The backstory of The Mall is nice and corrupt. The land was originally intended for public housing, but was sold to the Lamda Development, whose stakeholders include a lot of politicians. Lambda said they would build housing for Olympic journalists and, ooh, maybe just a small mall on the property, which would be great for Olympic revenue. The mall opened a year after the games ended. It's big and lovely and spawned a bunch of lawsuits. The coolest thing about it, though, is the view and the graffiti:
|There's Athens over there. All of that.|
|I really want to understand this piece.|
Is it slamming Santa, or is it slamming tobacco?
Also, what's in the sack? Toys? More cigs?
Maybe it's saying if you smoke, you'll get toys.
The 2004 Olympic Athletic Center of Athens (O.A.K.A., if you're Greek), is right next door to the mall, because, if you used your critical reading skills, you remember that the mall was "built for the Olympics." I'd really like to swim at the pools here, a few of which are still in great shape, so I wandered over to take a look.
The whole place is massive and maze-like, and mostly deserted. There are signs left over from the Olympics pointing out where the judges and athletes should be for certain events. Pieces of the roof flap loudly in the wind. A lot of the decorative glass lighting on the grounds is smashed in and coned off. The structures are all intact, and they are cool.
|I like this one for its looks and its utility.|
You'd be surprised how great partial-geometric shade feels,
when it's 2 million degrees outside.
I don't know if this is a relic from the Olympics, or it's a more recent addition to the complex, but the fencing situation at O.A.K.A. is out of control. You never know if you'll run across an opening, or just another dead-end staircase to a gate. It's like being a lab rat in the world's worst maze. It would make an incredible venue for a room escape, except that everyone would freak out and tear down what's left of the complex in frustration. I ended up hopping a fence. Look at these fences and tell me they're not begging to be hopped.
|And it's deserted so no one will yell at you.|
I wish I could give you some scope for how large and deserted this whole place is. I took this picture with the self-timer on my camera. In situations like this, I'm always tempted to do something illegal and destructive, just to stick it to the man.
|No authority, no rules.|
I could have taken this picture from the roof, if I'd wanted.
It was just too hot to stick it to the man today. That's white, hot rock all over the ground. Everything here is made out of white, hot rock. The sun is reflected right off the ground and into your freaking face.