Σήμερα πήγα σε ένα πακιστανικό εστιατόριο στο κέντρο, δίπλα στη Βαρβάκειο, με την Sanne και τον Bart για το pre-weekend lunch. 3 μερίδες, μια σαλάτα και 3 chabati 11€. “You don’t want to know how much we would have to pay in The Netherlands for authentic Indian food” μου είπε η Sanne.
Ποτέ δεν είχα πάει σε πακιστανικό εστιατόριο στην Αθήνα.
Αύριο και το Σάββατο θα είναι το Spotters Weekend 2016, η διεθνής συνάντηση του Spotted by Locals που γίνεται κάθε 2 χρόνια. Φέτος θα γίνει στην Αθήνα, φαντάζομαι (και) επειδή οι ιδιοκτήτες και εμπνευστές του site μετακόμισαν πέρσι στην Αθήνα από το Αμστελόδαμο (παλιός εξελληνισμός του Amsterdam).
Με τη Sanne και τον Bart, το ζευγάρι αυτό των Ολλανδών, έχουμε συνεργαστεί πολύ καλά και φέτος, εκτός από το ότι θα συμμετάσχω για πρώτη φορά από τότε που ξεκίνησα να είμαι Spotter, τους βοηθάω με τη διοργάνωση. Κλείνω τραπέζια σε ταβέρνες, σουβλατζίδικα, κάβες με πολλά καλούδια, κάλεσα τον πολύ αγαπητό και ταλαντούχο Σταύρο Συμεωνίδη για την εικαστική κάλυψη, και στήσαμε βέβαια το walk με τους 5 ξεναγούς μας – τον Θανάση, ο οποίος κατέληξε μετά την πρώτη μας συνάντηση να μου πουλήσει το ποδήλατο του (πολλοί ανωστρεφείς αντίχειρες), την Ειρήνη, την street art expert ψυχολόγα μας, τον Ορέστη, τον τρελάρα συμφοιτητή από τη Μυτιλήνη, την Atenista Νάντια και την γευσιγνώστρια-ηθοποιό μας Κατερίνα. Αυτοί θα είναι οι ξεναγοί που αγκυροβολημένοι σε σημεία-κλειδιά θα μυήσουν τους 105 καλεσμένους μας από 51 πολείς στα μυστικά της Αθήνας.
Η διοργάνωση του weekend έχει πάρει αρκετό από τον χρόνο μου τους τελευταίους μήνες – ήδη είχα ξεκινήσει τη δουλειά από τον Αύγουστο, αρκετές εβδομάδες πριν απολυθώ από τον στρατό- αλλά είμαι ενθουσιασμένος για όλα αυτά και ανυπομονώ να τους γνωρίσω όλους και να περάσουμε αξέχαστα. Πολλά ευχαριστώ στον Νίκο Παλαβατσίνη της Κιμωλίας, συνάδερφο Spotter, χωρίς τη βοήθεια του οποίου δεν θα είχα καταφέρει να βρω σημαντικό μέρος της ομάδας μου για το weekend.
Κάτι άλλο: το Youtube και ο άβολα έξυπνος αλγόριθμος δημιουργίας playlist του μετά τους Red Sparowes με έστειλε στους Pelican, σε αυτό τον δίσκο που λινκάρω παραπάνω και παρακάτω. Όλα τα comments έλεγαν για το πόσο καλά ακούγεται σε ταχύτητα 1.5x, και είχαν δίκιο. Δοκιμάστε κι εσείς τον πειραματισμό με τη μουσική και την ανακάλυψη νέων τρόπων αναπαραγωγής που μας επιτρέπει η HTML5.
Καλό μήνα. Το ξέρατε ότι υπάρχει ποδηλατόδρομος που συνδέει το Φάληρο με το Γκάζι; Ξεκινάει από εκεί που στρίβει στην Λεωφ. Ποσειδώνος το 218 περίπου, περνάει δίπλα από τον Ιλισσό μέσα από το Μοσχάτο και την Καλλιθέα (και συνεχίζει από το σημείο που ο Ιλισσός είναι καλυμένος και «εξωραϊσμένος») και από τον Ταύρο μέσα από τα Πετράλωνα και μέχρι την Τεχνόπολη είναι δίπλα στον Ηλεκτρικό.
Χτες έκανα την απόσταση Ψυρρή – Καλλιθέα (στη Δοϊράνης, δίπλα στη Νέα Σμύρνη) σε 15 λεπτά. No tickets, twice the speed, thrice the exercise!
Θέλουν να κάνουν και προέκταση του ποδηλατόδρομου από το Γκάζι μέχρι την Κηφισιά, πάνω-κάτω σαν έναν αντικατοπτρισμό της υπάρχουσας διαδρομής του ηλεκτρικού. Περιμένουμε!
Yesterday, after the continued insistence of various different people I would not have in my mind otherwise associated with each other, I listened to Goat for the first time.
What was putting me off? My best understanding is that it must have been something in the band’s name–the only clue I’d been given–that made me believe their music would be dark and difficult to get into, the diametrically opposite genre to easy-listening, if you will (yeah, Steven Wilson is just sooo easy-listening!)
Further, it might have been my tainted inner workings, inevitably influenced by popular associations of poor caprids on the one hand with satans, plenty of blackness and a certain admiration of evil for roughly the same reason the dark side is generally considered to be cooler, and on the other with… I dunno, ridiculousness? Goats seem to be close to rivalling cats on the internet, only with twice the foolhardiness and much less than half the self-consciousness.
Anyway, turns out not only are Goat not dark or complex in that sense, their work is an absolute celebration of life and joy. No reverse psychology in this name, no irony, no references to darkness. Goat, plain and simple. Foolhardy, unconscious Goat.
I hope they play in Athens again soon.
PS: The more I listen to the climax, the more it reminds me of Festival by Sigur Rós. And that’s good. Very good. Must be a Nordic thing.
Another Steven Wilson song from Hand. Cannot. Erase. that’s playing in my head. I played this one in my car a few days ago to friendly company and they seemed to agree that it wasn’t the right time to play it and that they “didn’t go crazy for Steven Wilson”. Something twitched inside of me as I blurted back something between “I didn’t expect you to” and “my car, my rules”, which I immediately regretted. It’s okay, though, because playing that song then and there was what made it become my new earworm of the week and what eventually led to this post.
3 years ago was my first day at my first youth exchange, I See Green at Olde Vechte. Sofia gave me a little cupcake with a candle on it after that first lunch in Zeesse. I felt far away from home, celebrating my birthday in the company of strangers, but that gesture warmed my heart.
Today, 3 years older, there’s little hope the strangers in the army camp will become the special people the strangers from that youth exchange in the Netherlands soon became. But the candle from back then is still burning. It’s one of those special trick candles that don’t go out when you blow them.
PS: Wilson’s coming to Athens on May 5th. You can tell I won’t let many things stop me from being there to see him play.
Even if it’s a small, rather insignificant contributor post on Athens with answers to stock questions!
It’s hard to find someone who appreciates Athens more than Dimitris Hall. Though he has lived inthe Greek capital nearly all of his life, this local’s appreciation for his hometown has grown over time.
Though Athens seems to live in the shadow of its long history, Dimitris is on a mission to suss out city surprises, both new and old. Lucky for us, as he digs up new discoveries, he shares them with the world on the Spotted by Locals blog. Here are a few of his favorite things about the place he calls home.
Athens Is My City
When someone comes to visit me, the first place I take them is to Areios Pagos, a hill right below the Acropolis of Athens that offers a fantastic view of the entire city and its western suburbs.
May and June are the best times to visit my city because the weather is ideal for exploring Athens and partaking in outdoor adventures.
You can see my city best from the Acropolis, as well as from the hills and mountains that surround it—namely Ymittos, Parnitha, and Pendeli.
My city’s best museum is the National Archaeological Museumbecause you can find a rich overview of Greek civilization from the beginnings of Prehistory to Late Antiquity. These time periods are not only important to the people of Greece; they helped shape the world.
If there’s one thing you should know about getting around my city, it’s that you can reach any part of Athens by using the mass transit network, which includes the metro, buses, and trams. Using the city’s public transportation website (which is available in English) in combination with Google Maps will get you far. Also, check out the Athens Transport blog.
The best place to spend time outdoors in my city is in a café or bar located in prime people-watching territory, be it day or night. Try Tyflomyga.
My city really knows how to celebrateOrthodox Easter because of the sheer number of churches in Athens and the richness of the traditions surrounding the holiday, which include epitaphios processions, fireworks, and special dishes.
You can tell if someone is from my city if they cross the road while the light is still red.
For a fancy night out, I go to the bars in the center of the city around Monastiraki Square.
The best outdoor market in my city is in the area around Monastiraki Square.
When I’m feeling cash-strapped, I grab beers from the periptero (newspaper kiosk) with friends and enjoy the open air, preferably around Exarcheia or Areios Pagos.
To escape the crowds, I go to Peonia and have some tea to relax.
The dish that represents my city best is souvlaki (grilled meat skewers), andtsipourois my city’s signature drink. Sample them atKosta’s Souvlaki near Syntagma for a truly classic taste and Beduin at Gazi in Kerameikos, respectively.
Six D.O.G.S. is the best place to see live music, but if you’re in the mood to dance, check outBios.
Demonstrations, traffic diversions, and the closing of multiple metro stations every couple of weeks for “security reasons” could only happen in my city.
In the spring you should walk down small neighborhood streets to smell the blooming orange trees, jasmine, and acacias.
In the summer you should enjoy the warm Athenian nights and head for the nearby beaches and islands on the Argosaronic Gulf.
For Daphne and me, Breaking Bad has had a special meaning. We began watching the series last October. We pledged to only ever watch episodes together. I remember talking to Tomas in Capture Green in Prespes, him telling us he’s a chemical engineer and us joking about it. We were still in season 1.
As it happened, by last January, when I left for Sofia, we hadn’t even finished the third season. So in the past few months we could only watch episodes when we were either 1) physically together in the same room, whether in Sofia or in Athens, or 2) Skyping. The latter proved to be less than satisfying and too much of a hassle really – because watching Breaking Bad “together” also meant pressing play at the same time, pausing whenever the other person paused, waiting for the other person to get the episode right (my old laptop not capable of handling correctly any kind of video larger than the size a post stamp) etc. Meanwhile, Vicente, Miro and Garret all started watching it almost simultaneously and blew through it from end to end in a matter of weeks. We were still at the end of season 4 when Garret wrote this and this. Vicente overtook us somewhere around May and the beginning of season 5.
It really didn’t help that the series had its finale right before we started watching it, so we really had to be careful not to stumble upon spoilers scattered about by enthusiastic but careless watchers…
What I just wrote gave me some pause. What are the rules of spoilers? I had to go back and check one Idea Channel episode exactly on this that had caught my eye but I didn’t watch. Here:
No matter your position on the “Mitch and Greg to Emily continuum” (watch it and you’ll understand), posting something like “OMG! So-and-so DIED!” on your Facebook wall (as typically happens with the airing of each new Game of Thrones episode as well and leads people to Friends List culling) breaks every possible rule suggested. What goes through these people’s minds when they do things like this, unless they’re trolls, defeats me.
Anyway. A few days ago (on the momentous day of July 31st to be exact) we did it. We finally finished Breaking Bad. And it was good. It was heroic. We watched four episodes in a single day – can’t remember when the last time I did that was. No binge-watchers here, for better or worse… It’s amazing how many things I’ve started but never finished, if I get down to it. That I followed the whole series through, all 62 episodes of it, to the bitter(sweet?) end, hell, that alone speaks volumes when it comes to me. Sadly. Or not. I don’t know. It’s just the way I am I suppose: deriving pleasure from starting things – not bringing them to an end. For books it’s another story… but for series, or games, I am like this.
I don’t know what I can say. Explaining why things are good by dissecting them isn’t my forte at all. I can tell you such little tidbits as “I could never see it coming!”, “soooo suspenseful, so stressful!“, “the photography and direction were incredible“, “such strong characters!”, “I love Gus Fring, bitch”, “better call Saul!”, “where’s Miiiike?”, “everybody’s so fucked”, and maybe that’ll give you an idea.
I could also tell you that, unlike many other people who like to take pride in being able to figure out what will happen at the end of a given story, I’m typically quite bad at it. What I thought would happen at the end when we were watching the first few episodes had already happened by the end of season 2, so the actual seasons 4 and 5 were quite a ride through the unknown and unexpected.
Good thing I wasn’t spoiled.
For rounding off this mini-tribute, some more praise and discussion of the series.
A journalist for a Dutch newspaper wanted to do a write-up on Athens. She found me through Spotted by Locals and I volunteered to answer some questions… This is the result:
My name is in there and I can curiously understand a fair amount of the article – thanks, German – but the whole picture, apart from “cheap is cool” (something I support whole-heartedly of course) eludes me.
Yesterday I rolled up my sleeves and decided it was time for a new theme. I started up the Weaver II customiser but nothing I could come up with was better than, or even comparable to, the -also customised- theme I had before.
Then I realised that there was this new theme Twenty Fourteen WordPress had put up with their new release of the platform, as has become tradition. It’s the theme you can see right now plus a few tweaks I made which mainly have to do with Greek font support, different fonts for headlines, content width and the awesome “background” to the right I made in Photoshop.
It isn’t obvious -even I forget what this place used to look like in all its different itterations- but this theme is the fifth one I’ve used since Cubilone’s Dimension first came to be back in 2007. Today I wanted to remember what the site used to look like, how it’s changed and evolved throughout all these years. I played around with the themes still in my virtual dresser for a little while but then found another, much better way of looking back.
Enter The Wayback Machine, an unfathomable web archive that screenshots pages at random intervals from all across the Internet and uses them to create a historical archive for the ever-changing face of the digital world. Fortunately, this here too site didn’t escape the vortex, so allow me to take you for a short ride through Cubilone’s Dimension’s modest history.
Version of the site from early 2008. Back then the blog’s URL was simply http://cubimension.net. The references haven’t changed in the archived html and so the saved img src’s and href’s pointing to the background and CSS files are now pointing to nowhere; screenshots after ’09 don’t have this problem as that is when I created the main hub and corkboard and moved the blog to its current directory (/blog). The theme and background remained the same throughout 2007, ’08 and ’09, the same as the one in the following picture.
June 1st 2009 – first screenshot from after I had moved the blog to /blog because of my work on this, a primitive portfolio site but mostly an exercise on CSS (I made it for uni). Eesh, I can’t even look at that… thing!
January 22nd 2010 – Tired of all the dark blues and blacks, I opted for something a little bit brighter. I like the photogallery at the bottom of the sidebar to the left, back when I uploaded lots of my photograms. That’s also roughly the period when I started posting more, trying to fend myself off Facebook by replacing status updates with posts.
January 9th 2011. I went for a standard theme here to freshen things up a bit and streamline the blog experience, just as I did 3 years later (now). This theme was very transient because a few days later I custom-designed this:
August 7th, 2011. I was in Denmark then but the theme had been online for some time already. I can’t remember where I was when I was designing it – memories of me being in Mytilini and Athens at the same time both seem false, but the gist is that it was somewhere in the first quarter of the year, a lonely time in general, a time when I had all the time to fine-tune the theme to suit my taste. There was also a tiled floorboard background then which has since been replaced by the background that came next and so doesn’t appear on the Wayback Machine.
And here we are today. At some point mid-2012 I replaced the header and the background to better suit the mood I had then.
I had been using the same theme until yesterday, when I finally made the change from this custom theme I had grown to love but which I had never realised I hadn’t changed for more than 2.5 years to the one I’m using now. For historical purposes (who knows what the future might bring?) I’m also leaving a screencap of the brand spankin’ new one right here:
Thank you for this short tour, have a nice evening or day!