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Dali sculptures, lithographs at the Byzantine Museum January 15, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Events Greece, Arts Exhibitions Greece.
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Presenting a lesser-known aspect of Dali’s work is the aim of the show.

Following the brilliant exhibition on Salvador Dali held in Athens two years ago at the Museum of Cycladic Art, the capital is getting another chance get its fill of this multifaceted master’s work at the Byzantine Museum (22 Vasilissis Sofias Avenue, Athens, tel 210 7211027 and 210 7232178).

Running to February 18, the museum’s Villa Ilissia will be showing a series of sculptures and lithographs by the most famous representative of surrealist art. The exhibition is curated by Brussels art consultant Pick Keobandith and Greek art critic and historian Athena Schina.

By focusing on sculpture, the aim of the event is to present a different aspect of the artist’s work, one that is less known to the general public. The exhibition brings together 12 original sculptures, which are bronze and some of which are more than two meters high. There are also another 12 bronze sculptures that are numbered, as well as 21 lithographs.

Many of the works that will be on display are on loan from private collections, and after Athens the exhibition will be traveling to Cyprus, Dubai and Australia.


Greece beats Estonia in Euro 2008 qualifier January 15, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Baseball Handball Volleyball.
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Greece’s National Team needs to work on preserving its unity now that most of its top players have signed with major clubs around Europe

The men’s National handball team defeated Estonia 31-23 in Thessaloniki on Saturday in a Group 6 Euro 2008 qualifier to make it two from two. The Greek team now faces two encounters against Portugal this Thursday and Sunday.

The latest win came as an encouraging sign amid the Greek team’s attempt to maintain its team spirit now that most of its stars have signed with major clubs around Europe.

Revision is needed if the team is to preserve or build on its recent successes at the 2004 Athens Olympics and the World Championships a year later. The Greek team ended a respectable sixth at both events. Back then, every national team member played club-level handball in Greece, which made the regrouping process for national team duty a relatively simple process.

The Greek team would typically gather for an entire month before competition for preparations. With the club-level commitments of all players being local, the sport’s local federation could manage the national team’s affairs smoothly by interrupting the Greek competition to promote the national squad’s interests.

Subsequently, the Greek team was a closely knit unit, players enjoyed daily contact, lots of training, and considerable friendly competition ahead of the real thing.

As for today, some 90 percent of the team’s regular starters have moved to foreign clubs, primarily in Germany, Spain and Switzerland, where handball’s strongest leagues in the world are. On an individual level, the abilities of the foreign-based Greek players have risen to higher levels. Ironically, this personal gain stands as a threat to the national team because it may have lost some of its unity.

With most of its players committed to major European clubs around the continent, the Greek team nowadays gets about a week, at most, to prepare for official games. The national team currently faces the challenges of a transitional stage, which it must overcome for more success in the future. New incentives are needed now that the majority of players have reached their objectives of transferring to prominent foreign clubs.

Yachting in Greece set to keep its course in growth January 15, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Business & Economy, Tourism.
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Yachting in Greece has enjoyed considerable growth in recent years, according to Hellastat, with favorable prospects for further expansion.

The statistics firm stresses that Greece is among the first countries in the Mediterranean where yachting began to develop, along with France, Turkey, Italy and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).

The sector shows impressive growth rates, with the 34 enterprises that rent out recreation boats having registered a 71 percent rise in turnover in 2004 compared with 2001. Most companies in the sector are active in renting sailing ships or catamarans of various sizes. Due to great differences in ship sizes, and in the demand for their rental, the sector’s companies have an average fleet of 30 to 40 vessels. However, the biggest firms possess fleets that reach up to 200 to 230 vessels, with the 100 vessels considered the minimum number for a company to supply the right mix of products and be competitive. The age of boats for rent ranges from three to five years old, with a maximum age of seven years. In 1998-2004, the average age of boats for rent stood at 28 months.

The Hellastat survey highlights the dynamic presence of the sector’s big firms at the major yachting exhibitions, with those held in Paris and Dusseldorf being the most important, followed by those in London, Gothenburg, Stockholm and Hamburg. During these shows, new types of boats are presented by shipbuilding firms, orders are made and, crucially, some 70 percent of chartering deals are sealed with major international agents.

Certainly another significant factor in the market is that in the last few years the use of the Internet has taken a considerable portion of bookings. The survey suggests that, while bookings used to be made via agencies, resulting in the reduction of each company’s revenues by about 30 percent, now increased Internet use and the direct leasing of boats from companies has pushed agents aside and considerably reduced the costs of yachting companies.

Iron Maiden to play Greece in March January 15, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Music Life Live Gigs.
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Tickets go on sale January 16th


42 Panepistimiou Street (in the arcade)
Tel + 30 210 3608366
Monday to Friday 10:30- 21:00
Saturday 10:30 -16:00

66, Panepistimiou Street and 28th October (Patission) Street (Omonia Square) 
Tel + 30 210 3803030
Monday to Friday : 08.30 – 21.30
Saturday 08.30 – 20:00
73, Kifisias Avenue, Marousi (Cosmopolis Mall)
Tell + 30 210 6197690
Monday to Sunday : 14.00 – 24.00

20 Ethnikis Amynis Street
Tel +30 2310 253630
Monday & Wednesday 10:30 – 16:00
Tuesday , Thursday , Friday 10:30 -15:00 & 17:30 -20:30
Saturday 10:30 – 15:00

TICKETPRO.GR – www.ticketpro.gr

The Luxury Collection Hotels adds Santorini’s Mystique January 15, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Hotels Greece.
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Its sixth property in Greece 

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. announced today its latest addition to The Luxury Collection®, the exclusive Mystique hotel, located in Santorini, Greece, under a long-term agreement with Greek property owner, Kanava SA.

The hotel, perched high on the cliffs of Oia, Santorini, is expected to open its doors in May of 2007.

With its awe-inspiring natural wonders and luminous sunsets, Santorini is considered by many to be one of the most spectacular of the Greek islands. Catering to the most discerning travellers, Mystique will offer unparalleled luxury in an exquisite setting. The hotel’s cliff-top location offers sweeping views of the clear-blue equatorial waters and dramatic vistas of the Aegean Caldera, a breathtaking sea-filled crater created by a collapsing volcano.

Visitors can sail into the six-mile wide, sunken caldera, which still smoulders with volcanic activity, to view the dizzying cliffs and picturesque, whitewashed villages hugging its rim. The Megaron Gyzi Museum, housed in a beautiful 17th century mansion, is a popular stopping-point for travellers curious to learn more about the island’s dramatic past, including the cataclysmic volcanic eruption of 1640 BC that created the island.

“We are very excited to be associated with a hotel as extraordinary as Mystique as part of The Luxury Collection’s ongoing strategy to provide the unique qualities of an independent hotel with the assurance and rewards of a global hotel brand,” said Roeland Vos, President, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Europe Africa & The Middle East. “Santorini is both an exciting and exotic destination, and this property has the potential to be one of the best hotels in Europe.”

Attractions in Santorini include the traditional settlement of Oia, located at the northernmost point of Santorini, high up on the cliff, as well as the peaceful town of Oia. Directly below the hotel is the beach of Ammoudi, offering views of the Burnt Islands across the bay. A twenty minute drive will take visitors to Thira, the island’s main town, packed with quaint shops and lively restaurants. Mystique offers convenient access to two transportation hubs, as it is just 11 miles from Santorini Airport and 12 miles from Athinios Port.

Mystique features 18 villas, carved into the cliff, with panoramic private terraces and unrivalled views of the ocean. The rooms combine tradition with modern conveniences: furnishings are lovingly handcrafted from materials including wood, local stone, glass and antique textiles, and guests will also enjoy flat screen televisions, wireless internet connections and CD players with surround sound. Guests will luxuriate in the villa’s whirlpool bathtubs and enjoy personal services including aromatherapy and private massages.

Mystique’s amenities include an outdoor infinity pool at the cliff’s edge, the poolside Aura terrace bar and the Secret wine cave, a dramatic wine cellar serving rare and indigenous vintages. At Charisma, Mystique’s gourmet restaurant, the chef uses only the freshest ingredients to season entrees with regional flavour. Guests seeking an intimate and dramatic setting for their nuptials can arrange to use the hotel’s own chapel.

“The Luxury Collection is the perfect brand for Mystique and an ideal partner, with a strong presence in Greece and a proven track record,” said Antonis Eliopoulos, Owner and CEO of Kanava SA. “Mystique will benefit from The Luxury Collection’s expertise in luxury properties as has its sister property, Vedema Resort.”

In addition to Mystique and Vedema Resort in Santorini, there are four other Luxury Collection hotels in Greece, including, Hotel Grande Bretagne and Hotel Arion in Athens, Santa Marina in Mykonos and Blue Palace on the island of Crete. For further information visit www.luxurycollection.com

For more information on Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., please visit www.starwoodhotels.com

A Greek style soap opera in Astoria January 15, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Media Radio TV.
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Lights, Camera, Honey Cookies > A Greek Style Soap Opera in Astoria  Andreas Georgiou and Sofia Karvela actors on the set of “On 31st Street”

Film crews seem to blanket New York these days, and on a balmy afternoon early this month, one of them was shooting in a most unlikely place: the concrete backyard of a two-story brick house on 23rd Street in Astoria.

As trucks and vans noisily ascended the Triborough Bridge in the very near background, the camera operators set up their shots under a netless basketball hoop. The crew assistants ferried coffee to higher-ups, and a stubbled young actor in a brown velvet blazer paced about, wearing an iPod. He had the magazine-ready looks of a soap opera actor, and that is what he was, the co-star of a Greek soap opera that chose this Greek-heavy neighborhood as its actual and on-screen location.

The jeans-clad director of the show, Demetri Demirakos, shouted orders at crew members and swore frequently in a good-natured way. The occupant of the house, a portly, grinning man, hovered about, munching on crew-provided doughnuts and occasionally peering down from an upstairs window. Earlier in the day, his mother had prepared soup for the female lead and melomakarona, or Greek honey cookies, for the crew. All of Astoria has the welcome mat out.

“People, they keep calling the office,” said George Stamou, the executive producer of the show, which is called “On 31st Street”. “They say, ‘If you need cars, if you need a house, we will help.’ ” He paused. “One said, ‘I’ll send my yaya,’ ” he recalled, using a Greek word for grandmother.

The title of the program, which will air on the Mega Channel in Greece and its satellite channels worldwide, refers to the commercial strip in Astoria that sits under the elevated tracks of the N and W trains and serves as the backbone of New York’s Greek community. The show, which has scenes in Greek and English, attempts to echo the experience of many Greek newcomers to the city through the life of a character named Christina, a young woman from a wealthy family who breaks off an engagement in Greece to find a new life in America.

After running away from her initial boardinghouse, which is occupied by drunken and ornery Brooklynites, Christina, played by Sofia Karvela, meets Alex, a dashing Greek-American who seems to hold the same promise as the city he inhabits. The two then have 26 episodes’ worth of adventures together, taking them to as-yet-undisclosed locations across the borough, the country and the world. The producers and stars of the show are mum about where, and why.

For some of the young stars of the show, it is their first time acting, or even living, in the United States. Andreas Georgiou, 24, the young man in the blazer, plays Alex; he won a talent program in Greece called “Dream Show” and has attracted at least one fan club on the Web. He spent his own money to travel to New York and star in the soap opera, which he also produces.

“It’s kind of an investment for me,” Mr. Georgiou said as he waited for his scene to begin, his spiky black hair set just so. He has taken up residence in Astoria and seems to enjoy life in the United States. At one point, referring to a prominent Greek-American actress, he said in an awestruck tone, “We had lunch with Olympia Dukakis!”

George Delis, the district manager of Community Board 1, noted that Astoria and its inhabitants are no strangers to filmmaking. Just before “On 31st Street” began filming, he said, Uma Thurman was in the neighborhood doing scenes for a coming movie, “The Accidental Husband.” And Mr. Delis himself had a tiny part in “A Bronx Tale,” the 1993 film that Robert De Niro directed and starred in.

Now, Mr. Delis is anticipating another turn before the camera. “Demetri said I was going to be a gangster in his program,” Mr. Delis said, referring to the show’s director. “I said, ‘Why not? It’d be nice.’ ”

Astoria residents and Greeks worldwide will have to wait until October to see Alex and Christina set off on their adventures. As for the day the program will air, Mr. Stamou, the executive producer, said that decision was easy. “Mondays,” he declared. “On Greek TV, that’s prime time.”