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They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so here are thirty images to give you a 30,000 word flavor of Athens, one of Europe’s undisputed cultural capitals and a city which exudes culture from every pore.

Special thanks to YES! Hotels  and Original Senses Bespoke Tours

The Out of Towner

Funny things start to happen once you’ve been on the dating sites for a while. You start to get the “out-of-town gentleman caller.” These are guys who say they will “conveniently be in town for business” on such and such a date and wonder if you’d like to get together. At first this sounded like the perfect scenario to me. They were here for a couple days, we’d have a dinner, maybe more, and they go away and never come back. Or, they are married.

The first gentleman caller was going to be in town around the time of the Boston Marathon (which I was running). I told him as such and that I might not be much fun and certainly wouldn’t be very mobile but he said no worries. Well, the date was to be on a Wednesday and as soon as I woke up on Tuesday after the MONDAY marathon I knew I was in no shape to do anything. I messaged him in kind. His response? “Figures.” My response: “dude, really? I just ran a bunch of miles and my legs are killing me.” His retort? “Predictable.” So the next time a man from out of town came along, I was wary. But I figured I’d give it another try.

The first question I asked Cinderella (my name for him, this will become clear in a minute) was “are you married?” His answer was no. I’m pretty sure I brought it up a few more times until I was convinced. He seemed normal enough after our chat so I agreed to a date – a month in advance. He was a planner this one. Maybe this is crazy? I felt I was being proactive, filling up the ol’ calendar, making shit happen in my dating world. We texted and messaged a few times, we even talked on the phone. He seemed like an honest to goodness normal person.

The day of the date arrived – the plan was dinner and a Red Sox game. I had gotten the tickets myself so I wouldn’t feel beholden to him: always be mindful of the money put out vs. what you’re supposed to put out ratio. He arrived to dinner before me and at first site I knew there would be no putting out that night. However, I was going to give this date 100 percent – I would listen, I would talk a bit about myself and see what worked. So I listened to him tell me about his TWO failed marriages and the myriad reasons for their failures. He brought up church and the Big J a lot, which for some reason made my use of the f-word increase exponentially. I didn’t do it on purpose, if you have faith, I support it, but I just couldn’t stop it. It was beyond me.

Next stop, Fenway. Before we go any further it’s important that I tell you I told him before the date began that I get up at 3 a.m. and I would be leaving so as to get home by 9. Period. These are my rules on school nights. Like it or lump it and he agreed. It was an incredible night to be at Fenway, it was the 10th anniversary of the World Series win. I was like a kid at well, a ballgame, and so we didn’t chat much during the festivities. The game started, we got beers, and I started staring at the clock waiting for the witching hour at which I’d turn into a pumpkin.

At 8:30 sharp I said I had to leave. I encouraged him to stay, to enjoy the game, to be sure to have a Fenway Frank. He walked me to the Yawkey Way exit, gave me a hug and asked me if I’d ever come to Maryland. Ugh. Yes, you read that right. I left him at Fenway.

A week after the date, I received a hand-written thank you card. It was awkward and strange and just a little weird. He also said he’d be sending me a gift. A month later I received a box from Amazon including… wait for it… Ray Donovan Season 1 on DVD. Such a romantic guy! Needless to say, I haven’t talked to him since.

Looking forward to sharing my stories and getting your advice…K

You’ve seen her in “Erin Brokovich,” the “Amateurs,” “Christmas with the Kranks” and “I Shot Andy Warhol.” Let’s not forget about the TV series “Hart of Dixie” and “Pretty Little Liars.” Step back a few years and you would have seen her on stage at the Wilbur Theatre in the Tony Award-winning revival of “All My Sons.” But if you met her on the street you’d probably slow down and say to yourself “Where do I know her from?”

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Chasing The Lights

I have a confession: I owe my first glimpse of the northern lights to my terrible smoking habit. Pacing around in blast-freezer conditions, I was puffing away on my after-dinner cigarette (my face and hands progressing from cold, through stinging, to completely numb) when I happened to glance to the skies. There it was. A faint beam of eerie green light snaked overhead, curling and intensifying, then slowly unfurling into a delicate, shimmering curtain. As I watched, a second swathe of rosy pink light began to materialise. I was mesmerised. Eventually I snapped out of my trance and burst into the restaurant to share the news. A stampede for the door ensued.

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Autumn’s most iconic piece is undoubtedly the knit sweater. It can be paired with just about anything in your closet, making that summer skirt last that much longer. Lucky for us, California brand For Love & Lemons is debuting their Knitz collection for fall 2014.

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kennedyA high school friend was driving me to the airport at the end of my recent visit with her. After having just seen one of THE all time movie tearjerkers ever made, The Fault in Our Stars, she said she was going to have to have a conversation with her daughter about the fact that there “are no Augustus Waters in this world.”  For those of you who have missed this literary tome, Augustus Waters is the boy in the story who falls in love with the girl and is romantic beyond that of men of his age.  Or any age for that matter.  For me, it was Lloyd Dobbler holding a boom box in the rain.  We all have that guy – that Prince Charming like character that we have looked for (and maybe found) our whole life.  My friend thinks this is wrong and that this kind of expectation will set up her daughter to fail, or to be alone, or to be constantly disappointed.  I understand her thought, but I couldn’t disagree more.  Why can’t we aim for Augustus, Lloyd, Romeo… whomever?

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During the summer meet festivities at the Saratoga Race Course, the thoroughbreds are the stars who pack the small town of Saratoga Springs with horse racing enthusiasts and tourists. But after the last race of the day, the restaurants and bars become the main attraction, and finding great food and a party is easy.  Just keep in mind that most places during this time of year are very busy, but getting a table isn’t impossible.Michele Patsos

The brightest stars among the numerous options are Prime at Saratoga National and Sperry’s.  If you want to rub elbows with celebrities, horse owners, trainers and jockeys, these are the spots…

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Some people are born this way. HORSE CRAZY! I was certainly one of them, with emphasis on the word crazy.

I just returned from one of the most glamorous aspects of the horse world and the amazing thing is its only 3 ½ hours outside of Boston.  I’m talking Saratoga Springs, NY. http://www.nyra.com/saratoga/, where for an intense six week period some of the top horses in the world compete for millions of dollars.

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I’ve never been a blogger; never thought I would, but here goes nothing. I’ve been doing some things in my life lately that I’ve never tried before. New things, things that I never knew I wanted to do. One of them is meditating. It’s actually really, really, really difficult. I find that when I close my eyes and try to focus on clearing my mind, it’s possibly the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I don’t think I have one breath rotation before I have to start over again.

On Tenterhooks

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Steve DiFillippoFormer chef turned restaurateur, Steve DiFillippo is Boston’s food aficionado and hospitality guru. When he’s not selling his popular spring rolls on QVC or appearing on “The Today Show” or the like, the owner of the Davio’s Restaurant Group is traveling around the country and inspiring other restaurateurs with the art of hospitality.

Steve takes you on a culinary ride with each episode of “Dish It Up” on styleboston. Explore the hottest new restaurants, chefs, foods, wine by the barrel, and more. At Davio’s, their motto is “It’s All About the Guest.” Be his guest on styleboston.

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Michelle PatsosRecovering lobbyist and wanna-be sommelier, Michele Patsos believes that most great memories are made at the kitchen table – or bellied up to at the bar with loved ones. This avid home cook found her love of food at an early age, pulling weeds in her family’s garden and watching her grandparents while they canned, pickled and baked bread from scratch. While not eating or looking up recipes, the wife of Siena College head coach Jimmy Patsos can usually be found crazily cheering from the stands at every basketball game, where he passionately commands the court. She also enjoys running in the woods, especially in the fall and winter and owns an extensive collection of wine corks that she hopes will someday be a part of an important art installation. Her shellfish allergy bums her out and she finds picky eaters really irritating. And she firmly believes no meal will ever surpass her mother’s pho.

portermagericArtist, TV Host, and self-proclaimed astrophysicist, Eric Levin is a styleboston original.  Interviewing Mario Testino for the show’s Emmy Award winning episode, Levin perpetuates his on-camera persona with the popular web series, The Elevin Show, hosted by the World Photography Organization.  Eric is a working photographer who shoots fashion, advertising campaigns and celebrities alike.  He travels the world, loves new experiences, and all the beautiful things this world has to offer.

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