Saturday, November 4, 2017

Return to Monasteraki, Athens - revisit with Tri-X film

During my 2016 trip to Greece, I revisited the Monasteraki district of Athens, the crowded urban core of the city. I have been there before many times, but the old twisty streets and mixture of early 20th century buildings and modern concrete monstrosities warrant careful exploration. The main commercial street is Athenas, a straight line which connects Monasteraki plaza to Omonia Square, but the side streets that branch off of Athenas have no obvious grid or pattern - they are confusing.
Pallados Street
This time, I was struck by how much worse the graffiti was. I know people object to the austerity and cutbacks imposed by the EU in exchange for loaning Greece money, but defacing their once handsome city does not serve anyone's interests nor make much of  a statement (except that they are swine).
Trendy ladies on Pallados.
Some of the street art is slightly interesting. Note how the building is triangle-shaped to fit in one of the odd corner lots.
Junk (antiques) shop on Aristogonos.

There is a cluster of flea-market-style shops on Aristogonos, off Athenas. Not really much of interest, but they seem to stay in business. Many of them now are owned or staffed by Middle-Eastern men. It is not a nice atmosphere, and there is a lot of dirt and debris on the streets.
The metro runs from Piraeus (the harbor) through downtown and on the the suburb of Kiffisias.
This is approximately the same location, photographed in 1951 or 1952.
A trip downtown is never complete without a visit to the Central Market (click the link for an earlier article).
After you are done watching the fish mongers chopping up fish or arranging octopi, stop at one of the small restaurants in the Market to tuck in to fresh grilled sardines and some Retsina.

The square photographs were taken with a Rolleiflex 3.5E camera on Kodak Tri-X 400 film. The 1951 photograph of the metro is from a Leica IIIC 35mm camera, film stock possibly an Agfa emulsion. The IIIC has recently been overhauled and is back in operation.

No comments:

Post a Comment