ARTEMIS SWIM by Argy Koutsothanasis
collage by Monica Brand
“Mine is a vacillating identity, a schism that makes me feel mostly Greek when I am stateside and truly American when I find myself in my parents' homeland. Every summer, as my plane touches ground in Athens, I long to feel at home. Instead, for days I'm left with an uneasy feeling, searching the eyes of the locals for commonality.
The landscape hosts many of my childhood memories, but it's in the embrace of the Aegean that I forget to be uneasy. The saltwater always takes me in as I am, as I have always been; in the water I am a child again, guided by my grandmother on a journey of long dives and underwater searches. 
When I lived here many lifetimes ago, one of my favorite trips was to visit an aunt in the salty, sleepy seaside town of Artemis -known then and now, officially, as Loutsa. About an hour's drive from the center of Athens, Loutsa Artemida bears its name from the nearby pre-classical Doric temple in Vravrona, dedicated to the Greek goddess of the hunt Artemis. Long meals at Xipolitas, sweet dreams at Hotel Medusa, days lounging near a small kite-surfing shack on the beach.
These days the trip is a mere 30 minutes. It's no surprise that I am tied to this town even by marriage - I met my husband in Astoria, Queens, but he too had spent his childhood growing up on beaches of Artemis. 
Artemis is still our summer home. The place I visit when things get hectic at work, in life. It's a magical place that faces two tiny abandoned islands, where worry gives itself up to the wind, in memory of Icarus. With closed eyes, wherever I may be, my palms can feel the comfort of warm, salty water.”

-Argy Koutsothanasis

Argy Koutsothanasis is a fashion director @argystyle 

October 2012