Older residents moving out

Architect Eleni Tzirtzilaki lives and works in Psyrri. «It is a vibrant district, with character. I like the combination of old and new, the fact that there is a workshop next door to an old house,» she said, but that is as far as it goes. Tzirtzilaki then goes on to mention the problems – noise pollution, traffic, illegal parking on sidewalks and squares. It is these problems that have driven out the older residents. Today there are an estimated 60-70 families living there. Tzirtzilaki is not against the nightclubs in general. «It’s nice to have tavernas, cafes or bars. However, we should protect the district’s variety at all costs. You can’t allow large nightclubs, and there are at least five of them in Psyrri,» she said. However, Tzirtzilaki chose to live in Psyrri and she is not alone. Young artists are moving their studios here despite the high rents. One can expect to pay 600-700 euros a month for a 70-square-meter «apartment» – habitable ones are difficult to find. So on top of the rent there is the cost of renovating, which usually includes doors and windows, floors and plumbing. Prices are rising all the time along with demand. And to think that in the mid-1990s, rents for the same places were no more than 75 euros per month.