Thursday, April 22, 2010
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
It a great honor and pleasure for us, the proprietors at Greek Jewelry Shop, to announce that our Greek jewelry designs are now available to the public in Paris via the official gift shop at the Louvre! The family tradition of Vaphiadis Jewelry) dates back 4 generations to 1928 in Asia Minor, previously a highly populated area by Greeks quite acclaimed in the fields of artisanship and commerce.
Our history and tradition
In the last half century the Vaphiadis family have pioneered in developing prototypes and inspired adaptations of numerous ancient ancient works of art and museum pieces related to classical Greek, Minoan, Mycenean, Etruscan and Byzantine periods. The efforts and consistency in creating fine reproductions of this ancient treasures with due respect to the cultural domains involved have led to numerous successes and to establishing the Vaphiadis family name as one of the pioneers in the field of ancient jewelry reproductions.
Amongst the most well known designs are the 1964 dolphin ring, originally a Minoan symbol, adapted from Minoan wall-paintings by Lefteris Vaphiadis, becoming one of the most recognized and most copied ring designs of this century world-wide.
Amongst our clientèle, we have been very proud over the years to have served esteemed customers such as several heads of State on official visits to Greece, a long list of European and American movie-stars and a recent Whitehouse first lady. (We would rather not mention names - as such an endorsement is a little tacky without their expressed consent)
Since 2005, 'Greek Jewelry Shop' collection by Vaphiadis has been proudly featured by organisations and institutes around world such as the city of Luxembourg museum, the Getty Villa museum (California) and has associated itself via sponsorship with various Hellenic artistic causes such as the L.A. Greek Film festival.
From April 2010, part of our collection will also be available at the The Louvre museum in Paris, France via the highly esteemed government-run establishment RMN (The association of National [French] Museums). Such an association and partnership has been a great honor for a family business such as ours that has been developed with much love and commitment to the beauty of ancient works of art, which has now found a new home under what is considered as Europe's most important historical museum.
The collection featured at the Louvre constitutes a 'time-capsule' for several almost extinct ancient aesthetics and processes in jewelry-making which are still manufactured today with many of the same methods used by our ancestors. The selection of designs are mainly of the Hellenistic and Minoan epocs.
Saturday, March 20, 2010
If you're travelling through Athens on a budget or simply want to sample some "Greek food for Greeks" .. which means - great food without the "frills", then you can certainly do with a local Athenian to make a recommendation and to guide you in the right direction.
"Doris" is a wonderful taverna for its food and service, classified more as a "mageirion" (which means eatery in Greek).
"Mageiria" (plural) are traditionally the type of restaurants created for one purpose only - offering home-made food to locals at reasonable prices. There are not many of these left in Athens these days as eating out has become quite expensive and the focus has moved more to the frills.. live music or the decor of the environment.. making it quite hard to find good food at reasonable prices.
As an 'eatery' you will find that Doris over-qualifies! The selection of plates is quite impressive offering numerous delicious freshly oven-cooked Greek dishes done 100% the traditional way. It is a clean environment with courteous and friendly service. Unfortunately, they do not have a website.. but in my opinion even this reflects their traditional non-frills philosophy.. as their only focus is concentrating on satisfying large crowds of Athenians daily with good food.
'Doris' is located in the busy heart of Athens, just under Syntagma square, which is where most of Athens' jewelry workshops are situated. This is within walking distance of both Syntagma metro station and the Panepistimio metro station.
Average price per person: Below 10 Euros!
Address: Praxitelous 30, central Athens (walking distance from Syntagma square and Plaka)
Opening hours: Daily until 6 p.m.
Booking: You do not need to book at this restaurant, but if you insist on calling first their number is 210 3232671
Highlights: They make their own bread daily and all food is cooked with extra virgin olive oil.. (this is a fine detail you will not find in most of Plaka's tavernas that charge upto 4 times the price for similar dishes). Leave enough space to try their Loukoumades (dessert) after lunch!
Say hello: If you happen to go, say hello to Themis, the delightful owner, from us, the staff at GreekJewelryShop! You may even bump into us as we eat lunch there 1-2 times a week!
Thursday, March 11, 2010
'The Greeks' have a tragic tendency to praise talent and importance after death. This may be partly due to wisdom, as indeed one's entire role in life can only be fully judged by what this person leaves behind. On the other hand, this austerity of judgement may also embody - in a nutshell - why Greek culture has failed to progress significantly since our country was granted independence and was re-established as a state after 1821.
As a Greek citizen, this factor is indeed quite saddening at times when repeatedly in history it has proved to require death, before the acknowledgement of a hero or a patriot who has paid his/her dues to serving their conscience and justifying patriotic means at the same time.
Nana Mouskouri is a Lady (with all the meaning of the word) who has served Greece and yet has hardly been acknowledged or appreciated by the Greek state anywhere near as much as as she has earned and deserved through her long career in music and later politics. After having sold over 300 million records worldwide and having represented Greece with utmost grace and persistence, for just over 50 years, it is blatantly clear that she deserves a great deal more recognition from the Greek state and Greek people than she has received. If she were British she would have been Knighted by the Queen to say the least.
Politics: Nana Mouskouri was appointed a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in 1993. She took over from the previous ambassador, the recently deceased actress Audrey Hepburn. Mouskouri's first U.N. mission took her to Bosnia to draw attention to the plight of children affected by Bosnian war. She was deeply moved by her experience in Bosnia and went on to give a series of fund-raising concerts in Sweden and Belgium.
She was elected a Member of the European Parliament from 1994 until 1999, when she resigned from her position as an MEP, reportedly because as a pacifist, she refused to back wars.
As it goes and as one Greek to another, from a much younger generation than you Nana, and with the humility appointed to me by no one else other by my conscience, I say THANK YOU Nana, for your devotion to art and humanity and for your unrecognized efforts for Greece.
Sunday, March 7, 2010
16 years since the death of actress, singer, politician and activist during the Junta and later for the return of the Parthenon marbles to their place of origin, the legend of Melina lives on and blesses all who remember her today. Melina - The face of dignity in a country with a strifeful past.