Blanka Amezkua is a Mexican visual artist whose love for Athens and its people can be observed through her many collaborative artistic projects. She is this week’s featured Out-of-Towner, offering us her personalized views, insider experiences and know-how of Greek life.
Still extremely curious
Where on earth I am from
I am from a distant land, where one of the native languages contains 23 different vocal sounds, no accents, five vowels and 18 consonants, and the language itself means “soft and sweet tongue”. The Aztecs spoke it, it’s spoken even now: nahuatl. It is a country that is currently home to more than 65 indigenous ethnic groups, and recent studies demonstrate that the most divergent indigenous groups in Mexico are as different from each other as Europeans are from East Asians.
Mexico City is my birthplace, the place my umbilical cord was cut and where it rests.
Rate your homeland vs Greece
Surrounded by oceans and not sea… the Americas are vast and expansive. My family lives there. The food is spicier. The music is louder. Where I come from, I’ve discovered more community collaborative projects functioning and being supported by the state. And the weather can be more extreme depending on where you live.
I came to Greece because…
Greece holds a unique place in western history, because it is simply a gorgeous country and because I happen to be married to a wonderful Greek man.
I’ve fallen in love with…
The complexities, contradictions and anarchic beauty of the city and its people
I get mad because…
I cannot read Greek, so I cannot go into all those beautiful bookstores, small publishing houses, or even libraries in the city, and pick up a book to simply read its prologue.
If I knew then what I know now…
I would have eaten more eggplant and anthotyro cheese.
Greece in the palm of my hand…
The sweetness of springtime.
MY FAVORITE PLACE TO:
eat: Ouzeri Lesvos (38 Emmanouil Benaki Street)
watch the sun set: Lycabettus hill summit, the highest point in Athens
party all night : Six d.o.g.s (6-8 Avramiotou Street)
swim: Kaki Thalassa, Keratea
shop: Evripidou and Athinas Streets
watch the world go by: H Mouria, ouzeri on a Saturday morning (65 Harilaou Trikoupi Street)
read peacefully: Lexikopoleio, 13 Stasinou Street, Pagrati
connect with Greek culture: The Byzantine and Christian Museum (22 Vassilissis Sofias Street)
workout: Running track on top of the Kallimarmaro in Pagrati
escape to: Kaisariani hill
feel like a local: Having a cheese/meat/sweet pie at MAKEDONIKON (73 Solonos Street)
Photo by Nikos Kokkas