Burak Cakmak came to Athens for the summer and decided to stay through the winter rather than return to New York or London. The internationally connected entrepreneur and former Dean of Fashion at Parsons School of Design in New York City, Cakmak is putting down roots on the Athens Riviera where he can enjoy a bike ride or mid-day swim without putting life on hold.
Cakmak told This is Athens, “My day might see me talking to clients in California or Africa; London or Asia. I’m busier than ever, but even in winter and even in lockdown I can still wake up to sunshine and have breakfast on my balcony overlooking the pine trees and the Aegean. I can still go out for a scenic hike or bike ride around the hills of Varkiza and Vouliagmeni; and most days around noon, when it’s warm enough, I can still jump into the sea.””
This is Athens first reported on the trend last summer, citing Greece’s reputation for managing coronavirus infection rates as well as the relaxed atmosphere that made Athens an appealing destination for a temporary home office. Those arriving in the summer discovered art shows and concerts, incubators and growing start-ups, and a vibrant street life that never sleeps.
Safiya Mary Rose is part of this new cohort of Athenians. A copywriter from London who relocated in late October, she described Athens as “full of light and colour - even in the winter, even in quarantine! The creative energy is palpable: from the street art to the cafe culture and galleries. It’s an inspiring and highly multicultural place: with all the modernity of a capital city, yet there are ancient temples literally peppered all over the place. There’s also this deep sense of history, culture and spirituality.”