If you grew up in Athens in the 1970s and 1980s, the thunderbolts you heard about the city at Monocle Magazine’s annual conference sound a bit strange. Addicted to negative publicity and low self-esteem, we often find it difficult to coordinate with this international stream of interest in the city.
The founder and director of Monocle, Tyler Brule, believes that Athens is going through its “moment”. “There is an energy, you feel it, we see something happening in Athens”, he had stated two Sundays in the magazine “K”. I try to interpret these words and place them on a ground more solid than the fluid environment of an idea for which one can argue for or against.
First of all, as a journalist I understand very well the need for newspapers and (mostly) magazines to be the first to throw something unexpected on the table, something that no one else has thought of. In this respect, Athens has an advantage: exclusive decades from the charismatic metropolitan club, it arouses international interest as an underdog that carries a very strong brand. The six for the “new” seem to give Athens the opportunity to reveal its own hidden graces, which seem to have come to be appreciated at a time of global reshuffle and rupture. The concept of beauty recedes in the face of the need for authenticity and experience. In this context, Athens may have “experimented” much more than Zurich and Oslo, cities that are at the top of urban centers with the best quality of life internationally.
A cursory reading of this paradoxical race can take the clothes off of the average Athenian (and me, for sure): the traffic on the streets looks worse than ever, in the summer we lost precious forests, people with special expressions are still doomed to live in their house because we do not have the basic sockets. So what is the fuss about? As “shallow” as these strange, cute fashions that put cities up and down in an invisible stock market may sound, they also have their value: they certainly “catch” a trend and as far as Athens is concerned, there are direct and indirect redeemable profits both locally and locally. economy. Certainly, however, in the confidence of the inhabitants; not to believe that we are a “new Barcelona”, but to turn our attention to what is still holding us back.