the city beneath

On my way to work I have to switch from the metro to the train at Monastiraki. In order to get to the train, I have to go through the station, through a passageway that goes through ancient ruins that were uncovered when the Metro station was built. It seems strange thinking about it; it’s neither exhibit nor station passage.  The floor of the passage itself is clear, so that you can look down and see the ruins. It sort of stops all the commuters short and makes them look down. I keep meaning to bring my camera to take a picture of it. This sentence from a non-related book review in The Millions reminds me of it: I’ve been thinking lately about the ways in which our cities are layered, the way different versions of a given city exist as shadows of one another…

Is Athens the shadow of ancient Athens? Considering how clustered it is around the ancient center, it seems like it probably is. What effect has that had? I keep looking at Google maps of Athens, surprised by how orderly the neighborhoods seem, fascinated by their layout. I keep wondering if the pattern holds information or secrets. From afar, as with the map below it doesn’t seem ordered. You have to go in closer to see it.

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