23 lights for 2011

The “Pedion tou Areos” [Mars’ Fields] Park of Athens –one of the two largest in the city– has been during the past several years, and still is, under re-landscaping. However, parts of it have been gradually opening to the public since last September. And on Christmas eve, the low headlights on the street side of Leoforos Alexandras were on for the first time. 

This New Year’s eve, having spent a lovely early evening drinking tea with a seldom –until now, at least– seen friend, I returned home. Very peaceful, I decided to stay in. Washed the dishes, made only a single phone call, read the year’s –and decade’s– rather somber review in the paper. I was toying with the idea of going to bed early – but then thought I should go out and realize the idea I had on Christmas eve.

I photographed –with no pretensions to ‘art’– each single headlight on the street side, using identical conditions: the lower part of the frame rests on the top of the marble ledge; each headlight is placed in the middle of the bottom edge.

All photographs were taken by me standing on the pavement lane for the blind.

The Park’s re-landscaping has been a long time coming, unfortunately. Fortunately, its principal architect, Alexandros Tombazis, is a respected figure – and received the highest number of votes amongst candidates with the party that won the recent municipal elections. Those results were a great relief, and many hopes hang on them.

The headlights end at the site of Athena’s statue, erected in 1952 to honour British, Australian and New Zealand soldiers who were killed on Greek soil during WWII. It now looks over a –perhaps regrettably rather too geometrical, but certainly mythologically appropriate– olive grove. The skaters, who used to love the marble pavement in front of it, will have, I hear, their specially designed area.

The lights are on. There’s work to be done.

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