Day 27. – Paris is Burning

Post 27 of 27.

View from the Pompidu Museum- Marais

I am posting with a small delay as I was in transit between Paris and London and I wanted to take the time to write about this last day of my 27 day challenge, and what it meant to take this much needed journey.

London Bridge 
Street Art in the London Bridge neighborhood of London

This year I celebrate my 40th birthday. It’s a milestone of sorts, as I’m sure it is for all who cross that threshold. I never knew what to expect of this day, whether I would have a family by now, whether I would be living in a big house or a small cottage in a village somewhere, or what I would be doing for a living. I remember when I was 18 or 19 calculating the year I would turn 40, and it was way beyond my comprehension at the time; but now here we are. For better or worse I’ve arrived… and new challenges and paths are beckoning to be explored.

Street Art in the Les Halles neighborhood of Paris

I was speaking to my mother, who reminded me of a memory she had of me when she turned 40. We were in northern Athens, at our then home, in what you would call an “affluent” neighborhood now; but back then, it was in an area no one wanted to live at. I was riding my pink and white bicycle with its training wheels; it was 1982 or ’83 and my mum had just turned 40 that December. I clearly can picture her memory; my mother was slender, as always, with a beautiful smile and a determined gaze, short curly light brown hair and big square glasses. My father good looking and in his late 30’s, a hit of seventies sideburns still donned his face and he wore aviator glasses. A year later we would take our first trip to Paris as a family.

The magic of Paris through my 6 year old eyes, will never match any other trip I’ve taken since. I was in awe. We would visit many times after that, but that first trip was like new world had been revealed. I had never seen such beauty in my life. Glimpses of the Louvre museum before the pyramids were built, the clock of the Muse d’Orsay from up close and the smell of the Parisian air, as we walked through Montmartre and the “dangerous” artistic neighborhoods of the 18th Arrondisment.

I remember still the taste of rich chocolate and french food at a small restaurant in Place Dauphine, now probably long gone. I visit that same little park every time I go to Paris. I sit on a bench; eat a pain au chocolat, and dream of my six year old self walking up the stairs of this larger than life Brasserie with sumptuous deserts lining each step.

Today I celebrate my 40th year, in one of the most poetic, beautiful places in the world, with some of my most treasured memories, and most treasured friends. Cheers, santé, Γεια μας. Onward to this next chapter.

Where, do you remember your most fond childhood memory, and where would you travel to next?


Day 21.5 — Perseverance

Day 21 of 27.

When you’re determined to get somewhere even a snow storm won’t get in your way. Today, yet another snow storm covers New York in white. The streets of Soho where I took this picture were eerily quiet, as I have seldom seen them. Shops were closed for the day and a few brave souls were out and about ( mostly tourists!) Yet this image of a man on his bicycle, undeterred by the snow or the slippery streets; steady and determined on his path; reminded me of how much we will all go through to get what we want, to get to where we want to go, and to achieve our highest potential.

Sacrifice is inevitable and often necessary and even though we will lose friends, comfort, and sometimes our sanity; if we are sure of our goals then it’s all worth it.

I sat with a friend who’s a gifted photographer for a quick impromptu coffee. We weren’t supposed to meet and I had not seen him in months. I said this to him, because like him I lose my steam and my determination when faced with self doubt. I reminded him as I do myself over and over again ( yes I talk to myself all the time ); keep focused on the destination, and keep steady on the journey despite the mishaps and the trials along the way.

Our goals are only as far as we are willing to go to fulfill them. On this first day of spring and the beginning of Aries season… keep going and even if you fall, you will get there.

What is standing in the way of your goals and your path to them?

Day 19. Art as agent of change

Day 19 of 27.

James Baldwin’s quote struck a deep cord in my heart this morning. For as long as I can remember, art and artists have played an integral role in my life. From the day I was born, I was surrounded by writers, painters, poets, musicians, actors, photographers and architects. I would even go as far as to boldly state:  Art is the noblest of causes, and not for the faint of heart. I don’t consider myself an artist by any stretch of the imagination, because I have not served the cause for a long time, yet I still feel most at ease in the presence of artists. There is no more powerful weapon than the reflection of Art back to society. I write Art with a capital A because Art and Artists are deserving of the highest respect and also the most staunch criticisms.  Artists are agents of change, and as James Baldwin so aptly put it; here to disturb the peace.

Peace in most cases is seen as a positive state of mind, being at peace, feeling peaceful, is akin to what many teachings of yoga aspire to instill. Achieving Moksha (liberation-emancipation) from suffering and ignorance is one of the basic principles of yoga study; self realization and self knowledge being the ultimate goal.  I for one have a long way towards liberation, so I continue to search and refine my practice.

Art and Artists in the very same light, are here to liberate, disturb, question, disrupt and uncover and heal a society; It’s not just meant to be pretty to look at. Artists like Baldwin are answering a calling; a Dharma, to become the disruption of our ignorance, our complacency; our plastic bliss. This is a service true artists don’t take lightly. It takes a brave soul, a self realized person to become and live the life of an artist, especially one that reflects upon what may be wrong or untrue about society.

Of course the more controversial and argumentative artists become the more they disturb the peace and cause friction, discussion, and ultimately change. And hate them as we might; they are the ones we remember. It isn’t a matter of taste or ability. Its a matter of dedication to the art form, and its impact. I am often saddened when artists choose to play the game or play it safe and not use their amazing gift as a force of profound change. Disturbing the peace is not easy, but it is the reason most art is created. WE heal through art and artists break open the facades and the masks that society stands behind.

Support artists who you believe bring upon that change in society, in you and in the communities they work in. Because true artists ARE instruments of change, and ultimately peace. And as Steven Pressfield states in his Book War of Art:

“The most important thing about art is to work. Nothing else matters except sitting down every day and trying.” 

What artist or artists inspire and move you to create change in your life?

Day 15/16. A Room with A View

Photo by Robert V (@3rd. night)

Day 15 & 16 of 27

Today the phrase “your home is where your heart is” is my topic of self conversation.

As I get closer and closer to the end of this experiment of daily postings about my observations, thoughts, emotions, opinions, and ideas; this phrase came up and it’s the only thing that seemed important for me to talk about.

I’m the daughter of an expat American woman who grew up in a small town in western Massachusetts; but spent most of her adult life (45 years to be exact) in Athens, Greece; and a Greek man born in Athens, who despite all his protests has moved between Greece and the United states twice. I’m the amalgam of one true roamer and one homebody (nope it’s not my mum). I have moved house 20 times since I was born, and have moved and lived in Athens, Western Massachusetts, London, upstate New York, New York City, London, Athens, Mykonos and again New York. (if you’re not dizzy; I am!)

What comes to mind is a phrase in Greek which loosely translates to “the land you live in now, is your homeland). “Όπου γης και πατρίς” which is originally attributed to the politician and orator Cicero. This encapsulates the whole way in which I’ve navigated my travels and my many “homes”.

Πατρίδα-in Greek means homeland (fatherland to be more precise); the place where you were born; which is very different from Χώρα-Chora or country (also referring to the village/the countryside) which can be seen as a place of residence or nationality. In recent years I’ve seen myself as a nomad with no country, no homeland and no place to call home. I come from Greece, I was born there, I lived there most of my life, but as of now it is no longer my home.  I no longer have a family home that I grew up in, I don’t have a bedroom with all my childhood memories. I carry that childhood, and those memories with me wherever I go. I’m somewhat of an exile, having chosen to leave my home in Greece, and come to New York “for a better life”; and not really wanting to. As most exiles I feel uprooted, and this idea of connection to where I now live is quite frail.

This fragility of course does not come without a better understanding of oneself in connection to identity and belonging. A house is just a roof over our heads, but a home is where we feel comforted, protected, familiar, and at peace. I’ll bring two more Greek words to the mix to show the complexity of meaning and feeling.

οικία (oikia)– means house or home

οικεία (oikeia) — means familiar or something you find comforting

For now my house is in New York City, but it does not feel like my home, so the heart keeps roaming, and if my life is any indication of a pattern, it will roam again.

So when you close the door to your home tonight make sure that you feel at home, comforted and safe.

So… Where do you feel most at home?



Athens– A city of history and change.


Athens isn’t what you would call a beautiful city or even a picturesque one. A friend described it as a place where someone threw a bag of Legos and wherever they landed that’s how Athens was built and developed after the second world war. This huge uncontrollable expanse of cement, metal and marble is a basin engulfed by 4 mountain ranges. Parnitha, Penteli,Hemetos and Egaleo. Except for the Parthenon, Mount Lycabettous, and the Panathenaic Stadium (Kallimarmaron) there aren’t distinct recognizable features in its landscape that define it like other sprawling metropoles.

Athens is an ugly modern city. built around on the glory of ancient wonder.

What Athens has that other cities in the world don’t is its ability to constantly renew itself and reinvent its story. This does not stem of capricious artistry but because of necessity. Ever since the second world war, Athens has been a city of change, tumult and pathos. It’s an experimental, dramatic place filled with history and constant change.

Fluctuating Governments, Regimes, Geo-Political importance, invasions, occupations, war and turmoil. Its streets are paved over layers upon layers of history. Every building quite literally stands over ancient cities and past glory. At every turn there is an ancient site tucked between the cacophony of 1950’s chaotic rebuilding post WWII.

View of downtown Athens

Despite its misfortunes, Athens is a grand, triumphant city taking its name after its most powerful female symbol. The city is dedicated to the goddess Athena, she rains over this basin as a goddess spawned from fierce strength and magnificence. The Virgin Goddess (Athena Parthenos) protects our city, and you can feel her presence looming over the polis every night as the Parthenon lights up over the night sky.

Like every one of its citizens, its loud, nosy, loving, boisterous , nostalgic, hospitable, suspicious, dirty, and mystical. You will come to this city a stranger and you leave a friend. Its not an easy friendship mind you; it will demand a lot of you, but its a deep and genuine lasting friendship that will be there for your through the hardest of times. She is a city that has been battered, used, taken advantage of again and again but still has life to give and love to share for those who are willing to look beyond the scars and the misfortunes.

In 2010 the economic crisis started to bear down on the soul of this beautiful city goddess. This was one wound too many for some neighborhoods. I saw once vibrant street corners turn into drug infested sewers, I saw its people live in fear of their neighbors and let the mistrust and anger brewing around them seep into their daily lives. Yet despite the destruction, the riots,  and the strikes that crippled our city for the past eight harrowing years, it’s people and most importantly it’s young people are starting to find ways to bring sunlight into even the darkest spots.

New Life built on the shadows of the crisis.

New businesses are being created, replacing once empty neighborhoods with bars restaurants and cafes. New companies are being founded with innovation from forward thinking Greeks, who left, the country for years at a time, and came back, with renewed courage to give back to the city they love.

These changes are not with out their set backs of course. The crisis still looms heavy on every day living but instead of giving in to the roller coaster crippling economy that has been Greece’s reality, Greek entrepreneurs and business owners have learned to adapt with the times. Etsy and online stores are now replacing physical storefronts which are expensive to maintain and don’t draw the foot traffic they once did. Yes we all are very weary when stores that have been in the center of Athens since the late 1800’s close, but innovation has to take place in order for new blood to enter a ill fated city.

Online business is on the rise, as crippling capital controls are still in place, but have allowed for more online commerce to develop. Greeks and specifically Athenians have long been trained in loopholes, and this is no exception. Old abandoned houses are being transformed and given new life as hip cocktail bars and gourmet restaurants. Greeks although strapped for cash themselves have found a way to work outside the localized economic restrictions and build businesses that are not only successful but profitable as well.

Just underneath Philopapou Hill in Petralona what was once a working class neighborhood in the 1950’s has now become a gathering place for new restaurants, and bars. Old taverns that were only frequented by the locals are now a destination spot for people who don’t live near these neighborhoods. I witnessed the beginning stages of this transformation starting in 2010 when I still lived in Athens. Beautiful neoclassical buildings are transformed, and transported to a time and place that has no historical reference and recreates these streets from the beginning.

The northern suburbs of Athens are also getting their taste of new glory days; with local restaurants and bars choosing to set up shop in smaller venues there rather than take their business in more prevalent or central neighborhoods in Athens. Off the tourist beaten path, these neighborhoods are usually strangers to foreign visitors so they keep their authenticity and are loyal to their patrons are they are to them.

Chalandri, Cholargos, Kifissia, Marousi, Agia Paraskevi to name a few are the northern neighborhoods receiving a fresh spotlight after their initial heyday in the 80’s and 90’s.

Even more “working class” and immigrant neighborhoods such as Ilion, Nea Smyrni, and Egaleo are reinventing themselves in their own unique way.

The under represented and often overlooked jewel of Athens in my opinion has always been Piraeus. Its a busy, dirty, port with overly antithetical ideas about itself. In the 30’s and 40’s part of it was a very upper class neighborhood, next to a sprawling lower class and immigrant population constantly coming in from Asia Minor and the northern outskirts of the Greek villages.  Many families who had shipping or trade businesses would live and work there. One of them being my grandmother and her 3 siblings. The northern suburbs now considered upper class, were all but non existent, and only for “summer vacations”  of the wealthy Athenians, seeking refuse from the overcrowding Athenian metropolis.

                                                                         Philopapou Hill in the early 1800’s and 1900’s

Pireaus on the other hand was and is for many a separate entity of Athens set apart for its glory and Academic centers, Pireaus was a city of the people and by the people. Its like no other part of Athens. The residents call themselves Pireotes before they would ever call themselves Athenians. And I can completely understand their pride and camaraderie to their neighborhood.

This is true for other neighborhoods in Athens, as they are slowly revamping, reinventing, renewing their re-imagined surroundings.

Athens is always forever struggling with the city that it once was, and now slowly growing into the city that it will be. Its Renaissance comes with many growing pains and crises of identity yet I’ve always had faith in this crazy lego-land built on the ruins of ancient civilization. This faith is born not because Athens is the  home I was born in, but has become the home that I’ve grown as a person, as a woman, as a friend as a professional, with countless others who worked hard and made it their home too. We are not Europe and I hope that one day we realize that and define this city with its own colors.

For more information about the places you’ve seen here — Get on a plane and visit!

Day 2.

march 2nd.

I’m late in posting this, but it all started with the thought of warmth. The winter months get more and more taxing on the body as I age, not to say that I don’t feel as healthy as I ever have, but the smell of the sea and the feeling of being weathered in sun and salt is very comforting on this very cold, rainy lonely day.

It’s getting harder and harder to take the harshness of winter. It’s getting more and more immediate; this need for a beautiful beach, clear blue sky, and crystal clear mediterranean water. I’m finding myself longing for that medicine of salt, sweet air, good food and merriment. I’m comforted by my memories and look forward to the moment I can set foot on the beach and just sink in.

Till then… it’s windy and strange out there tonight.

The 27 Day Challenge

Dear Readers… today begins my 27 day challenge (March 1st 2018) to mark my 40th birthday. I will be posting one picture and one story every day of this month until March 27th (my actual birthday). Join me on this journey of travels, experiences, and images. This is a project I’ve been meaning to share with a lot of you and this is  the best time to start. I hope you enjoy the perspectives, the insight and the stories behind the images I will be posting. Walk with me through this 27 day journey and I hope at the end we will have a stronger bond.


Day 1. — March 1st 2018

Picture by Robert V. (Instagram @3rd.night

Coney Island, New York.  It was a cold rainy day but something compelled me to go, and shoot pictures with an amazing photographer and new friend, who shared my vision of the story I want to tell. Photography has always been part of my life ever since I was a teenager. I left it for a while and now I am re- connecting with this art form I have immense respect for. This image and story, is about where I’m going; what I’m willing to shed and let go of; and what weighs me down from the past. You see, I always used to look back because I needed approval, I used to look behind me to see if I was moving in the right path, but now that is no more.

We make choices, we make mistakes, we make a pact with ourselves about the kind of life we wish to lead. That path may not be straightforward or easy but it is out path to walk. At the start of this new trip around the sun, I realize I am holding on to heavy, unnecessary baggage that no longer serves my purpose or the journey I wish to take. Join me, walk with me, but not behind me, because I will not look back.

Here. we. go. 




Those Eyes

Photo Credit : M. Kourouniotis

In those eyes you place your life…

Those pretty little lies are the demise of all the beauty you are trying to create
yet you use them as bait.
what a tragedy.
You put your self in a state of depravity
You look into my eyes and tell me you are numb to the waves of emotion I create with my gaze.
You’re in a daze, I rock your world and you can’t keep your balance
so you fall short and answer with retorts
How simple we are at the realization of big truths.
I move and the oceans collide and cause stars to shine
My mind is divine and my eyes your life line…
I lay by your side and hear you breathe.
I let my thoughts wander to the lifetimes its taken for us to meet
and then you retreat to your safety
what a pity.
You…. so afraid of the fire that your desire built, so you throw water to the flames
but the embers burn and burn
And you will soon learn that my fire can cleanse all wounds mine and yours
but no more.
You are no longer welcome in my sphere.
what a shame.
Photo Credit: A. Joseph

For more information about the artists/photographers featured check out:

Dry Martini with the Dirty on the Side


I love the Enigma of you…

The lusciousness you make me feel inside is oh so new

I see your gaze tracing my lines but you’re so fine it’s against the law

How did I find you? Did I design you to my measurements?

You’re a perfect fit

Holy Shit…. this is for real

All other deals are broken

This is yet unspoken, but I think I’m falling for you.

It’s my truth I know it’s scary

but on the contrary for me it’s divine to think that you could be mine…

Tonight and every night till the end of time.


I didn’t see this coming this humming in my heart like a moan after climax

I’m trembling at your touch… is this too much?

Too much or not enough of this desire to inspire and please you

as I know you do too.

I’m you and you’re me…

This is uncanny

This litany of pleasure and pain all together again.

My tongue intertwined with yours our bodies pulsating and making waves across the


My god you’re good.

I never saw this coming

You are the prize my surprise my gift and the demise of all others before you.

I adore you.


This is a doozy.

One of those rock and a hard place kind of moments

And every time I get to kiss you I miss you more.

Cause I’m thinking about the times that you weren’t there,

when I was kissing someone that wasn’t you.


I know this is a big one

You are The one…

I’ve been looking for


Live Performance of this poem On May 11th 2018– Image Gallery, NYC Brooklyn

New York Skies- My love affair revealed.


Central Park

I’ve not written about my love affair with the New York skyline in quite some time. I don’t mean the buildings and the familiar land marks; there are plenty of blog posts and travel magazines dedicated to the iconic and grandiose of New York City architecture. My skyline musings come like a drop of the hat inspirations. I love being surprised by the change in colors, hues and textures. Each day starts with one sky and will develop into something entirely different. Just like the city itself, its skies are moody, explosive, theatrical and mesmerizing. I’ve always had my camera ready for whatever new development arises.

Often I’m quick to snap a picture, even when on the road, in a car, on the train as I’m walking to and from work. I look up like a tourist and take moment to absorb the textures of each day.

View of Manhattan from Queens 

Dawn Breaking at the William Vale Hotel in Wiliamsburg
View from Midtown Manhattan

Sometimes we forget that in these big cities, we co exist with nature in all its forms. I’ve come across birds of prey in Central Park and gorgeous sea gulls near Battery Park; Rabbits in Prospect Park and beautiful flowers in the middle of a cement landscape. A fox sighting or two here and there, reminds us that were not the big city slickers we’ve convinced ourselves to be, but merely stewards of this great animal kingdom that tolerates our existence, even though we’ve done a really good job of alienating  and marginalizing it.

Seagull in South Street Seaport

This time lapse video I took from the apartment of a client. The day changes into night with such grace that I had to capture the last dregs of summer sun transform into a sweet early autumn evening.

A rainbow in Brooklyn
Prospect Park- late september

The New York skyline reminds me that nature has a way of showing up in beautiful and profound ways, comforting me and reaffirming that even though it’s a cement and iron metropolis; looking up at the sky connects us all with my need to be near the sea, near the mountains and with nature whenever we get the chance.

Prospect Park
West side pier 40.

A glimpse of dawn breaking at 5 am off the Brooklyn Queens Expressway
Brooklyn 7pm- A summer evening unfolding.