mythology > Andromeda, Cassiopeia, Orion, and Perseus.
You may live near a city that takes its name from ancient Greece, like Athens in Texas, Georgia, or New York.

Nashville, Tennessee calls itself the “Athens of the South” and is home to an exact replica of the Parthenon, the 5th-century BC Greek temple dedicated to the goddess Athena. Their NFL team is even called the Tennessee Titans, named for the first of the ancient Greek gods.

One of our most significant human accomplishments, manned flight to the moon, was named for the Greek god Apollo.

The center of American government and well-known American national monuments look back to the buildings of ancient Greece.
Why are we fascinated with ancient Greece? Greek culture, its myths, theater, architecture, and sports, has influenced and inspired people for centuries, even millennia! We see the evidence of ancient Greece around us every day, in the constellations we identify in the heavens or the Olympic Games held every four years; in the stories we tell and in the movies we see; in the architecture of our houses, churches, and public buildings and in our democratic system of government.

In this section of Odyssey Online, we’ll look at ancient Greek objects to learn more about the people who made and used them, the rich culture of these people, and their legacy in our lives today. First, where is Greece? Take a look at a map.

Check this web site for more details > Odyssey/Greece/Homepage

EDITOR’S NOTE > Above text is copyrighted © 2005 Michael C. Carlos Museum of Emory University, Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester and Dallas Museum of Art.

Greece disappoints but Italy still delivers > Update No 2 August 1, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Testimonials.
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It seems that this article has sparked a great fire!

I have taken a personal interest in this controversy (how sic!) and will be following it up to the last detail. My National Pride, seems to me, was hurt badly. I am sorry, but I can’t help it 🙂

For you who have read my two previous entry posts, let me say that as I have already mentioned, I did sent an apology and thank you (at same time) email to the Publisher and the Editor of the Huron Daily Tribune. I am eager to read their reply, if I receive one.

For you who have not read nor followed my two previous posts, just make a search thoughout this blog with the above title “Greece disappoints but Italy still delivers”.

Coming back to what I stated at the beginning of this post, new comments (9 in total, so far) have been added to the relevant article. Here are again for your information.

Huron Daily Tribune-News-Local Columns-Reader Comments

Displaying 1-9 of 9
Added: Tuesday August 01, 2006 at 06:27 AM EST
Athens is nce
Although Athens is not comparable to Rome, you can definetely have a good stay. Really nice clubs by the beach (we liked Balux), a nice area around the centre, lots of things to see, a few astonishing museums (Archaelogical and Cycladic) and nice people (except the taxi drivers). I thik that the authors stayed in one of the few dodgy areas south of Omonia square and made a number of wrong choices.
Chris Lautier, Dubai

Added: Tuesday August 01, 2006 at 02:56 AM EST
athens is clean with 34 museums of all kind with 55 hotels of 4 and 5 * and more than 8 in the superior deluxe category.also the infrastructure of the city is one of the best world wide with new technology gasconsuming buses, metro urban and sub urban railways trolley buses and tram plus 16000 taxis.. all athens is an open museum but even the best antiquites needs restoration from time to time.
yes there are drug dealers as everywhere in the world but the lowest criminality in european region and one in the lowest in the world. as far as food I am not comentingas the variety of the food and the quality is world known….most propably my friends either your following wrong directions or your article is lets say not 1005 true.
Demetrios the Traveller, Athens Greece

Added: Monday July 31, 2006 at 09:17 PM EST
Sounds like you should have done some research before you went to Greece. Your first mistake was to go to Athens for 3 days and not visit anything else. What a waste! First off, Athens is not a bad city, its only good for shopping and sight-seeing for maybe 2 days. Then you need to hop on a boat and travel the islands and i think you would prefer greece over italy in a heart beat. Sounds like you are a bit prejudice, making fun steel rods that are atleast holding together buidlings that are thousands of years old (not to mention blown up as they were used at weapons depot during the Ottoman Empire). Oh well, Greece can’t please anyone…only the 1% that complain.
George, Toronto

Added: Monday July 31, 2006 at 08:35 PM EST
Way off
To the author of this article. I couldnt disagree with you more. I have been to italy and greece and greece blows italy away. i mean, sorry, but italy has some nice cities (rome and naples are full of graffiti) but italy has absolutely no nightlife compared to greece. I felt safer in greece also (but i felt safe in italy too). THere is so much more to do in greece, i mean , there are so many islands to go to and they each have their own characteristics. Athens is a great city, this is truly the city that never sleeps. And if you were in your hotel room around midnight like you said when you heard the garbage trucks, well that says it all. Athens is a city for nightdwellers, partying (ala greek, brazilian, western european, etc). Sounds like you should just hang out in a library or something.
Melvin, Mobile, alabama

Added: Monday July 31, 2006 at 12:56 PM EST
I just got back from Athens a couple of weeks ago and the weather and sites were great. If you only spend two days in Athens then you have to take what the weather gives you just like anyplace else in the world. Aside from the first two days in Athens when the temperatures were in the upper 90s and low 100s, the rest of my 12 days there were in the 70s and 80s. Whether it’s the neoclassical buildings around the Syntagma Square or the quaint older streets of Plaka district or the Parthenon’s classical architecture mimicked almost everywhere in the western world, there was plenty to see. Go to the town of Akrotiri on the island of Santorini and see the Pompeii of Greece, only this eruption buried the town 1600 years before the eruption at Pompeii and is possibly one of the sources of the legend of Atlantis. Also, don’t blame your poor choice in hotel location on Athens. I’m sure you could have found a comparble crap-hole in Rome, you just didn’t do that, did you.
Nolan Joonguth, Glenview, Illinois

Added: Monday July 31, 2006 at 12:50 PM EST
Greece disappoints but Italy still delivers
Dear Julienne,
I’m sorry to hear about your “unpleasant” experience while visiting my country Greece. Being a Greek, residing in Athens, the only thing that I understood from your story, is that you are very much prejudiced against Greece, Athens and its people. Although I sympathise your “bad” experience let me correct a few things, in order that justice is done:
1) Which hotel and in which area in Athens did you stay? Propably you did not afford to stay at a decent hotel.
2) If you prefer exotic countries such as Fiji, then why did you choose Greece?
3) Have you ever read about Greek History and Culture?
I suggest to learn a few things about – any – country you visit, before you visit. Ignorance is not an excuse. On the contrary.
I also suggest that you do visit this blog
https://grhomeboy.wordpress.com so that you learn a few additional things and details about Greece, which you seem to either not know or either you forgot since your school days.
Respectfully yours
A proud Athenian from Greece, the craddle of Democracy and Freedom.
George, Athens, Greece

Added: Monday July 31, 2006 at 12:44 PM EST
Having been raised there, I will be the first to admit that Athens is not all beauty, as with every other city in the world there’s good and bad. Prostitution and drug deals exist everywhere, and it’s really not the city’s fault the writer of this article decided to stay in a seedy part of town. As for the icons that were painted by a high school class and didn’t look realistic, well the object of byzantine icons was not a a realistic depiction of saints. The opposite is true, the object is to show the saints removed from their physical attributes in order to emphasize their spirituality. One should really do some research on what one writes. I never realised that looking realistic was the purpose of art and religious art at that! In any case, youmay like or not the places you visit but please try to avoid sweeping, laughable generalisations such as “there is nothing to do in Athens” and please don’t insult art which you don’t understand.
George Athan, New York, USA

Added: Monday July 31, 2006 at 11:37 AM EST
Off Balance
The comments about greece are so off balance. Greece is magnificent and if one can not see it, one needs to have a full medical check up and stop writing articles
George Kane, Bristol, UK

Added: Monday July 31, 2006 at 10:34 AM EST
Greece disappoints but Italy still delivers
I just came back from Greece and had awesome times ..athens and the islands were the best!!! i dont know about the person who wrote this article she sounds like a high school student with major issues (workers took the acropolis apart brick by brick! lol so so childish .,,….who cares if she was hot and she had to get her pony tail and t shirt its summer duhhhh…all i know is when i was in athens we had the best time ever and in talking to others and believe me there were many they did too…sweet evenings in plaka …amazing nights dancing in myconos .hehe paradise beach tops!!! …food the very best …ill do the same trip over and over again and again!
alex stone, brooklyn ny
Displaying 1-9 of 9

To all those readers who defendent my opinion I am much obliged and thankful.

Celebration of the Assumption of Virgin Mary August 1, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Special Features.
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In the world of Eastern Orthodox Christianity Holy Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus, is the comfort of every afflicted and persecuted person in this vain world of injustice and despair.

To honour the Assumption of Virgin Mary, which is celebrated annually on August 15 by Christians around the world, Greeks and Cypriots celebrate this day with much devoutness. This day is considered to be the third important Orthodox religious celebration, after Christmas and Easter. It is a National public holiday in both countries. 

On the Greek island of Tinos the joyful celebration takes on an official character with the Greek political and presidential leadership participating in the festivities.

Many Churches are devoted to Virgin Mary throughout Greece and Cyprus as well as to the Greek diaspora. Some of the important ones, except in Tinos island, are located in Paros island, in Vermio mountain (Soumela) in Greece and Kykkos Monastery in Cyprus. 

HomeboyMediaNews to celebrate this glorious day will be adding soon to our existing content a special feature with more details, information about local customs and traditions as well as travel information about pilgrimage trips to such holy places.

Please check back again, such information will be posted under a NEW blog category which will is titled SPECIAL FEATURES.

Music > Live concerts in Athens August 1, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Music Life Live Gigs.
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Depeche Mode
The Raveonettes
@ Terravibe, Malakasa, Attica

Simply Red
@ Lycabettus Theater, Athens

@ Terravibe, Malakasa, Attica

Nick Cave Solo
@ Lycabettus Theater, Athens

Pearl Jam
@ OAKA, Olympic Stadium, Athens

@ Gagarin 205, Athens
For further information > http://www.didimusic.gr/dates/