Author Archives: Stefanos Christoforos

Stefanos Christoforos grew up a subway stop from the Christopher Street station in New York’s West Village. Technically, it was “a river and a subway stop” away in Hoboken, New Jersey, a waterfront town that achieved a place in the annals of American song and sport as the birthplace of Frank Sinatra and baseball. He couldn’t sing or swing a bat and had little desire to do either, and thus, freed from the commitments of choir practice and junior varsity, he spent his time exploring, at first his own little square mile of working-class ethnic minestrone and then eastwards across the river to The City, where he discovered there were things he was good at that he didn’t need to practice. Or maybe that the practice was so bound up with passion that it never seemed like work. One of the things he was good at (but actually did require a lot of practice) was languages. Though he studied various things in college and graduate school—political science and city planning and even theology—he eventually wound up spending most of his waking hours working with languages, his own and those he later acquired. It was a bit like the route between Hoboken and Christopher Street: a path waiting to be discovered. He now lives even further east, in Athens, Greece, where he works in the fields of corporate communication and translation. He writes here as an amateur on subjects he cares about: art, memory, language, identity, and increasingly, about politics, the city and the crisis in Greece. Writing about them feels to him a bit like trespassing on other people’s intellectual turf; hence the title, Breach of Close, an old legal term for "breaking a man’s close," to wit, trespassing. Author photo by:Adrianne Kalfopoulou

A Measure of History: Aperitifs To Write Home About

“Milano-Torino is a 199-km-long world-class cycling race, one of the fastest on the circuit; the winner clocks the distance between the two northern Italian cities at an average pace of 45 km per hour. It is also the name of a classic Italian aperitif and a starting point for a number of superb cocktails-with-a-story as […]

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The Measure of Interest

“How do you measure something as nebulous as interestingness, and indeed, from the point of view not of the individual but of the community? Although the set of 500 photos varies from day to day, on any one day they are the same for all users, regardless of individual members’ own particular interests. You personally […]

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House Rules: In Munich, Germany & Athens, Greece

“I actually don’t think anyone—anywhere—needs these rules in order to conduct him- or herself civilly in a train station. Most people wouldn’t think of lying down in an access tunnel or spray-painting the condom dispensing unit. The posted rules and orders and commands instead serve a different purpose, though ‘purpose’ is the wrong word, since […]

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Crisis Dues (The Wages of Austerity, in Greece)

“Today at work I learned my pay was being cut by 25 percent. The CEO had gathered the entire staff in the large conference hall and made the announcement. He said it was voluntary. He called it our investment in the organization’s future. But we all knew what it really was. ‘Logo krisis,’ or ‘Due […]

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Now & Then: Greece’s Present Tense of Loss

“Markaris was talking instead about a set of values, including the importance of living in solidarity with others in community, which enabled Greeks for centuries to live, as philosopher and sociologist Edgar Morin would say, ‘poetically’—literally so, when you think this is a country where ordinary people, even those who couldn’t read, would know by […]

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Poetic Voice

Breach of Close by Stefanos Christoforos “. . . we have so little talent for conservation when we are young. We have not yet experienced the irrevocability of loss or realized the sad transience that inheres within our relationships and possessions. The sense of invulnerability that is part of our youth makes us less provident […]

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