Brooklyn-based artist ACES crafts daydream-worthy pop songs, and captures equally dreamy snapshots of Greece in her photo essay and guide to the country.
The end of summer in Greece is a magical place: tourists have cleared out, grapes are harvested, and the country is bathed in an ethereal glow.
In a series of photos, Canadian-born, Brooklyn-based songstress ACES (Alex Stewart) captures the country’s muted post-summer surreality. A frequent traveler to Greece since age 17, Stewart gives us her insider guide to Athens, Monemvasia, and Glyfada. So don a vintage bathing suit, grab a glass of ouzo, and join ACES for a tour through Greece’s vintage shops, local sounds, and essential eateries.
“It’s day one. I immerse myself as quickly as possible, jump into my mother-in-law’s vintage bronze bathing suit and head to the beach.”
“It’s September 1st and there are 13 hours of daylight. Even if you can’t be on the sand until 5 pm, it’s always worth the trip.There’s no place else to be and you’ll always find ice-cold ouzo waiting.”
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“Despite what the weather feels like, summer is over and it’s calm. The tourists have gone home and the Greeks are back at work. I come prepared but leave extra room in my suitcase for the things I didn’t know I needed.”
“From the window of the shop’s 4th floor showroom, I see Athens. Dusty blue and faded from the hot summer sun.”6
While I’m there, I head to lunch with friends at Thanasis Kebab. Here, you go for the gemista (an aromatic rice-stuffed tomato dish) and their classic, no-nonsense kebab platter. Extra sumac, always.”
“A short walk away I find myself in Retrosexual. Say what you will about the name, this family run shop is chock-full of vintage collectables. The Petropoulos’ have been importing goods to Greece for more than 100 years and they’re currently repairing, restoring, and selling their stockpile of 60s classics. You might find a good record or that dream Guzzini espresso maker you’ve always wanted.”
“Then comes a day-trip outside of the city: a four-hour journey to Monemvasia. The castle town was carved out of the backside of a small island in Medieval times.”
“You know you’re getting close by the circling of birds off in the distance. Here, the water is a dark blue and especially inviting after walking through the oven-hot maze of a town.”
“On the way back we stop in Glyfada, a place where we partied as teenagers and shop in as adults. We wander the blocks of thick marble walkways. I steal some cool A/C and shade inside Pogonatos, a jewelry store featuring minimalist Greek designers. A freddo espresso saves me at the end of the day.”