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“Aristotle Onassis, beyond his myth” > exhibition in Athens October 3, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Events Greece, Arts Exhibitions Greece.
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Athens exhibition explores life and myth of world’s most famous Greek

It was a mark of Aristotle Onassis’ fame that dinner guests on his opulent yacht “Christina” included Winston Churchill and Tito, John F. Kennedy and Jackie Bouvier, later to become Onassis’ second wife, Rudolph Nureyev, Greta Garbo and Elizabeth Taylor.
The shipping tycoon’s lavish lifestyle and business acumen made him the most famous Greek of the 20th century and a new exhibition in Athens sets out to reconstruct Onassis’ life through a series of personal effects.
These include a love-letter from opera diva Maria Callas, luxury collectibles and the self-made tycoon’s trademark horn-rimmed sunglasses.
“We wanted to advance beyond the myth, to show the real Onassis,” Anthony Papadimitriou, president of the Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation that organized the exhibition, said on Tuesday.
Onassis was born in 1906 to a wealthy Greek family in Smyrna, Izmir in Turkey, that lost everything after the Greeks were evicted from Turkey in 1922. He emigrated to Argentina and launched his shipping business. After moving to New York, Onassis enlarged his business empire and branched out into air transport by founding Olympic Airways. He died in Paris in 1975.
“We, at the foundation knew the real Onassis,” Papadimitriou said. “He was a terrific businessman but also a cultured, charming man who left his mark on an era.”
The foundation, named after Onassis’ only son, who died in a 1973 plane crash, has provided many of the 300 objects and 500 photographs displayed at the new branch of the Benaki Museum in Pireos street.
Several of the exhibits are linked with Callas, a fellow Greek with whom Onassis had a long-running relationship in the 1960s.
There’s a letter to “Aristo my love” jewellery, a score from Tosca, clothing items and a piano specially commissioned for the diva to withstand the damp on the Christina.
“Onassis was a man whom women loved, and not only for his money,” Papadimitriou said.
The Christina, a converted Canadian corvette named after Onassis’ daughter, “was effectively the center of Onassis’ life,” exhibition curator Sophia Handaka said.
Part of the luxury yacht’s library features in the exhibition, together with paintings, bone ship’s models carved by French prisoners from the Napoleonic Wars, and Onassis’ desk.
“Aristotle Onassis, beyond his myth” opens to visitors on October 5 and runs through November 12.
Related Links >
Benaki Museum > http://www.benaki.gr/index-en.htm
Alexander S. Onassis Foundation > http://www.onassis.gr/english/main/index.php


Venus Greek-Cypriot Cuisine October 3, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Food Cyprus.
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Experience Chicago’s only Mediterranean Cypriot Cuisine.

Feast on the unique cuisine of Cyprus influenced by Middle Eastern, French, Italian and British invaders. Venus offers what a truly unique dining experience should be as it is a treat not only for the palate but for the eyes and ears as well. Dine in the vibrant Mediterranean surroundings; palm plants, green-shuttered window frames and a bar made to look like an ancient Greek warship.

The preferred menu selection is the 14-course mezes, offering a mixture of traditional Cypriot dishes and including several traditional Greek dishes.

Every Friday and Saturday, live entertainment perfectly tops off the ambience.

About the name Venus:
The word Venus is the Latin name for Aphrodite, the goddess of love, marriage and family life. According to Hesiod, Aphrodite was created from a circle of white foam in the sea. Her name literally means foam-born. She was attended by Eros and Himeros when she was first born and stepped ashore on Cyprus, making Cyprus Aphrodite’s birthplace. She was also known as a sea goddess of sailors.

Venus owners Costas Stylianou and Gina Karatasios have created a top-notch elegant place to dine with the freshest foods and the best wait staff that is attentive with great conversation, informative of the Greek culture and have lots of smiles.

Timeout.com has written about Venus > Venus Greek-Cypriot Cuisine

Just on the cusp of Greektown’s eating mecca lies this sprawling spot known for Cypriot cuisine. Influenced by varied Mediterranean flavors, the owners have taken traditional, rustic village food and added a luscious, upscale touch. Try the halloumi (a milder version of saganaki) and the incredibly tender six-hour slow-baked lamb, served tableside in foil. Everything is made to order, so enjoy the wait with a bottle from the Greek wine list. Your pastitsio tsoukas, long noodles layered with ground beef and covered in a crispy bechamel topping, will be worth it.

And here’s also a link to Chicagoist’s article and review of Venus Cypriot restaurant >

Camera in the Kitchen: Venus GreekCypriot Cuisine

Venus Greek-Cypriot Cuisine
820 W. Jackson
Chicago,  IL  60607
Tel    (312)  714-1001
Fax  (312)  575-0549

For more information visit > http://www.venuschicago.com

Zagorakis retirement on hold October 3, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Football.
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Greece captain called in for upcoming pair of Euro 2008 qualifiers against Norway, Bosnia

Greece captain Theodoros Zagorakis, who was considering retiring after his team’s European Championship qualifier against Norway in Athens this Saturday, has also been called up for the match against Bosnia four days later, officials said yesterday.

The 34-year-old, who has a record 119 caps for his country, had repeatedly hinted he was ready to end his 12-year career with the national team following the game against the Group C leaders.

“He has been called up for both matches, so he is at the disposal of the coach for both of them and not just one,” a Greek soccer federation official said yesterday.

Zagorakis is expected to start against Norway in front of a a sell-out 33,000 crowd in the Karaiskaki Stadium.

Greece, the 2004 European champions, unconvincingly won their first qualifier away against Moldova with a late goal, while Norway are the early pacemakers with two wins.

Manchester City striker Giorgos Samaras and forward Fanis Gekas of Bochum were also named. Both had been dropped for Greece’s opening win over Moldova in Chisinau on September 2.

On the club-level circuit, latest developments yesterday indicated that the prospects of Red Star Belgrade coach Dusan Bajevic joining Panathinaikos had faded considerably.

Bajevic, a star striker with the former Yugoslavia and Athens club AEK during his playing days, who went on to lead the Greek club as well as Olympiakos and PAOK to several league and cup titles as a manager, requested more time from Panathinaikos on Sunday.

When the negotiating sides met yesterday morning for talks, the chances of Bajevic’s return to Greece appeared to have collapsed, reports said.

Panathinaikos, which sacked its recently hired Swedish coach Hans Backe after the Athens club was held to a 1-1 home draw in a first-leg, first-round UEFA Cup tie by uncelebrated Ukrainian club Metalurh Zaporizhya – the Greek club advanced to the next round following a 1-0 win in the return leg – has apparently begun looking elsewhere for a new coach. Reports said the team’s administration was focusing abroad.

Sources said Bajevic felt eager to take on Panathinaikos’s coaching job but the Belgrade club’s administration was not willing to settle for a premature end to the 58-year-old’s contract.

The Greek-Serb coach is dissatisfied by his current administration’s decision to sell most of its leading players last summer.

Winning digital short films now on DVD October 3, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Movies Life Greek.
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The onedotzero festival took place September 14-17 at Bios in Athens.

Lovers of the digital age welcome fresh means of artistic expression. One such occasion was the onedotzero Film Challenge 2006, a competition of digital shorts produced by the international onedotzero festival, the British Council and the Bios cultural center.

The festival, which took place in Greece for the first time in 2005, was invited back this year. Once again, it drew many participants, including directors, visual performers, animators and video artists. The works of the event’s 10 winners are now available on DVD and for sale at Fnac. Proceeds from the DVDs’ sale will go to the film directors for the promotion of their work.

The winning shorts are: «The Smogbook» by Constantinos Haidalis; «Ebony Bones Don’t Fart on My Head» by Theodosis Michail; «Stepping Out» by Ilias Sfakianakis; «Fishing Day» by Eleftheria-Garifalia Leftheri; «Der Puppengeiger» by Achilleas Gatsopoulos; «Pixel: Ah» by Martha Koumarianou; «Miracle» by Constantinos Karpathiou; «Liquid Thoughts» by Aris Michalopoulos; «Deep Listening» by Cleopatra Nikolaou and «Fricks» by Eleni Tsampra.

Indie acts set to storm Athens October 3, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Music Life Live Gigs.
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Beginning with prog-rock pioneering veterans Faust this Thursday, the promised agenda is loaded

Chicago post-punk band Eleventh Dream Day, who have just released a new album, have been lined up for two shows in Athens on October 19 and 20. It will be their first visit here.

Other forthcoming visitors include Baby Dee, a former member of the hugely popular Antony and the Johnsons, who plays majestic music of her own, on October 11 and 12, as well as Sparklehorse, original Sex Pistols bassist Glen Matlock, former Stranglers frontman Hugh Cornwall and Martin Rev of Suicide.

With the winter season beginning to creep in, a string of promising indie-rock gigs, many by acts visiting Greece for the first time, have been announced for the coming weeks and months. The agenda includes the noted German prog-rock band Faust, who play in Athens this week; intriguing New York transgender act Baby Dee; Glen Matlock, the original bassist of the Sex Pistols who was controversially fired to make way for Sid Vicious; former Stranglers frontman Hugh Cornwall; Martin Rev of Suicide, as well two more recent cult acts from the USA, Eleventh Dream Day and Sparklehorse.

Originally formed in the early 1970s, the German act Faust, booked for a performance this Thursday at the Underworld Club (Themistocleous & 5 Gamveta Street, Exarchia, Athens), went on to become a pivotal act in rock history. Commenting on the band’s influence in his book “Krautrocksdampler” English psychedelic rocker Julian Cope wrote: “There is no group more mythical than Faust.” Formed by Uwe Nettelbeck, previously a music journalist, the band spent its embryonic days in isolation at an old schoolhouse that Nettelbeck converted into a recording studio in order to hone their primitive sound with help from the likes of Tony Conrad, a member of New York avant-garde act The Dream Syndicate in the mid-1960s. The German act developed an original sound, featuring plenty of ambient and industrial textures. By the mid-1970s, following several releases, Nettelbeck had turned his attention away from the band, which led to its split. But the band did occasionally play together in various reincarnations, and officially reunited in the 1990s for a handful of European shows, without Nettelbeck on board. In 1993, they played their first US show, backing Conrad, a recent visitor here, who was a pioneering figure in experimental drone sounds that heavily influenced artists such as John Cale, who went on to work with the Velvet Underground after teaming up with Conrad in The Dream Syndicate. Since the previous decade’s reunion, Faust have released a handful of new albums.

Matlock of the Sex Pistols, booked for the Underworld Club on October 14, ranks as one of rock’s more overlooked figures. At the time of his sacking from the legendary English punk group, rumors were rife that he was ousted because he liked the Beatles, which was probably just another outrageous, even comical, publicity stunt by the notorious band. Matlock, who possessed the strongest melodic sensibility of anyone in the group, was an important part of the Pistols’ songwriting chemistry. Though he left the group in 1977, before the act’s debut album was completed, Matlock was rehired to complete most of the album’s bass tracks. Following his departure, Matlock formed his own punk-pop outfit, the Rich Kids, which also featured the future Ultravox singer Midge Ure, while other collaborations over the years have included work with Iggy Pop, The Damned, Johnny Thunders, and Primal Scream. More recently, Matlock toured with Dead Men Walking, a quartet of acoustic guitar-playing punk-era veterans, whose line-up included Mike Peters of the Alarm.

Baby Dee, booked for two nights on October 11 and 12 at Mousiko Spiti Diavlos (9 Drakou Street, Koukaki, Athens), had also performed recently, just ahead of last summer, both as a solo act and as a member of the dark-wave collective Current 93. As highlighted by the act’s recent solo show in Athens, Baby Dee, a transgender street legend, ranks as a truly authentic writer and performer with the ability to transform emotional pain into rare melodic beauty and delicacy. A classically trained harpist, Baby Dee, who was born in 1953 in Cleveland, Ohio, has, in the past, done circus sideshows, worked as music director and organist for a Catholic church in the Bronx, and, more recently, became a fixture in Lower Manhattan, New York City, for her street act on a high-rise tricycle with a concert harp. The artist’s limited number releases include the debut record “Little Window” which was put out in 2001, and “Love’s Small Song” a double CD, released a year later.

Cornwall, the original frontman of The Stranglers, who left the band in the early 1990s, has been booked for Underworld for November 19. The Stranglers, contrary to Cornwall’s expectations following his departure, have carried on, basing much of their touring repertoire on the band’s early classics, for which Cornwall was pivotal. Inevitably, the parallel activity has been a source of conflict between the two sides over the years. Cornwall first played here, with the Stranglers, 21 years ago, at the capital’s first major rock festival, Rock in Athens. He returned for a solo gig in the mid-1990s, performing to a far smaller club crowd, with a handful of solo releases in the bag.

Other upcoming shows include Martin Rev, who makes up one half of Suicide, a leading act in electronic post-punk. Rev is scheduled for a night at Underworld on November 18. Post-punk Chicago band Eleventh Day Dream have been booked for two shows at the same venue, on October 19 and 20. Sparklehorse, from Virginia, USA, whose latest album includes contribution from Tom Waits, have been booked for November 9, also at Underworld. Red Krayola, one of the longest-lived underground rock groups, stretching from the psychedelic 1960s to the more recent post-punk movement, are also rumored for a show in Athens, one of just a handful being considered for Europe. But the show’s promoter has yet to release details.

“13 Tzameti” > universal violence October 3, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Movies Life Greek.
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George Babluani takes the leading role in his brother Gela’s “13 Tzameti” a captivating psychological thriller currently playing in local Greek cinemas.

A raw and captivating psychological thriller, “13 Tzameti”, written and directed by Georgian expatriate Gela Babluani, started off as a small independent French film about an immigrant who gets caught up in a dangerous streak of gambling.

The production has been slated for an American remake, possibly with either Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt or Leonardo DiCaprio in the starring role.

The original French version’s lead actor, 22-year-old George Babluani, the brother of the film’s director, was recently in Athens for the production’s Greek premiere at the Opening Nights Athens International Film Festival.

Epidaurus and Nafplion > Fairy tale cities October 3, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Greece Mainland.
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Start the day with a scenic drive along the coast towards Peloponnese and stop at the famous Corinth Canal, an impressive cut through the rocks which connect the Aegean with the Ionian seas.
Proceed then to Epidaurus, where the ancient sanctuary of Asklepeios (God of Medicine) is located. Mainly erected during the 3rd and 4th centuries BC, the sanctuary was built next to the stadium in which athletic and musical contests were held every four years. Then visit the best preserved open-air theater with the amazing acoustics. View the dwellings of the priests, the doctors, a gymnasium, baths and other structures.

The Museum exhibits pieces from the temple of Asklepeios, Roman portraits, inscriptions, valuable texts from the history of medicine among other treasures.
After Epidaurus continue towards Nafplion. The city of Nafplion, which has been the first capital of Greece, is located on a peninsula south of Athens at a distance of 140 km.

Due to its microclimate, there seems to be no winter in the Nafplion area. The weather is almost always warm and sunny, summer and spring like during all year round.

Arriving at Nafplion, one will experience the majestic view of the three castles, the symbols of the city. Protected from the land by two castles, Palamidi and Akronafplia and from the sea by the third, Bourtzi, built on the small island at the entrance to the Argolic bay. The old city of Nafplion with its neoclassic houses, picturesque streets, wooden balconies with cascading flowers, fountains, Constitution (Syntagma) Square with its fascinating mosques and outdoor cafe tables is like a fairy land.

You feel like immersing yourself in its history, burrowing into its past at the house of the Regent Mauer, the Military Academy, the Parliament House or St. Spyridon’s, the church where Ioannis Kapodistrias, the first governor of Greece, was assassinated. And the fairy tale world continues, whether you climb up the 857 steps to the Venetian Fortress of Palamidi crowning the city, wander round the battlements of Acronafplia or pop over to the fortified islet, Bourtzi, afloat in the middle of the bay.

Nafplio is full of the joy of life with the little restaurants on the waterfront, the open-air cinemas, the bars and the music that every evening takes you closer to the people, the sea and the stars.

After a walking tour in the town enjoy your lunch at one of the numerous picturesque small tavernas.