I know you’re looking at this picture and wondering how somewhere so unspectacular could be the sole place I find as a hidden gem in Athens. Welcome to my RiverGate apartment go-to spot. It’s bland, completely the opposite of awe-inspiring, and for a lack of a better word, practical.
In retrospect, these are the qualities that I find wonderful about it.
You see, I’m an extrovert with 95% of my day constantly deriving from interacting with others. I love social gatherings, meeting new people, and striking conversation when I deem someone or something interesting. I thrive on undivided attention and garnering that stimulation all day can become very exhausting.
So here’s my IKEA looking dinner table and white chair. It’s shoved in the corner of my kitchen apartment with no decorations, no unique positioning; all in all it’s nothing fancy. And it’s perfect.
Having a space so extremely un-stimulating is an escape. It allows me to recharge and lose focus on my surroundings.
I understand that many people find that their favorite place is somehow attached to a relationship with a friend, a set of fond memories, or an association with something they desire.
Not to go against the norm, but my favorite place doesn’t fulfill any of those things. It simply supplies an outlet for being stagnant temporarily during my essential morning routine.
Every morning, I go to a CrossFit class over on West Union starting at 5 in the morning. Upon returning home an hour later, I shower and throw on my robe to meander into the kitchen to prepare my typical breakfast: two pieces of peanut butter toast with an accompanying fruit and a bottle of water.
Once breakfast is prepared, I plop down in the white chair to sit in utter silence, sometimes even in the dark. I prefer usually no cell phone, and enjoy watching the sun rise diagonally from me as I bite into my toast.
You know, there’s comfort in knowing that I wish the sun good morning and not the other way around.
During the day, I rarely sit at the table as I’m still in my active state of mind. Frequently I eat lunch standing up in my kitchen and seem to pace partly due to my natural anxious nature and because I’m seemingly too busy to hit pause.
It’s typical for me to not revisit my favorite place until Friday night around 7 to 9pm. It’s the perfect location to hang with friends or to sit alone, blasting music and sharing a drink before heading out to the unmatched nightlife of Athens. My favorite place is the calm before the storm that allows me to take on the social intoxication that the night will soon provide.
I know some people favor restaurants and bars, university buildings, or outdoor excursions found throughout town. And though I am ultimately a fan of these places as well, I learned that sometimes the simple spots in your home are the most valuable.
As I’ve gotten older, I seem to have become very fond of locations that allow me to get lost and enjoy the 5% of down time during my day.
And for me, sometimes all I need is a simple table, a chair, and a quiet place to eat my peanut butter toast.