November 30th, 2017  23.57

(Military Time– Yes that’s how it should be written)

I’m sitting in my beautiful living room in my pajamas and a cup of tea… and I have to take pause and give thanks.

d19902528d21bcf06fa43ccfc4e89cf1-art-deco-typography-typography-design.jpgYou see, today marks the beginning of my fifth year in New York. It’s technically tomorrow December 1st, the day I actually arrived in the airport and set foot in the city for the first time to live since October 2000 when I left to study in London. For all intensive purposes my mind and my life changed on November 30th, 2012. It was the beginning of a different life. A Life I had no control over, and would not know its future or what direction it would go.


I still don’t know.

One thing is for certain, this fifth year has begun with a realization of how grateful I am for all the changes, the upsets, the doubt, the anger, the tears, the laughter, and the joy that I have felt these past five years. I have learned more about myself in these five years in New York than in any previous stretch of my life. I started to grow up here. I have become more of a woman than ever before, and I have shed and embraced  my girlish self.

There are many other anniversaries on this day that are also an integral part of who I am and who I will choose to be in the future.

Today also marks the fifth anniversary of this crazy idea of my amazing friend Karen (an American living in Greece), had; that I write and chronicle my adventures in New York City.  I’ve grown as yoga teacher, a traveler, a Greek who has an American mother and Greek father, a Greek who has an American Life and a Greek heart. Five years of a personal diary, turned blog, turned heart and life opening confessional, and a place where love, lust, secret desires hidden in poetry, spoken word and life truths maintain their home.

I am starting this next year with the realization that I’ve made many wrong turns, many mistakes but also have met some amazing people full of heart and soul. I have reconnected with my friends in Greece in ways that are so hard to express, and also wonderful to experience. My dear friends have become my family every time I return to Greece. I have also had the honor to meet some incredible people here, through my community at Daybreaker and also fell in love, had my heart broken, fell in love again, had my life turned upside down and learned life lessons that have shaped how I see the world.

I am truly blessed because I navigate with a compass that is composed of my heart and soul and desire for new and wonderful experiences. Despite the rising tides, storms and harsh winds, this journey was and continues to be one of absolute deep connection to my own true self.

These anniversaries continue and so is my commitment to writing about my adventures and observations about my New York. This city has done its best to chew me up and spit me out, yet I’m still here so I love this saucy minx. (sorry lady liberty)

Recently I was blessed to meet and walk the streets of New York with incredible people who’s heart and soul is connected and interwoven with the dirty, passionate, loving, chaotic and proud streets of the Lower East Side, East Harlem and Williamsburg. These amazing people have opened their hearts and lives to me and I feel so honored to have seen the city through their eyes. I am hardly a native New Yorker, but after my newest project took form (stay tuned! for future blog posts) I feel a little closer to this city and its people. Thank you to Jerry and Jonathan and Nandini who have given me small and large moments of their lives here and who took extra care to show me what their hood, their lives and their family has been all about.

In the past five years, friends and family have visited here, shared my passion for dancing, theater, music and food. I’ve learned that no place is more diverse, electric and over the top like this city. Whatever you want to try, experience, and dive into; it’s here for you.

I look forward to the next chapter. The next level of this ever changing ever loving ever breathing organism that is New York.

Thank you to everyone who has supported me and  has seen me through the good times and the very bad. You know who you are and what your presence in my life means to me. Thank you to those who kept reading my poems, my prose my confessions, my deep dark secrets, and my stupid observations of Gotham and its harsh beauty.

Thank you to those who encouraged me to keep writing when all I wanted to do was disappear and let go.


Here is my ode to NYC on this fifth anniversary. Baby you’re looking fine…. and I still love you.

I’m in a New York state of Mind… tonight.

Eleana Kouneli– Almost Native New Yorker. Greek with a passion for travel. American with a passion for Greece. Lover of all things food, Yoga and art related. Thanks for your continued love and support!

Throw Back… In Time

Throw back to a girl in the sand with a tan and a gorgeous man next to her.


Throw back to a teen just coming clean with her hormones and not realizing how crazy she was for that boy.


Throw back to a little girl of 5-7 with hair in a bun in a ballet class that keeps her away from the birds of prey in her family.


Throw back to your womb mother dearest where all was protected and not affected by the outside world.


Throw back to that star that shines above my window as I think of you and your lips so soft on mine. And your sublime embrace that just made me feel at home away from home….

Flashback to that night that you parted my lips and intertwined your tongue with mine… so divine

Like red wine strong and delicate you nibble at my neck…

Then check your self…

Am I dreaming?


Your hands on my hips as I open myself to your manhood….divine

And you whisper…your mine now and thrust deep into my soul.


Throw back…. to last night.

When you got up and left only to leave an imprint on my heart.

God how do I start this damn heart again it’s defective and all broken in pieces.


How does it work again, how can I love again, how does it rise up from its infinite pain.


And I think again…. throw back to your closed eyes as you sleep next to me and I know that one day you will find me.


Throw back to a woman with her toes buried in the sand next to the sea and the land that she loves with a love so mighty no one can tear it from her gripping hands.


Flashback to my hands touching your face as I give in to your embrace and the sound of your heart beating next to mine.

Let the light shine


No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” — Eleanor Roosevelt


I’m a multi faceted diamond that’s been treated like a two dollar chocolate prize.

It takes time to see the value,

when you’ve been treated like… dirt all your life.

It takes time to see the light from a room painted black, by your own hand even.

It’s hard to stay ahead when all you did was stay still and let people pass you by.

I don’t know why… I just believed the lies.

And gave in to my disguise.

I believed I was ugly cause they told me.

I believed I was dumb and let it mold me.

I believed I was tame when I’m a wild beast not wanting ever to be tamed.

And maimed

By those words of cruelty and hate… maybe you can’t relate, but maybe you can understand me.

To thine own self be true they say.

So give me time to find the sublime light within me.

I’ll shine just give me time.

I see you


She had thought about it many times.

She would cross the street and just close her eyes and say to herself its ok, no one will miss me, no one will notice I’m gone. On the subway just before the train arrived, she would stare at the tracks for moments thinking… what if I jumped? She would dream of death every day after she got home from the hospital. At night she would dream of bodies, plane crashes, her husband falling off a cliff, she saw the gun in her hand, while looking at her reflection in the mirror just before she pulled the trigger. She wanted to disappear. She didn’t always think this way. This morbid game was very new to her. Like a mental Russian Roulette.

The pain of her stitches pulled at her lower abdomen every time she would put on her underwear. She knew that this would take a long time to heal but it wasn’t the pain of the surgery that hurt her the most. It was the pain of feeling empty inside. She felt as gutted as her uterus. She didn’t want to leave the house for days. Food made her nauseous so she made due with rice crackers with soft cheese or plain rice. Her friends would come by and leave her soup, quiche, bread, rice pudding, fruit, anything that she might be inclined to even look at let alone taste, and she would leave in the fridge for days before taking a bite of each and throwing it out before it spoiled.


She and her husband tried everything, therapy, counseling, talking and more talking but he was unable to see her. He felt paralyzed, useless and eventually drifted into his work, the couch and his football games.  She kept going to work like a robot, lifeless, expressionless, she walked the same path to her train station, walked down the steps to the platform and waited. She would grab the same cup of coffee and bagel from the corner cafe but never ate the bagel, it was almost an automatic gesture. She was on autopilot.

On the day her life changed forever, she was on the same platform on the same time as any other day when she heard Al Green’s Let’s Stay Together played a Capella by a distant male voice. She had heard that song a million times, hummed it a million more but still something this morning caught her attention. She felt the warm coffee in her hand  as she walked closer towards the source of the sound.

I…I’m so in love with you….Whatever you want to do, is all right with me.

Cos you make me feel, so brand new. And I want to spend my life with you.

She walked toward the man singing the song and sat next to him on a wooden bench near to the end of the platform. A tall, thin framed older gentleman with a little gray on his temples, and a beautiful bright red hat sang with a mic and the tune playing in the background.

Since, since we’ve been to-gether,

Loving you for-ever, is what I need.

She sat, lightly closing her eyes to the melody, letting the cool morning breeze caress her face. The man kept crooning and singing till the end of the last bar and then said “God bless you lovely people, have a beeuuuutiful day”. She clapped and stepped a little closer to his direction. “thank you that was really lovely, I don’t have any money but I do have breakfast if you want it”

“Honey… I don’t need your money, I’ve SEEN you walk up here for weeks lookin like damn ghost. And from the look of it you seem to need that breakfast more than I do” he chuckled.

“No offence but you need to eat!”

He smiled politely and offered his hand. He held hers with such delicacy, his fingers long and thin; a wedding ring on the right hand and a big aquamarine on the left. Her hands felt so small next to his.

-Hi… I’m Lauren. The coffee is pretty cold but I’ll leave you the bagel, its really delicious.

– Pleased to meet you Lauren, and if you insist thank you for the bagel, I’m Lazarus.

She smiled softly, and he stared strongly into her eyes. She felt his energy and his presence permeate the whole subway platform.

“That’s a beautiful name, Lazarus… so powerful and full of meaning.” I love your ring, its aquamarine right? That’s my birthstone. I’m a March baby.

– Well thank you fine lady, your name reminds of me of my late wife, Laura, and this is indeed aquamarine; its my birthstone too… I came into this world March 28th, 1945 two blocks from here.

She felt the wind change suddenly as the conductor announced the train arrival in one minute. She softly let go of Lazarus’s hand and left the bagel near his boom box. He tipped his red hat to her. ” Bonjour madame Lauren, have a beeuuuutiful day”. She smiled, and caught her reflection in the closing doors of the train and felt something shift inside her after what seemed like an eternity.

She hummed the tune again a little louder as she gazed at the vanishing train station from the train doors

I…I’m so in love with you….Whatever you want to do, is all right with me.

to be continued….

All I want is….




Forgive me for what I’m about to say


I want to be the first to tell you.

You are beautiful inside and out

Despite your self-doubt.


I want to get to know the real you,

Not the staged, caged version you show everyone else.

I feel for you, I weep with you, I sleep with you and I meant it too.


Hearing you breathe next to me is like a gift from the gods

I want you to be real with me and show that beautiful side so few get to see.

I’m glad you finally let me see.


I know I’m no one special, not the fantasy woman you seek.

I am a woman with flair, and a mind that tingles when you speak.

I can talk with you for hours, there is nothing more beautiful than your mind.

You’re one of a kind.


I know how your mind works

It needs constant reassurance that it’s alive

So you fuck to survive.

Shame you don’t fuck to thrive.

Maybe one day you will finally put your guard down and love life.

Θερινός Έρως  Καλοκαίρι…. Summer Love Happened so fast


Αύγουστος 1993 — Κλείνω τα μάτια και αφήνομαι σε ένα υπέροχο ταξίδι αναμνήσεων.  Τα πρώτα μας καλοκαίρια μόνες μας χωρίς τους γονείς μας,  όταν ήσουν δεκαπέντε, δεκαεφτά χρονών. Τα πρώτα φλερτ, η άμμος να σου ζεσταίνει το δέρμα και εσύ με κοιτούσες λοξά με αυτό το ειρωνικό βλέμμα που λέει πολλά και δε λέει τίποτα συνάμα. Θυμάμαι να γελάω με μια παρέα φίλων μας που δεν ξαναείδα ποτέ από εκείνο το καλοκαίρι.  Μαζευτήκαμε στη παραλία της Σαρωνίδας, κωλόπαιδα και χαμένοι στις ορμόνες μας.  Μόνο η Σοφία έμεινε, από αυτούς τους γνωστούς-φίλους, που μοιάζει με άλλη ζωή πια. Όποτε περνάω από τη Σαρωνίδα για τα Λεγρενά τους σκέφτομαι άραγε που να είναι τώρα.

Saronida Beach, Attika
Legrena Beach, Attika

Αύγουστος 1995 -Κλείνω τα μάτια πάλι και βρίσκομαι στα πρώτα μου καλοκαίρια στη Μύκονο, στο Caprice μπαρ, μικρή Βενετία, να ξεπροβάλλει η πανσέληνος, τα νερά να χρυσίζουν μετά τη δύση του ηλίου. Χόρεψα πάνω στο μπαρ για πρώτη φορά στα 6 και τελευταία στα 36, και τώρα πια σαν τη παλιά μου ζωή, έχει κλείσει αυτό το κεφάλαιο. (καλύτερα βέβαια λέω μέσα μου, καιρός ήταν να ανοίξει κάτι καινούργιο).  Γνώρισα το νησί από την καλή και την ανάποδη, την φωτεινή και τη πολύ σκοτεινή του πλευρά. Κατάλαβα πόσο γλυκό μπορεί να είναι ένα καλοκαίρι μετά από τη πικρία και απογοήτευση του χειμώνα. Καθισμένη με ένα κρασάκι στο μπαλκόνι μου στη Λια, με θέα τα Διβούνια, πάντα αναπολώ τις στιγμές που το νησί δεν ήταν τόσο γεμάτο κόσμο και ήταν “δικό μας”.

Εκεί γεννήθηκε η φιλία μου με τη Βίβιαν, τη “μεγάλη μου αδερφή”, εκεί μας υιοθέτησε μια παραλία που είναι πια ο παράδεισος μας, η οικογένειά μας και το “σπίτι” μας. Δε θα πω πια… τη κρατάμε μυστικό για όσους πραγματικά την αγαπάνε και τη σέβονται.  Εκεί γνώρισα έρωτες και φλερτ, εκεί γνώρισα τους πιο σκοτεινούς και ύπουλους ανθρώπους, εκεί γνώρισα υπέροχες φιλίες που κρατάνε χρόνια… Ένας μικρόκοσμος πάνω σε ένα κυκλαδίτικο νησί.

Little Venice


caprice bar old
Caprice Bar Mykonos
Mýkonos – windmills

Off the coast of Lia Beach – Mýkonos

Αύγουστος 1994 -Θυμάμαι επίσης αυτό το απαίσιο καλοκαίρι στην Άνδρο που αρρώστησα με το που έφαγα αυτή τη καταραμένη Φρουτάλια και ξέρναγα όλο το βράδυ, με είχε ρημάξει ο πυρετός, η παρέα ήταν ανυπόφορη, και δεν ήθελα να μείνω άλλο. Έφυγα την επόμενη μέρα, άφησα πίσω μου το νησί και τη κακή παρέα. Η κατάρα ευτυχώς δε κράτησε για πολύ, ξανά πήγα μετά από μερικά χρόνια και έκατσα στο πιο όμορφο μπαλκόνι του νησιού μαζί με μια φίλη παντοτινή.  Μοιραστήκαμε τις ιστορίες μας, διαβάσαμε ποίηση, μαγειρέψαμε πανέμορφα γεύματα, και αγάπησα πάλι την Άνδρο σε όλο της το μεγαλείο.

Αύγουστος 2016  Επισκέφτηκα το νησί εκ νέου μαζί με τις αδελφές ψυχές μου, δύο υπέροχες γυναίκες που μπορώ να πω είναι η καλύτερη κοριτσοπαρέα, γιατί για να είμαστε ειλικρινείς μόνο με αδερφές ψυχές μπορείς να πηγαίνεις διακοπές. Με περιμένουν και φέτος να σαρώσουμε τις Κυκλάδες.

Αύγουστος  2009– γνώρισα τη παρέα, τη παραλία, και τη τοποθεσία  που θα μου άλλαζε τη ζωή, και συνάμα γνώρισα το νησί που θα μου άλλαζε τα πάντα. Νότια Κρήτη, Γλυκά Νερά, 20 άτομα παρέα, με παρέσυραν, φλέρταρα μετά από δύο χρόνια σε μια δύσκολη σχέση, με φίλησε, αφέθηκα στο κύμα και στο γέλιο τους, επέμειναν να αλλάξω τα σχέδια μου, έμεινα όλο το βράδυ μέχρι το πρωί, σε άφησα να με αγγίξεις αλλά ήξερα ότι δε θα σε ξαναδώ ποτέ. Θα ξαναπάω φέτος στο ίδιο ταβερνάκι, μαζί με την αγάπη μου μέσα μου, και γύρω μου. Θα περπατήσω την ίδια διαδρομή μέχρι τη μαγική αυτή παραλία.  θα βγάλω τα παπούτσια και τα ρούχα μου και θα αφεθώ στην υπέροχα μαγεία του Λιβυκού. Πολλά έχουν αλλάξει, ωστόσο κάτι παραμένει το ίδιο… με περιμένει ένας διπλός μέτριος καφές και ένα γλυκό στη Δέσποινα… (μου το έχει τάξει και το περιμένω πως και πως)

Cafe Despina- Sfakia Crete
Glyka Nera Beach- Sfakia


Αύγουστος 2004. Πριν από εκείνο το καλοκαίρι ήμασταν 400 ξένοι μεταξύ μας. Μετά από 4 μήνες πρόβες, γίναμε μια ομάδα, μια οικογένεια, μια μικρή κοινωνία. Χορέψαμε μαζί γελάσαμε μαζί, κλάψαμε από υπερηφάνεια μαζί. Πάσχιζα να βγάλω αυτή τη γαμημένη μπογιά από το πρόσωπό μου μετά από κάθε πρόβα, αλλά ήταν το ποιο όμορφο ταξίδι που έχω ζήσει. Θυμάμαι να μη μας νοιάζει το λιοπύρι του Ασπρόπυργου, γιατί κάπως γνωρίζαμε όλοι ότι ήμασταν μέρος μιας ιστορικής βραδιάς.  Το Ολυμπιακό στάδιο, έλαμψε στις ζεστές μέρες του Αυγούστου. Ζήσαμε με εμπειρία που μας ένωσε όλους ψυχή, και σώμα. Ομολογώ ότι ίσως για μία και μοναδική φορά στη ζωή μας ήμασταν όλοι υπερήφανοι ως Έλληνες. Κρατάω ακόμα επαφή με μερικούς μετά από 13 χρόνια, ελπίζω όλοι να είναι καλά.

karyatides large
Athens 2004 Olympics Opening Ceremony– Author second from the right


αθηνα 2004β
Athens 2004 Opening Ceremony- Author third far right


Αύγουστος 2017 μετράω τις μέρες… να συναντήσω τα παλιά μονοπάτια, να νιώσω τον ήλιο και να με τρελάνει ο ήχος των τζιτζικιών το απομεσήμερο όταν κοιμάμαι μετά από ένα υπέροχο γεύμα πάνω στη παραλία με φίλους. Να ερωτευθώ τη ζωή ξανά μέσα στις καυτές μέρες του καλοκαιριού. Φέτος θα είναι το πιο όμορφο απ’ όλα, κοντά σε φίλους παντοτινούς, κοντά σε γνώριμες γειτονιές, με ανθρώπους δικούς μας που μας γεμίζουν τη ψυχή και με παρέες που μας κάνουν να ξεχνάμε και να θυμόμαστε μαζί.


Καλό καλοκαίρι…