Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Destination: Greek Underground

While most journalists focus on the economic problems of Greece, Charly Wilder has been consistently exploring the Greek landscape of hipness. She's a free lance writer for the New York Times and contributes In Transit: A Guide to Intelligent Travel. About a year ago, Wilder featured the capital's indie scene, "The Indie Music Pillars of Athens," (NYT, Nov. 22, 2009). With the turn of the New Year, the Times Travel Section published a list of the 41 best places to travel in 2011. Wilder contributed Thessaloniki, as no. 38, see The 41 Places to Go in 2011," (NYT, Jan. 7, 2011). Salonicans, don't be offended that Kosovo beat you by two spots. Wilder's report focuses on the arts, architecture, and design scene of Thessaloniki and introduces American audiences (myself included) to Dynamo Project Space (video introduction here) and the urban prankster network Sfina. Thanks for the coverage. I quote Wilder's piece below:

38. Salonika, Greece: Out of the country’s economic woes, a new wave of artists. It may come as cold comfort to the Greeks, but the country’s financial woes have made it prime territory for bargain-hunting tourists. The coastal city of Salonika, often overlooked by tourists in favor of Athens, has been gaining momentum for the last several years with its prolific cultural scene. Now, with British Airways adding a direct route from London and a new mayor pushing forward a spate of major cultural and tourism initiatives, Salonika is hotter than ever. The newest wave of culture makers in the laid-back city include the nonprofit Dynamo Project Space, which gives a platform to up-and-coming local artists, architects and designers, and Sfina, a self-appointed “urban prankster network” that instigates flash mob-style events in public spaces. Since it opened last summer, the eco-conscious design firm 157173 has garnered attention for its offbeat minimalist lamps, mobiles and other design objects that are equal parts Bauhaus and Joan Miró. -CHARLY WILDER

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Kostis Kourelis

Philadelphia, PA, United States