I arrived in Athens after 6 months in the US, the city seems about the same on the surface, but on closer inspection In my neighborhood I found, my local newspaper stand, the milk shop, house-hold shop, the hair salon, and several cloths shops all vacant with for “rent signs”.
Downtown there are the burnt out buildings (including some beautiful neoclassical building) and more empty shops. Everyone expects things to get a lot worse
But for the three-day weekend Athens is full of children in costume, princesses, supper man, spider men, and Spanish ladies parading in national gardens and the Zapion for the last 2 days of carnival. Then there will be kite flying for the start of lent on Clean Monday.
I went to the Friday lieki farmers’ market near my house and found prices less than last year. I bought blood oranges 1K for a euro. The market seemed deserted, one of the vendors told me most people come in the last hour of the market when the farmers reduce prices further. After the close of the market there is the second wave of people who pick up the discarded produce on the ground.
Report filed by: Judith Alen, HSoM board member