Welcome to Nea Smyrni, my neighbourhood. The picture above is the view from my balcony, a sight I’ve grown up with. This alsos (somewhere between ‘parkland’, ‘recreational area’ and ‘small artificial forest’ in Greek) has been around since the founding of Nea Smyrni in the 1920s. We used to go there with school on our days off, watch films in the summer when the open-air cinema was still working… Lots of memories hidden between the pine trees, mainly from my childhood.
It used to be much denser with trees, more like a tiny forest than a park, but ever since the general reconstruction it went through as part of the gentrification of the neighbourhood by the municipality in the last decade, it’s become more “civilised”, with a small café in its centre, more open spaces etc. There’s also an open-air gym I sometimes go to when I’m not feeling completely lazy and a playground that is totally worse than the one we had back in my day! *mumble* They don’t make them like they used to… cough, hack, spit.
The Alsos’ main visitors are families and joggers and other people living in the surrounding area out for a breath of fresh air and to get a bit of exercise in but it’s perfect for anyone who wants to see and feel the Athenian residential parkland life. Bring your book, your gym clothes and/or some music and you’re good to go! Stop at tram stops “Aigaiou” or “Agias Foteinis”.
Alsos Neas Smyrnis, Plateia Vasileos Konstantinou. (source: spottedbylocals.com)

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