Moment vs. Narrative. // Legacy vs. Autobiography.

Hello from the sunny city of Athens!  After practically no troubles with my travels (yes, be jealous) I made it to my apartment in Athens, Greece.  I am living just a scenic walk away from the Acropolis and a hop skip and a jump away from the trendy zones of Psiri and Plaka.

After an awkward taxi ride up and down the same street twice, we found our humble abode tucked behind a few store fronts.  And by up and down, I mean the taxi driver would drive, then reverse, drive then reverse, turning around to follow the flow of traffic is overrated anyway…people move out of your way when they have to…I have a cute view of white squared off houses with giant silver centipede-shaped mechanisms on top of them.  A roof just below mine dons a nice big set of barbells, bench pressing anyone?  It’s all sun, and a nice 85 degrees.  After getting settled in, our greek guide shows us the main streets in our neighborhoods, and the hot spots for some nighttime fun.  We set of the grocery store and fill our refrigerators.

The jetlag has left us too tired to plan, but too pumped to stop.  So, we wander.  This right looks cool, oh that left could work, oh look, its The Panathenaic Stadium, initially constructed (though ruined and rebuilt twice) in the fourth century BC.  Flip through a few pages of the tour book.  Right, it was the first stadium construed for the athletic contests, the Olympics.

Take a right here, and another right, and we hit crowds of people.  Maybe we are near something popular?  We keep walking.  We are on the street surrounding the Acropolis, a street full of outdoor cafes and touristy shops.

You get the picture.  Its ancient, beautiful, famous, packed, and important.  It’s Athens.  Now, it’s just my first day, so deep ideas are going to have to wait.  But, the city has information.  Nothing is overstated, in fact, much feels understated.  We are not talking Rome here.  There is no St. Peters square consuming you like a fish under a waterfall.  There is not a street beauty that makes you content to sit for hours in the most back water place you can find.  The city is known for its moments.  But I am still unsure of its narrative.  The people are not high fashion, loud-talking, or particular in any one way.  They don’t stare, you just walk by.

All of this after one day?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  But one thing is for sure, I feel like this city lets people in by presenting its legacy, not its conclusive autobiography.  That may be a bit abstract, but it means I will get an uncensored look into the city’s guts; through its architectural history, through its artistic treasures.  I’m not sure what I fill find, but I will be allowed to find it.


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