Acropolis

I grew up in Neos Kosmos, Frantzi Str., until I was five. In 1980 we came to Acropolis, in a block of flats with the owners of which we were distant relatives.

I grew up in Neos Kosmos, Frantzi Str., until I was five. In 1980 we came to Acropolis, in a block of flats with the owners of which we were distant relatives.

We bought the house at one million drachmas, but we had to repair it. In the past this area was called Kolonaki, and this is mentioned in the contracts of the house, as my father told me. It was named after the pillar which is in the park behind my house. This was confirmed by Mr. Andreas, a friend of my father’s, who was 85 years old at the time (today he is 104). My elementary school was the 70thof Boras, as they used to call it back then. In the same school complex there were two elementary schools, the 70thand the 119thand a kindergarten. In the classroom we were all fond of one another, but we had a teacher, a little weird, who eventually retired. In his place came Mrs. Kassiani.

When we finished the elementary school, which was open both for morning and afternoon classes, because of the two schools, they divided us into two groups that were divided in the two Secondary schools in the area. One was the 14thin Koukaki where no one wanted to go because it was dilapidated.

The other one was the 1st Experimental school in Plaka. In primary school, I remember playing football in a place near the canteen and at the exit of the school, with friends. When we did not have a ball, we filled bottles from the canteen. Eventually I went to the 14thSecondary school, the dilapidated one, which was there from the WWII Occupation. Today, of course, with the efforts of parents, this school has become as good as new. I only stayed five days in this school, because my cousin, who was working in the Educational Company, with Babiniotis as their president, transcribed me to the 1stSecondary School, called Arsakio Tositsa. In the beginning, this school was for girls only, but when the Government became a shareholder, it became a coed, and it included boys from the public sector. There, I was in class A4, which was only for children from the public sector.

In the area of Acropolis, before the Museum was built, at the corner of Hatzichristou Str.up to Roberto Gali Str., there were shops like a souvlaki place, where I used to go with my grandfather George. There was a block of flats on the side of the museum on Makrigianni Pedestrian Street. There was even a café, which the State later closed. Next to the confiscated building, on the pedestrian street, there was a place where Greek, Rebetika and Cretan music were being played. Next to today’s “Rest” there was a record store from which I got my first cassettes. Where “Leonidas” is today, there was the “Open”, a shop with ice creams and refreshments. Next to it was “Gelato”. Where “Arcadia” today, there used to be a piano restaurant. At “Gelato” and “Open” I knew everyone. At that time, I met Babis, whom my girlfriend Katerina also knows. He was a printer, but because of an obligation, he worked as a security guard for a building in Diakos Str. He made me my first heavy metal t-shirt. He was 45 years old and I was 30. We still communicate, Babis and I. Christos, who owned the restaurant, left for the country of his wife, Saint Dominic. They would call me on my cell phone and say to me: “Come on here man, we’ll have a great feast.”

In the old days, a tram would pass by the Makrigianni Pedestrian Str. Decades later, there was a trolley line. Cars heading towards Thisio would pass through Dionisiou Areopagitou Str. The last stop of the bus 250 was also there.

Before the museum was built, when the Minister of Culture was Mr. Tatoulis, archaeologists complained about the choice of his place of creation, making marches. They even reached suicide attempts because they said that under the ground there was an ancient philosophical school. One morning, at dawn as I still remember, we went with Katerina at the Cafe owned by Nectarios next to Leonidas. There I met the engineers and some workers who worked in the construction of the museum, which the inhabitants of the area referred to as a monstrosity.

Important persons live in this area, such as ship-owners, industrialists and one of the Presidents of Democracy, Mr Zolotas. Also the actor Logothetis and his namesake, the cartoonist. Further ahead is the Spanish Embassy.

In the yard of Herodion, I remember, we used to play football with my friends and the guard was chasing us. With my father, we were even being mischievous, we went to the side next to Herodion and watched various performances until they put railings.

Further on by Dionysiou Areopagitou Str. is the church of Agia Sophia and next to it is the “Meropion” Foundation. After that is the “Dionysos” Theater and beyond, the “Dionysos” Restaurant, where all the high-ranking, industrial and politicians eat. They now go to the Museum’s restaurant. Once upon a time, the EOT cafeteria in Philopappou was near there, but now it is deserted. Right next to it is Agios Dimitrios Loupardiaris and on the top of the hill is an ancient sculpture.

At Filopapou there is the Observatory, the theater of Dora Stratou and the “IHOS & FOS.” On the rock of Pnykas there is a lot of people going for romantic escapades.

My area is in the center but also outside of it and I like that a lot. I do not want to ever leave this place. I forgot to say that with Katerina we were hanging out in the Café next to “Germanos” and our friend Vasilis used to go opposite from that, to another Café, whom we had met at a Day Center. Vasilis unfortunately died last year.

Our Group is located in Hatzihristou Str. and the whole area knows of us. We go to the Cafés and restaurants of the area very often and we are welcome everywhere.

 

Spyros

 

P.S.: My first individual meeting with my Advisor took place at the “Regal” Café, where we all go very often, everyone from the Group.

 

This was written by Spyros Stefanakis

Spyros passed away in 2016.

 

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