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Athens: Ioannis Kostakis & His Fellow Florists

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Photo by amethystrainn
Photo by amethystrainn

If you walk to Syntagma Square in Athens along Vasilissis Sofias Avenue, you will inevitably notice a riot of florist’s stands. Whether you stroll by at 6 a.m. or 8 p.m., your nose will be delighted.

This olfactory pleasure is due in no small part to Ioannis Kostakis (+30-210-323-5542, Vasilissis Sofias 8 ) and his neighboring florists. They operate a handful of floral enterprises just outside the Parliament Building, peddling their petaled wares from morning to evening.

Mr. Kostakis stands out from the bunch. He and his colleagues wear smocks that make them look like medical practitioners. Additionally, their unwavering grace and affability are exceptional. On more than one occasion we have received flowers from Mr. Kostakis and his crew free of charge after stopping to enjoy a friendly exchange.

About the author

In order to keep a promise she and her brother had made to their grandmother (and to simultaneously fulfill one of her own dreams) Kaymaria left her beloved hometown of Oakland, California and headed to Athens in time for the 2004 Olympics. Today, she continues to work and play in the Greek capital, where you may find her writing atop Lykavittos, road-tripping with overseas guests, enjoying Athens cafés with friends, dancing to Greek hip-hop music, or reading Greek subtitles in an outdoor cinema. The daughter of two life-long educators and enthusiastic travelers, Kaymaria has explored North America, Mexico, and Europe. It was not until she spent a year as an exchange student at The University of York in England, however, that she discovered that she does not actually speak English.

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