No of visits since August 2001
Mark your Calendar
movie night: Classic
with Costas Hatzichristos, Nikos Rizos, Marika Nezer.
Friday, May 25, 2007 at 8:00 PM
St. George, Greek Orthodox Church, Bethesda, Maryland.
Other Upcoming Events
To celebrate the
50th anniversary of the European Union and the cultural diversity of Europe, all
27 European Union member states and the European Commission in Washington, DC,
are launching an ambitious literary project titled European
Poetry in Motion®
that will be presented during the month of May 2007.
A total of 135
poems, five from each country in both their original language and in English,
will be on display inside Metro buses. Additional
advertising for this project will be featured on the outside of buses and in
features all the poems, author biographies, country information and more. The
site will be available for information and as an educational resource for one
The featured poems
will be brought to life in two readings:
5, from 2 - 7 p.m., the Goethe-Institut will host a poetry marathon in which
representatives of each EU member state will read their country's poems followed
by the English translation. Poet
Ernie Wormwood will moderate the event.
Greek poetry in
Greek and English will be read by Yiorgos Chouliaras, poet and Press Counselor,
Embassy of Greece and Zoe Kosmidou, Cultural Counselor Embassy of Greece at
812 7th Street, NW
Information, call 202.289.1200.
20, from 4 - 6 p.m., “Busboys and Poets” will present a reading of
select European poetry from the project.
Busboys and Poets
2021 14th Street,
information, call 202.387.POET
features all the poems, author biographies, country information and more. The
site will be available for information and as an educational resource for one
This project has
been made possible by the kind support of the European Commission, The
Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority (WMATA), the DC Commission on the Arts
and Humanities, Alexandria, Arlington, and Prince George's County Arts Councils
and the Poetry Society of America. The Greek participation was sponsored by the
National Book Center of Greece.
Prometheas Past Events
For more information on Prometheas’ events during April, see attached write-up by Prometheas member Rigas Kapatos (see attachment).
Furthermore, Dr. Babiniotis’ speech is finally available and we are glad to include it on our web site.
Also, the Greek
saxophonist, vocalist and composer Dimitri Vassilakis and his trio, consisting
of Theo Hill (piano), Essiet Okon Essiet (bass), and Ronnie Burrage (drums),
performed on April 19, 2007, at the Baird Auditorium of the National History
Museum during the Smithsonian Institution's annual Jazz Appreciation Month
Festival. (see summary in
both Greek and
Greek Music/New CDs
It has been a while since so many good new productions came into the market at the same time. The following three CDs were released during the last few months and they are all worth having in your musical collection:
I’ve just finished reading David Fromkin’s book “A peace to end all peace” and I feel the need to share a few thoughts with you. This is a “must read” for everybody who cares to understand the reasons behind the problems we are facing in the Middle East (especially in Palestine, Lebanon and Iraq) today. The book covers the period 1914-1922, which (according to the author; and I agree) is the most important decade in the twentieth century for this region. “It was an era in which Middle Eastern countries and frontiers were fabricated in Europe. Iraq and what we now call Jordan, for example, were British inventions, lines drawn on an empty map by British politicians after the First World War; while the boundaries of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Iraq were established by a British servant in 1922, and the frontiers between Moslems and Christians were drawn by France in Syria-Lebanon and by Russia on the borders of Armenia and Soviet Azerbaijan”.
With regard to Iraq, it is ironic to read that an American missionary was warning the British that: “you are flying in the face of four millenniums of history if you try to draw a line around Iraq and call it a political entity!” Then, The Times on August 7 1920 was demanding (from the British Government) to know “how much longer are valuable lives to be sacrificed in the vain endeavor to impose upon the Arab population an elaborate and expensive administration which they never asked for and do not want?” Did anybody say that …history repeats itself?
In addition to what we now know as Middle East, the book covers the broader area and many important events of the same period (1914-1922). Most importantly (for us), it covers the tragedy of Smyrna. Also, it includes an extensively description of the “Bolshevik Revolution”, which maybe was not all that… “Bolshevik”! It is interesting to read the role of “Parvus” (Alexander Israel Helphand), a Russian Jew, who was successful in manipulating the Young Turks (in Istanbul), Lenin (who was at the time in Vienna) and the German Government to support the Russian revolution. As a leading historian of these events has written, “The revolutionary parties (in Russia) played no direct part in the making of the revolution. They did not expect it…”.
Happy reading. It is available in paperback too.
of Plato’s Academy and Aristotle’s Lyceum Transplanted to a Maryland Campus:
Goucher Taps Greece for Ideas
By Edward Gunts, Baltimore Sun, April 23, 2007
Goucher College's Towson campus is 5,100 miles from
ancient Greece, but the latest addition promises to bring it considerably closer
-- at least in spirit.
College leaders will break ground in the center of
campus this week for a $46 million mixed-use structure called the Athenaeum -- a
Greek term for an all-encompassing place of learning.
In Greece, the word referred to buildings dedicated
to Athena, the goddess of wisdom, and in particular to one temple on the
Acropolis where poets, philosophers and orators gathered to read and discuss
Goucher's version, inspired by the Grecian
precedents, is intended to be both a literal centerpiece for the campus and the
figurative heart of the academic community.
When it opens in the fall of 2009, the four-level
building will be filled with spaces that encourage students and others to come
together, including a library, a glass-roofed forum that can accommodate 500 to
800 people for performances and public discussions, a cafe, art gallery,
exercise areas, a commuter lounge for students who live off-campus and more.
It was designed by Hillier Architecture of
Princeton, N.J., to serve the community at large as well as Goucher students and
faculty, according to college president Sanford J. Ungar.
"Like the Athenaeum in days of old, it will be
a central gathering point where intellectual, cultural and social purposes are
all brought together in one place," Ungar said. "My understanding of
the Athenaeum of old is that it was the place where you went when you wanted to
see people for one reason or another. That's the idea that inspires us."
Other colleges may have components of the Goucher
project in different locations, but "we don't know of any campus that has
this ... particular mix" of elements in one place, said Nicholas Garrison,
design principal for Hillier. "Combining them is what makes it
One of the largest spaces will be the library,
which Ungar describes as a "glass book box," but even the library will
be different from most. The designers have "blurred the edges" so it
will be hard to tell where the library begins and ends.
The goal is to encourage students to get away from
the personal computers in their dorm rooms -- one downside of the technology
revolution -- and interact with other students by making the library part of a
larger area that they'll want to check out several times a day. "It's to
make people feel like you don't have to make a special trip to the
library," Ungar said.
The forum will be another key gathering spot -- an
indoor amphitheater with flexible seating, wireless Internet access and sports
bar-like video screens.
It's "a modern day interpretation of what a
great public meeting space should be," Garrison said.
Besides showing sports events and music videos, the
large screens may be used as a digital storytelling device that will enable
students abroad to share experiences with their colleagues back in Maryland.
Ungar is a strong proponent of global awareness,
and all Goucher students are required to spend part of their studies abroad.
Given that philosophy, "the desire is to make this building so nimble
technologically that it becomes a natural connection to global
consciousness," Garrison said. "That's the point of the forum -- to
connect the kids in Baltimore to the world beyond."
Goucher has raised more than $23 million in cash
and pledges to build and operate the Athenaeum and continues to seek donations.
It has received $900,000 in federal funds and mostly likely will issue bonds to
help finance construction, Ungar said.
The college has spent another $9 million to prepare
the campus for construction of the Athenaeum, including relocating a parking
lot, realigning portions of its loop road and building another power plant.
Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski will deliver the keynote
speech at the groundbreaking ceremony, which starts at 10:30 a.m. Friday.
Mikulski helped Goucher secure the federal funds.
While the architecture has conceptual ties to
ancient Greece, the building is no throwback. Hillier designed it to fit with
the modernist buildings at the college, which moved to its current location at
1021 Dulaney Valley Road 54 years ago. Exterior materials include Butler stone,
glass, wood and copper.
The architects also adopted eco-friendly design
strategies, including use of green roofs, high-efficiency mechanical systems and
redwood salvaged from old olive barrels. Olive trees can be found all over
Greece and are that country's national tree.
"We want a building that will fit in but stand
out," Ungar said. "We hope this will be a building, like the Brown
Center at [the Maryland Institute College of Art], that will be an attraction in
Copyright © 2007, The
Link to the article: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/education/bal-to.archcol23apr23,0,7355196.column
[This article was taken from the Hellenic Link. The reader is encouraged to visit their web site, which includes very useful information and a periodic newsletter: http://www.helleniclink.org/]
University of the Peloponnese in Kalamata, in collaboration with the World
Confederation of Messinians Abroad, the Pan-Messinian Federation of U.S.A. and
Canada, and the Pan-Australian Federation of Messinian Organizations, is
organizing for the second year in a row free summer courses for 50 students
(ages 17-25) of Messinian descent and for 10 schoolteachers (student chaperones)
from the U.S., Canada and/or Australia who teach in Greek schools.
and food will be provided for students free of charge.
Seating in Ancient Greek Theater Found to Help the Acoustics
Greek theater of Epidaurus, built in the 4th century B.C., is considered a
marvel of acoustics. (Georgia Institute Of Technology)
Monday, April 9,
2007; Page A06
theater of Epidaurus has long been considered a marvel of acoustics. Over the
years, people have come up with a number of explanations as to why those who sit
in the back of the semicircular theater, built in the 4th century B.C., can hear
performers on the stage with such clarity.
One theory was
that it had to do with the wind patterns in the area, but modern actors
performing on windless days sounded just as clear.
the Georgia Institute of Technology this month showed that the secret is in . .
. the seats. Nico Declercq and Cindy Dekeyser found that the seating, which is
carved from limestone, creates an acoustic filter that screens out low frequency
crowd noises and reflects higher frequency sounds from the stage.
In a paper in
the April issue of the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, the
researchers said that while the filtering also suppressed part of the range of
frequencies of the human voice, "the human nerve system and brain are able
to reconstruct this fundamental tone by means of the available high frequency
Youth Remake ‘Seattle of the Balkans’
Kolesidis for The New York Times
April 8, 2007
Stop any of them
and they might turn grim and tell you that this majestic city is the ignored,
unloved and lonesome little sister of Athens.
But don't buy it. Although Thessaloniki often loses tourist-brochure headlines
to Athens, its growing appeal as a youthful city with an intriguing multiethnic
history and an arty counterculture is turning it into something of a Seattle
of the Balkans.
southeastern European center for cinema because of its film festivals, Thessaloniki
is enjoying a resurgence in its eclectic visual arts and music scenes, evident
at contemporary art museums and galleries and clubs like Xylourgeio at Mylos,
a flour mill turned entertainment complex. As the suburbs spread and sprout
resort hotels, downtown standbys like the Plaza Art Hotel and the City Hotel
have been remodeled to accommodate the increasing number of cinephiles for the
has always been an alternative city, moving to its own rhythm,” said Nikodemos
Triaridis, 34, who two years ago founded a small record label, Run Devil Run.
“After so much lamenting of the chronic loss of the spotlight to Athens,” he
said, “we are finally starting to embrace our offbeat sense of self again.”
with a metropolitan area of about a million people, was founded around 300 B.C.
by Cassander, king of Macedon, who named it for his wife, Thessaloniki,
half-sister of Alexander the Great. A walk around the city reveals a mosaic of
cultural influences: Roman ruins; Byzantine churches like Aghios Dimitrios , the
basilica dedicated to the patron Saint of Thessaloniki; Ottoman-era hammams and
mosques; the pink house where Ataturk, founder of the Turkish republic, was born
in 1881; and the 19th-century brick houses in the Ladadika district, the old
Much of the
action is concentrated in the historic center, which is anchored by Aristotelous
Square. This is where one finds a wonderful view from the Thermaic Gulf to the
swell of the historic Ano Poli (Upper City). An international group of
architects designed the square and much of Thessaloniki's center in 1917, just
after the city was nearly destroyed by fire. Once home to five open-air cinemas,
the square today has the Olympion, a theater built in 1948 and now the
headquarters for the Thessaloniki International Film Festival, which draws
thousands every November. Other annual film events include the Documentary Film
Festival in March; the Crashfest, devoted to short films by emerging young
filmmakers, in April; and the Videodance Festival in May.
downtown, you soon notice that young ramblers are everywhere: on the seafront
promenade, near the 14th-century White
Tower and the statue of Alexander the Great, at the crowded cafes of
Aristotelous Square and at the bars built into the old fabric markets in the
Bezesteni neighborhood. Most are among the 95,000 students at Aristotle
University, the largest in Greece. Many others are young professionals and
35, an artist who specializes in offbeat photo-based narratives, often passes
cafes filled with young crooners singing songs by the contemporary Greek
composer Manos Hadjidakis as she walks home to her loft in a remodeled former
market building in Bezesteni, which she shares with her husband, Nikos
Yannopoulos, a 55-year-old filmmaker. They are part of a recent influx of
artists and professionals to the once rundown Ottoman-era neighborhood, where
chic bistros have arrived — like Ideal at Grigoriou Palama and Tsimiski
Streets. It serves boutique wines,
tender beef on roasted eggplant purée, and arugula salads dotted with
pomegranate seeds and a soft goat cheese called katiki to the accompaniment of
live jazz. But the traditional culinary fare — spicy whipped feta, pork stewed
with chestnuts and wild-greens pies — offered at the city's ouzeries should
not be ignored.
Not far from
Bezesteni are the Modiano, Kapani and Louloudadika marketplaces. A stroll
through them is a kaleidoscopic journey into scent, sound and color: cumin and
sage, broad spreads of fresh meat and fish, Pontic cheeses, even the odd village
potion for menstrual cramps, all wrapped in an aural force field of greengrocers
promoting their eggplant in booming rhymes.
Founded in the
early 1920s by the architect Eli Modiano, a member of a Sephardic merchant
family, the Modiano
Market was once a hub for Thessaloniki's Jews, many who trace
themselves from the Sephardim expelled from Spain
in 1492. They thrived in Thessaloniki, at one point a majority, but occupying
Nazis in World War II virtually eliminated them. Some 45,000 to 50,000 of the
city's Jews — about 96 percent — died during the war, many at Auschwitz.
Only about 2,000 Jews live in the city today. Their history is recounted at the Jewish
Museum, which follows the narrative from A.D. 200 to the beginning of
The Ladino songs
of Thessaloniki's Sephardic Jews enjoyed a resurgence in the 1990s, especially
when the singer Savina Yannatou and the band Primavera en Salonica performed
those songs on the 1995 recording “Spring in Salonica.” At the time, the
avenue of clubs at the Mylos complex, near the port, was thriving, fueling the
rise of musicians like the jazz-folk fusion group Mode Plagal and the rock bands
Trypes and Xylina Spathia. Mylos is far more mainstream now, but Xylourgeio
(Carpenter's Shop) draws an intriguing lineup of offbeat artists like Daemonia
Nymphe, who make ambient folk music with reproductions of ancient Greek
instruments. The music scene is also enriched by indie labels like Ano Kato
(Upside Down), Run Devil Run and the electronica-loving Poeta Negra, whose acts
perform at small downtown clubs like the neon-blue neo-grunge Zenith.
listener is Areti Leopoulou, a 29-year-old art historian and music buff.
“There's a lot of creative energy,” she said, “and it's bursting to get
The same could
be said for visual arts. The painter Vasilis Zografos, for instance, has worked
in the city for 20 years and has noted the ingredients for an art renaissance
— talent, exhibition space, endless sources of inspiration — but has only
recently seen results. The 10-year-old State
Museum of Contemporary Art, housed in a former monastery in the
suburb of Stavroupolis, has been a leader. In 2005, it opened the Center of
Contemporary Art in an old warehouse at the port, part of a continuing push to
revitalize the area. (Two other museums, one devoted to photography and the
other to cinema, opened there in 1995). The center is devoted to emerging visual
and performing arts. The museum is also organizing a citywide biennial, starting
in late May.
“It's like the
pulse of Thessaloniki is quickening, at last,” said Eleni Athanasopoulou,
a 28-year-old photography and video artist who works at the center.
After a long day
at work, she was unwinding at Urban, a gallery turned colorful bar on Zefxidos
Street. The crowd was mostly college students with struggling beards, though a
few aging hipsters were hanging on, nursing glasses of vodka. The Scissor
Sisters blared on the stereo, and a young woman, her dreds in a beehived updo,
serenaded a framed poster of Bruce Lee.
officially became Tuesday, the party showed no sign of slowing.
Lufthansa and Olympic are among the airlines that offer service from New York,
starting at about $1,200 round trip. A taxi from the Thessaloniki airport
"Makedonia" to the city center is about 15 euros, or $20.40 at
$1.36 to the euro. Plans for a subway system are moving forward.
Art Hotel (5 Paggeou Street, 30-2310-520-120; www.hotelplaza.gr)
offers rooms for two starting at 82 euros, while the City Hotel (11 Komninon
Street, 30-2310-269-421; www.cityhotel.gr)
is 120 euros. For more luxury, try the Electra
Palace (9 Aristotelous Square, 30-2310-294-000), where rooms start
from 165 euros to 185 euros.
Dinner for two
at the Ideal wine and jazz bistro (1 Grigoriou Palama 1 and 87
Tsimiski; 30-2310-288-844) is about 60 euros. Among Salonika's excellent ouzeris
is Agora (5 Kapodistriou, 30-2310-532-428) and Aristotelous (8 Aristotelous,
30-2310-233-195), where a meal for two costs about 30 euros. And sample the
buffalo milk-cream kazan dipi at Hatzis (50 Venizelou, 30-2310-279-058) or the
chocolate-covered tsoureki at Terkenlis at the Byzantino cafe off Aghia Sophia
Square (30-2310-244-876, www.terkenlis.gr).
Museum of Contemporary Art (21 Kolokotroni Street, Moni Lazariston;
has a stirring collection of Russian avant-garde art. The museum's Center of
Contemporary Art (Warehouse B1, Port of Salonika; 30-2310-546-683; www.cact.gr)
has eclectic presentations of video and new-media art. Delve into history at the
of Byzantine Culture (2 Leoforos Stratou, 30-2310-868-570; www.mbp.gr)
or the Jewish Museum (13 Aghiou Mina Street, 30-2310-250-406; www.jmth.gr).
Admission to the Museum of Byzantine Culture is 4 euros; for the others, it is 3
For a sampling
of Greek and international music,
go to Mylos (56 Andreou Georgou Street, 30-2310-551-838; www.mylos.gr),
a former flour factory transformed in 1991 into an entertainment complex. One of
the best spots is the Xylourgeio, which spotlights experimental and alternative
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