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Hellenic hors d’oeuvre to savor May 25, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Food Recipes.
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Try your own Greek delicacy of botargo, cured gray mullet roe, known as karasumi in Japanese, served in a “purse” of smoked salmon tied with leek by following this recipe from chef Konstantinos Vasalos.

Ingredients to serve four
4 slices of smoked salmon
1 blanched leek
1 slice toast (crusts removed, soaked in water)
6 g onion
1 egg yolk
30 g botargo (avgotaraho)
12 ml lemon juice
15 ml olive oil
75 ml fresh cream
1/2 sheet gelatin

The method
1) After soaking the gelatin in cold water, soften it by transferring it into a small amount of boiling water. Make an incision in each salmon slice to form a “purse.”
2) Place the toast, egg yolk and botargo in a food processor and mix.
3) Transfer the above into a bowl and mix in lemon juice and olive oil bit by bit the way you would when making mayonnaise.
4) Mix the gelatin and fresh cream into the above and refrigerate for 2 hours.
5) Tie the opening of the above with the leek and place it on a plate. Pour lemon juice on top before serving.

A taste of Greece in Japan May 25, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Food Greece, Hellenic Light Asia.
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Greek cuisine could set a trend in Slow Food and healthy eating in the same way that Japanese cuisine has in low-fat food if the Mediterranean nation succeeds in a worldwide push to promote the hearty fare.

To that end, the government flew Konstantinos Vasalos, executive chef of the prestigious Greek Yacht Club, into Tokyo last month to showcase Greek food, both traditional and modern, in tandem with Kiyomi Mikuni, a celebrated French cuisine chef and Greek culinary expert.

Although Greek cooking, known for extensive use of olive oil, seasonal vegetables and fresh herbs, shares similarities with Italian and Spanish cuisines, its distinguishing characteristic is its rustic heartiness, “a taste of home,” as described by Mikuni, head of Shinjuku’s Hotel de Mikuni.

“Cooking today has become too complicated, and confusing,” Mikuni lamented. “In Greek cuisine lies the essence of Slow Food. Eating what’s in season is good for your health. You’ll find what’s important in life when you go to Greece.”

Surprisingly, Greek and Japanese cuisines share a number of similarities: Octopus is widely eaten, with fish traditionally being the main protein source. The Greeks, like Japanese, also savor raw sea urchin and botargo (karasumi in Japanese), which is cured gray mullet roe and a highly prized delicacy. But above all, the two cuisines share the underpinning philosophy of using the freshest ingredients and minimizing interference with their natural flavors, Vasalos said, adding: “Japanese food reflects a love of nature that Greeks share.”

“A Taste of Greece,” organized by the Hellenic Foreign Trade Board (HEPO) and the Greek National Tourism Organization, arrived in Tokyo last month following its launch in New York last autumn. The campaign is intended to promote Greek olive oil, cheeses, herbs, wines and other agricultural products. “It’s simple but never plain,” agrees Aglaia Kremezi, author of the award-winning “The Foods of Greece.”

The Tokyo promotion began with a dinner hosted by The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan, where Vasalos cooked some of his original recipes for more than 120 guests, including Greek Transport and Communication Minister Michael Lapis, on an official visit to Japan. Vasalos’ five-course feast began with a mousse featuring botargo. This was served in a “purse” of smoked salmon tied with a leek. At the Yacht Club, he routinely uses sliced raw serranid instead. Kozani saffron soup followed, then came calamari “spaghetti” with feta cheese and a modern moussaka, free of the high-calorie bechamel sauce traditionally used, served with fresh tomato coulis. The dessert was an ice-cream filled Greek beignet, deep-fried pastry, served with Greek thyme honey sauce.

“The food was excellent,” the Greek Minister commented as he left. “It was the best dinner I’ve ever had at this club,” said Chuck Lingam, an FCCJ Life Member.

For Vasalos’ cooking demonstration held last month in front of more than 30 chefs from hotels and restaurants in Tokyo and Osaka, Mikuni joined in with his own Greek-inspired recipes. Mikuni prepared two dishes, one featuring octopus and ratatouille, and the other sea bass, ouzo, an aniseed-based alcoholic drink, and Greek beer, followed by Vasalos who cooked five traditional dishes including spanakopita, Greek spinach pie with feta cheese, and deep fried cod fillets with garlic sauce.

“This is how my mother made it,” said Vasalos, as he poured olive oil over the spanakopita, which is on the menu at the well-heeled yacht owner’s club, where the late Aristotle Onassis was a member and the President of Greece, Karolos Papoulias, is currently the patron.

Chefs from the Grand Prince Hotel, Tokyo Disney Sea and more than two dozen other restaurants in Tokyo and Osaka are expected to introduce “a taste of Greece” in their eateries over the next 14 months.

“The demonstration was very easy to follow,” said Yoshitaka Fukushima, assistant manager of Hotel Kintetsu Universal City in Osaka, as he walked away with a Vasalos-Mikuni recipe book distributed by the organizers. Kazuo Kogoshi, a chef from Grand Prince Hotel New Takanawa, commented: “Cooking methods aren’t too complicated. It should be easy enough to adapt some of them for our restaurant.”

“I’d like to present my recipes to those who love food, said Vasalos, who was brought up on Sifnos island, about 100 km southeast of Athens, where he relished home-baked bread and slow-roasted chick peas in a wooden fired oven for Sunday lunch. “Modern cooking, in many cases, has lost a sense of purpose. It doesn’t feed the soul.”

HEPO named its gastronomic promotion Kerasma, meaning “a treat” in Greek, as the sharing of food with families or friends, at home or tavernas, is a way of life in Greece.

“As long as families remain at the core of the society, and grandmothers remain active in the kitchen, good food will survive,” said Vasalos, who learned cooking from his mother. “In Greece, too, there is a battle between yesterday’s values and today’s, and if yesterday’s win it will be good for everyone,” he continued.

In the meantime, over the last few years Vasalos’ cooking has seen some Japanese influence, particularly in presentation techniques, he said, concluding: “I’d like to come back here to explore Japanese food. I’d like to refine Greek cuisine the way Mikuni did French cuisine.”

For more information in English or Japanese on the “A Taste of Greece” campaign in Japan, visit www.visitgreece.jp/gourmet/gourmet5.html For information in English on the campaign worldwide, visit www.kerasma.gr 

Rock in Athens > More than 50 reasons to rock this summer! May 25, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Music Life Live Gigs.
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You will be surprised! More than 50 live gigs in Athens and counting! Despite the fact that you will require a fortune in case you would be interested in attending all the gigs, take our suggestion > choose the ones tou really do not want to miss. Summer is great and gets greater with rock music! So, here’s a short (?) list of what you may want to see > 

Thin Lizzy at Gagarin, 30 May (tickets at 35 euro), Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark – OMD two days later, to sing “Enola Gay… You should have stayed home yesterday” plus more of their classics in a Greatest Hits Show at Lycabettus Theater.  (Tickets presale at 30 euro for a limited number. Tickets at box office will cost 40 euro).

Waterboys, at Vrachon Theater on 9 June, see them singing Whole of the Moon. (tickets 30 to 40 euro). Continue with electronic music, Faithless at the Lycabettus Theater on 12 June, while on same day at Vrachon Theater, Ska Cubano will take you on a Carribean cruise via their music, support is our own local band Locomondo. (tickets at 25 euro presale, 35 euro at box office).

Next day, at the Olympic Fencing Centre, in Ellinikon, for an endless head banging by the legendary Motorhead (40 euro presale, 45 at the box office) and from there then rush straight-forward to the Lycabettus Theater on 14 June, where Placebo will perform all their greatest hits as well as their fantastic Meds. (45 euro for a live performance of Post Blue). It’s in the water, baby…

Keep strong as on 16 June the first summer festival opens, the Ejekt Festival going strong on its third year and celebrates with one of the best line up in history, its own and many others. Madness, Underworld and Beastie Boys. With no other introductions.  At the Olympic Baseball Venue in Hellinikon. (tickets 60 euro presale, 70 at the box office).

OK, one day to rest and let’s continue. The first Scorpions Festival, 18 June, at the Karaiskaki Stadium in Faliron, with the Scorpions of course and line up Juliette and the Licks, actress’ Juliette Lewis group, and Joe Cocker with support a local Greek group. (tickets 40 euro for the arena, 50 euro and 80 euro for VIP).

Change music style! On 19 June let’s go to the ancient Herod of Atticus Theater, at the Acropolis foothill for the concert of one of the greatest American avant garde scene.  Laurie Anderson presents in a multimedia environment, her new work titled “Homeland”, within the frames of the Hellenic Athens Festival.

OK, show just a little patience for one more day and… School’s out for summer. Alice Cooper, will make us remember all the hits of our first music years, on stage on 21 June at the Lycabettus Theater. Bring along your sleeping bags, because on the next day at the same venue, Jethro Tull and Ian Anderson’s magic flute are aiming to rock you! (Tickets for each one of the shows 40 euro presale, 45 at the box office). Too old to rock, too young to die, but I don’t wanna miss them!

Back to the Karaiskaki Stadium on 23 June for a melody yet strong live by Evanescence (tickets from 44 euro) or, as an alternative, stay and sleep at the Lycabettus Theater, to honor the extra-ordinary Dolores O’Riordan, known also as… the voice of Cranberries, who also follows a solo carreer. (30 euro presale, 40 at the box office). 

Talking about two different live shows on the same day, exactly two days later, on 25 June, the Buena Vista Social Club from Cuba, will fill up the air of the Olympic Softball Venue, with their unique music. Their last year’s live was sold out so move fast, while Oscar awarded Ennio Morricone will be performing live at the Panathinaic or “Kallimarmaro” Stadium.

On the next day, unique Ayo will perform “Down on my Knees” and other hits from her album “Joyful” at the Lycabettus Theater (tickets 30 euro), while on 27 June, Spanish tenor Placido Domingo will perform live at the Panathinaic or “Kallimarmaro” Stadium in aid for the children in Darfur, Africa, organized by the Médecins Sans Frontières Greece Association (Doctors With No Borders), see related link. (tickets from 50 euro).

Indian ladies Cocorosie on 29 June, on their second Athens visit, to present their brand new album “The Adventures Of Ghosthorse And Stillborn” at the Rematias Theater in Chalandri, with support from our own locals Mary and the Boy. (25 and 30 euro presale, 35 euro at the box office).

On same day, the Rockwave Festival 2007, opens with legendary names, most expected appearances and a few more surprises! Just in any case, let us remind you some of them > On the first day, 29 June, Robert Plant, Chris Cornell and Europe, on the second day known also as the heavy duty, 1 July, Kinetic, Anathema, Dream Theater, Iced Earth and Heaven and Hell or Black Sabbath with Dio replacing Ozzy, and on the third day, 3 July, Metallica, Stone Sour, Mastodon and Dirt Spawn Disease. (Ticket prices start from 50 euro for each one of the two first days, from 60 euro for the third day and from 135 euro for the three days). 

On 30 June at the Vrachon Theater, will meet the father of funk George Clinton with the P-Funk All Stars (from 30 euro presale, 40 euro at the box office) while during the short brake in-between the Rockwave Festival, the Groove Armada will perform on 2 July at the Lycabettus Theater. “Μy friend”, “Superstyling”, “I see you babe”, “At the river”, “Madder”, “Purple Haze” and other happy hits to be played in celebrating the group’s 10 years.

One day later, the voice behind the soundtrack of “Freda” film, Mexican Lila Downs begins her European tour from the Garden Theater at Papagou. (tickets 30 euro presale, 35 at the box office). If you are fascinated by her ethnic touch, then continue to the ancient Herod of Atticus Theater, where the “soul of Lebanon” Fairuz, performs on 5 July, within the frames of the Hellenic Athens Festival.

On 5 July, two new festivals open. The first one, Gagarin Open Air Festival, will last six days so that to include 20 (!) concerts by many favorite Greek and foreign artists. Iggy and the Stooges, Kaiser Chiefs, Calexico, Yiannis Aggelakas & the  Visitors, The Last Drive, Diafana Krina, Pavlos Pavlidis & B-Movies, Mudhoney, Paradise Lost, Soulsavers feat. Mark Lanegan, Sophie Solomon, Beirut, Type O Negative, Joe Satriani, Rotting Christ, The Long Blondes, Good Shoes, Dinos Sadikis, Lost Bodies… and still counting. From 5 to 11 July, at the Olympic Baseball Venue in Hellinikon. Ticket prices are variable, depending on the line up of each day, and are about 30 to 50 euro.

The second festival is titled Barcelona in Athens and brings us the Ojos de Brugo, Palyrria and Notios Echos at the Vrachon “Melina Merkouri” Theater. Tickets 25 euro presale, 35 euro at the box office. One day after, the brit pop group Saint Etienne, formed by ex-music journalists, will perform at the Vrachon Theater.

On 8 July, Cesaria Evora will perform at the Petras International Festival, in Petroupolis, (tickets 35 euro presale, 40 euro at the box office) while on 10 July Elvis Costello and Allen Toussaint will present the album “The river in reverse”, as the result of their last cooperation, at the Herod of Atticus Theater, within the frames of the Hellenic Athens Festival.

We have about a week’s time to rest, we kindly ask all concert organizers, in case something new comes up as a live gig, to add it in these free days!, on 17 July a brand new festival opens aiming to hit the monopoly of the rock scene and live gigs in Athens. This festival is titled Fly Beeyond. Youthful, fresh, presents quite interesting names at the Olympic OAKA Sports Complex Stadium’s Wall of Nations, the last (?) summer music festival. So, let’s go! First day, 17 July, Avril Lavigne and The Rasmus, second day 18 July, James, Air and Tori Amos, third day 19 July, Pink and Sugababes. Tickets 60 euro for each day, 90 euro for two days and 110 for the three days.

On 25 July with the legendary Blues Brothers, at the Olympic Softball Venue in Hellinikon, Norah Jones at the Herod of Atticus Theater, or Dee dee Bridgewater at the Lycabettus Theater. The choice is yours! Whoever discovers the way to be present simultaneously in three different gigs, is kindly requested to inform us!

And, not to forget, on 26 July, at the Olympic OAKA Stadium, ladies and gentlemen, MR GEORGE MICHAEL! In one and only live in Athens! The Greek-Cypriot singer, at last in Greece! Ticket prices from 50 to 200 euro. And, in between us, I have already booked my tickets! Smart guy, eh? See you there!

And last but not least! We don’t stop here! More names which we hear that will perform live in Athens, but not yet confirmed, include those of Zucchero, Lucio Dalla, Snoop Doggy Dog, Cypress Hill, Patti Smith, Natalie Cole, Lou Reed, and keep your fingers crossed, Red Hot Chili Peppers. Also worthy to note is the Synch Festival, on 14 and 15 July, under the umbrella, for this year, of the Hellenic Athens Festival. More information and details… soon to be confirmed!

Related Links >

http://www.i-ticket.gr/main/mainframe.jsp

http://www.ticketnet.gr

http://www.ticketpro.gr

http://www.didimusic.gr

http://www.ejekt.gr

http://www.gagarin205.gr

http://www.rockwavefestival.gr

The Official page of Doctors With No Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres > http://www.msf.gr/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1562&Itemid=162

For Placido Domingo’s concert tickets, call 210 7234567, or www.ticketservices.gr.

Scorpions to rock Athens again May 25, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Music Life Live Gigs.
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Germany’s veteran band is set to inaugurate its own festival in the Greek capital on June 18 > Eccentric artist Joe Cocker will be accompanied by a big band and a group of female backup singers on the night

What if they have played in Athens three years in a row? Germany’s legendary hard-rock band the Scorpions will hit town once more for yet another performance at the Karaiskaki Stadium on June 18, equipped with a brand-new album. This time, the show promises to be different: the act will be inaugurating its very first Scorpions Festival, where it will be joined by acclaimed seasoned artist Joe Cocker as well as Juliette and the Licks, actress Juliette Lewis’s rock band, and a young local band, selected through a competition.

“It feels great to be back on stage and play new songs to an audience,” said the band’s vocalist Klaus Meine at a recent press conference. The room was packed with journalists from all over Greece, many of whom had brought along old Scorpions albums, even vinyls, to have them signed by the singer.

“We have a special relationship with our fans in Greece,” said Meine, who went on to describe the Greek audience as “emotional and wild.” “It is nice to give something back to our fans by giving the opportunity to a young talent to play in front of a big audience.” Out of the three local bands that made it to the final round of the competition, Casus Belli, Hannibal and Planet Zero, Meine selected Hannibal, after listening to all three play at the Stavros tou Notou music venue.

Little needs to be said about Germany’s most famous rockers, who have been going on steadily since the release of their first album in the early 70s. Powerful hits such as “Rock You Like a Hurricane” and “No One Like You” but also melodic ballads such as “Holiday” and the ever-popular “Wind of Change” turned them into rock icons. “Even at my age I know ‘The Wind of Change” said German Ambassador in Greece Wolfgang Schultheiss, who was present at the press conference. He added that the festival, which falls under the aegis of the German Embassy, will also inaugurate the Weeks of German Culture, a series of events promoting various aspects of the German way of life.

The eccentric Woodstock veteran Joe Cocker needs no introduction either. His career may have gone through numerous rough patches, mostly due to his battle against alcohol and drugs, but his unique and highly distinctive voice has produced timeless hits like “Unchain my Heart” and “You Can Leave your Hat On”.

Following a very successful Hollywood career, with memorable performances in films such as Oliver Stone’s “Natural Born Killers” and Martin Scorsese’s “Cape Fear” alongside Robert De Niro, actress Juliette Lewis felt drawn to music and formed Juliette and the Licks in 2003. So far, the rock band has performed in 20 different countries, alongside Social Distortion, Courtney Love and Turbonegro and has also teamed up with the Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl.

Neither Joe Cocker nor Juliette and the Licks will be making mere guest appearances. It looks like the festival will turn into an all-night event and Cocker is scheduled to perform for an hour and a half, accompanied by a big band and a group of female backup singers.

Yet another highlight is that the Scorpions will be reuniting on stage with their former guitarist Uli Jon Roth, promising their older fans a journey back to the group’s early days. Meine pointed out that they will not be playing all of their older songs, as there is material they just don’t touch anymore for different reasons. “We will start with songs from the new record, but of course we will also be playing all the classics. We will take you through the history of the Scorpions, it will be a very long show.”

The Scorpions’ new album, “Humanity: Hour I” a collaboration with well-known producer and songwriter Desmond Child, is scheduled for official release today. “The songs are connected by the global theme of humanity. As artists we will never stop believing that we can make a change all together, if we reach out especially to the young generation. We hope the world can become a more peaceful place,” said Meine. He explained that the album cover, which features a cyborg, half-human, half-machine, represents the band which is walking on the edge and does not know what the future holds. The band met up with Child, who has collaborated with the likes of Aerosmith, Kiss, Bon Jovi and Meatloaf, while working in California last year. “He was on top of our wish list. He told us, ‘You may have a German passport, but for me you are part of the international rock family,’” said Meine.

The band members, who hope to turn this festival into an institution, have strong faith in the power of rock music. Meine recalled a show in the then Soviet Union, in the late 80s, when people drove for hours to watch them play. “People had different views about how they wanted to live in Russia, before the wall came down. Rock music had an impact on them growing up, it represented freedom.”

Tickets can be purchased at Ticket House, 42 Panepistimiou Street, Athens, at Virgin Megastores, Village Cinemas and at Karaiskaki Stadium’s Gate 25.

Problems with buying over the Net May 25, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Internet & Web.
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The President of the Hellenic Internet Users Association (EEXI), Nikos Vassilakos, when referring to the security issue, stressed that, “unfortunately, as in society, there are risks on the Internet,” even though he himself regularly makes purchases online. “What is shown in films does not happen but if you’re not careful, someone might take advantage of a slip-up.”

Codes and passwords should be kept secret and users should check credit card accounts for suspicious debits. The EEXI is planning to set up a Digital Services Consumer Union which will provide legal protection for users and handle complaints.

According to the National Statistics Service, only 4.8 percent of users who conducted transactions over the Internet encountered problems. Most complaints concerned delivery delays (47.6 percent), unsatisfactory response to a complaint (25.4 percent) or difficulty finding information on product guarantees (18.4 percent). Non-delivery of orders is the largest problem in the European electronic market, comprising 46 percent of complaints received last year by the European Consumer Centers Network (ECC-Net), an EU-wide network to promote consumer confidence.

Greeks discover e-life and change consumer habits May 25, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Internet & Web.
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Greeks discover e-life and start changing consumer habits, but only 4.5 percent make purchases online > Greeks are starting to buy and bank from home but are still way behind the transaction rate in other European countries

The four walls of the home have opened up to welcome the World Wide Web, where one can get information, have fun, conduct banking transactions, submit tax forms and do some shopping.

Last Wednesday morning, George had a University class as part of his postgraduate course, then he went shopping to let off steam. Afterward, he paid some bills, began the process of renewing his passport and at long last completed his tax declaration. Time to browse the paper over a coffee and then off to buy his groceries at the supermarket. Yet the previous Wednesday, George had not budged from his home; he had sat at his desk and done everything with the click of a button.

This might sound surprising but almost everything can now be done via the Internet. Over 35,000 users read over 250,000 articles every day on Greek on-line newspapers such as the daily Kathimerini. The Internet is not only for information purposes either, it is also used for entertainment such as downloading a book while listening to music on the radio, participating in a chat forum or a market research survey and for shopping, from supermarket necessities to buying a concert ticket. Bank transactions can also be conducted via e-banking, outstanding tax matters can be settled via TAXISnet, University courses can be followed with the countless possibilities offered online by institutes worldwide, colleagues can be contacted vie e-mail and, why not?, you can even fall in love online.

Many of the above operations are just a substitute for the real thing, no matter how easy it is to look at something on the screen, reading a book in the flesh offers a different kind of enjoyment. In some cases though, online activities are not mere substitutes. How would it be possible for example to gather all the civil engineers in Greece and for them to discuss issues that concern their profession other than via a website? Similarly, market research nowadays can be effectively conducted electronically.

Can somebody live their life entirely on the Internet? «A year ago we wouldn’t have been able to say this in Greece,» said Association of Hellenic Internet Users President Nikos Vassilakos. «Today, though, the possibilities offered are considerable and in a few years time someone will be able to ‘live’ their life on the Internet to a large extent. Already, much of our daily routine, everything that troubles us and pleases us, is available online.»

However, only a small percentage of Greeks take advantage of the possibilities offered by the Internet. Despite the upward trend worldwide, e-commerce increased by 25 percent in the US last year with a profit of 220 billion dollars, and an increase in Internet users in Greece, e-commerce has remained unchanged for the last two years. Last year only 4.5 percent of the general population, according to a recent VPRC survey, made a purchase online either from a Greek or foreign site, mainly for tickets, hotel bookings, car rental, books, newspapers, magazines and computer consumables. The corresponding figure for 2004 was 3 percent.

According to the Observatory on the Information Society, orders and purchases placed electronically with Greek companies employing over 10 workers accounted for only 7.2 and 9.4 percent of their respective totals. In a survey conducted by the National Statistics Service, the main factor inhibiting Greeks is buying habits (58 percent) followed by insecurity (44.9 percent).

Likewise, only 8 percent of citizens conduct transactions with public services via the Internet, even though public departments have now made roughly 40 percent of their main services available online. According to the Observatory on the Information Society, Greeks use online public services for obtaining information and downloading and sending completed forms. However enterprises (with over 10 workers) actually prefer to conduct transactions with public services via the Internet, with a figure as high as 71 percent. In other countries, such as the United Kingdom, Austria, Sweden and Norway, it is possible to access virtually all services provided by public departments online.

E-banking though has been making inroads. Some 1.5 million bank customers are registered in the system. About 5 million transactions are conducted annually via the Internet, with capital movements totaling 13 billion euros. Of this amount, the largest proportion (10 million euros) involves transfers of capital within banks, while the remainder corresponds to capital transfers outside banks, remittances, payments etc, and stock market transactions.

Related Links > Association of Hellenic Internet Users www.eexi.gr

“Facade en Fete” features Greek, French graffiti projects May 25, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Events Greece.
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IFA celebrates 100 years with bold color “Facade en Fete” features Greek, French graffiti projects

The French Institute has invited acclaimed graffiti artists from France and Greece to adorn two facades in the urban landscape of Athens, the first at the IFA’s headquarters in Kolonaki and the other in the neighborhood of Kerameikos.

Centennial celebrations of the French Institute in Athens will add a dash of color to the urban landscape, as the esteemed cultural institution has invited a group of graffiti artists to work their wonders on the facade of the IFA’s building at 31 Sina Street in Kolonaki as well as on the facade of a building in the run-down Kerameikos district in central Athens at 11 Mykinon and Megalou Alexandrou Streets.

With work having started on the murals on May 19, the artists and the IFA invite the public to observe the progress of the artistic creation until the official unveiling on June 6 at 7 p.m. The unveiling will go hand-in-hand with a raffle draw for 10 original skateboards hand-painted by graffiti and comics artists Brain, Impe, Same, Why, Woozy and others. At the same time, the IFA will also inaugurate a skateboard and graffiti exhibition in the foyer.

The artists who will be participating in the mural projects are the Carpe Diem group, Woozy, Kidd96, Lazoo and Kongo.

Carpe Diem, a graffiti collective that invites artists from abroad to participate in large-scale projects, have already left their signature on the Greek capital with murals on Pireos Street and another on Ermou Street, marking Car-Free Day.

Athens-born Woozy belongs to the first generation of homegrown graffiti artists, setting off with his spray-paint cans at the age of 10 and organizing a youth movement for clean streets in 1993. Woozy has worked with crews in the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Thailand, the UK and Brazil, while Kidd96 was also born in Athens and is a designer for Carpe Diem magazine.

On the French side of the group, Lazoo was born in Paris in 1969 and began doing graffiti in 1989, gradually building up to a career as an illustrator and designer for a number of French magazines and record labels. In 1995 he joined the famed MACru group in Paris, contributing to their large-scale public mural projects and expanding his independent activities to advertising and video games. Lazoo has participated in several international exhibitions and is a co-founder of the Kosmopolite graffiti festival in France.

Kongo also joined MACru in 1989, specializing as a calligraphist and joining the founding team of Kosmopolite. He has toured China with the Eating Frogs festival and is an adviser in Paris’s “street culture” program.