An insight into Aggeliki Georgokosta, a Spotter for our Athens city guide. We got to know Aggeliki better last November, as she was one of the people who came all the way from her city to join us on the Spotters weekend in Amterdam. Aggeliki has lived in Athens for a long time, with a brief move to Patras to study theater. Read on for more!
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
My life started in Athens. It might be hard for a kid to live in a city with no parks and not many spaces to play but I had a great time cycling outside the Kallimarmaro stadium and feeding the ducks (that are no longer there) in the National Gardens. As a teenager I had many options to escape the high school routine. Wandering around the center of Athens and especially the area of Psyrri, which at that time was the main nightlife area, going to concerts and the cinema were some of my favorite things to do. In those years I got in touch with post-modern theater and a new world opened my eyes so I moved to Patras to study theater. I had a great time there but very often I had to come back to Athens, especially for concerts, theater performances and of course for the buzz of a big city.
Another thing I really love is travelling. A highlight in my life was when I took the train from Athens and travelled through F.Y.R.O.M to Serbia, Bosnia, Montenegro, Croatia and from Albania back to Athens. I’ve been back in Athens for the last one and a half years and I enjoy writing about it for Spotted by Locals.
As most Greeks my age I am dealing with unemployment but I never lose my strength. I occasionally work for a theater company and I attend some free seminars. I also have time to study German, a language that intrigues me very much. I do believe that things will get better and I will be able to have a normal life in my beloved city.
How do you like being a Spotter?
Being a Spotter is another way of seeing your city. When I choose to write about a spot or when I search for it I try to reflect the point of view of a visitor. I also have to find the story behind a spot so I have learned a lot during this process. The greatest thing I experienced through being a Spotter was the Spotters weekend in Amsterdam. Being with one hundred people from all over Europe on a few boats is a once in a lifetime experience from which I gained some new friends.
What do you know about Athens that no tourist will know?
Hopefully due to Spotted by Locals there will be no secrets that we wouldn’t reveal but there are still many things that we (Spotters) don’t even know. I believe that people make the city what it is and Athens is full of marvelous people. Every person I have met in this city made me see Athens from different views and took me to different areas and spots. This is what I like most about Athens. There are so many spots waiting to be discovered and even a tourist could be the one to lead you there.
Which neighborhood is the most popular to live in at the moment in Athens?
I have lived in Exarcheia and Pagrati which are my homeland. I consider both areas ideal to live in but Exarcheia is the thrilling neighborhood of Athens and therefore most famous. Rock stars, poets and intellectual persons have lived and created things there. It is also the area of anarchists and of various alternative collectives. Before moving there I wasn’t really fond of this entire situation but it is true that a different feeling envelops you when you wake up in this neighborhood.
Cafes, bookbinder shops, record stores, book stores and every type of little unique shop, that you can think of, are forming the most sophisticated neighborhood of Athens. Exarcheia is also a constant value in the nightlife of Athens. Very good restaurants, open air cinemas, gig halls and elegant bars are located there. Exarcheia is an area that remains still in time and maintains its character.
What does a perfect day in Athens look like for you?
A perfect day in Athens could start at Sabor. There you can grab a delicacy and a cappuccino and go to the National Gardens (see first picture). Find a bench and enjoy your breakfast! If you like shopping you are in the right place. Ermou Street is near the National Gardens. It is the most famous commercial street of Athens. After passing by Monastiraki square you will find SHOP, a concept store where you can find many gadgets, clothing and shoes. At the end of Ermou you’ll find a beautiful pedestrian road that leads straight to the area of Gazi.
Visit Deezaar to choose from a trimmed collection of second hand (heart) clothes. In Gazi you can also find the most valued for money sandwich in town in Nezos. But if your perfect day takes place on the weekend don’t miss the chance to taste the dishes of one of the best restaurants of Athens, Tirbouson (this is closed on weekdays till 18:00). Another must do in Gazi is to enjoy a fredo cappuccino in the sunburned outdoor tables of Hoxton.
Then you can easily move by bus to Omonoia square. Make a small stop to Mimis to see the widest collection of sunglasses and then walk to Exarcheia. If it is Saturday you will experience the open market of Kallidromiou but either way Kallidromiou is beautiful street and you can visit To ThimaritouStrefi if you are interested in trying some exceptional Greek products.
Alexandrino would be the ideal place to stop for a drink or a coffee. As the night comes you should search for an alternative-Avant grade event at Knot gallery, 6 D.o.g.s or Bios. After all that, if you still have the energy to enjoy Athens’s vibrant nightlife, open the Spotted by Locals app or pdf guide and I am sure that you will find a nice bar just right next to where you are.
If you’re interested in reading more of Aggeliki’s articles please follow this link. Or if you’d like to read our interviews with other Spotters, click here.