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Motorcycles, Art, Booze, Food and Politics…Puzant Nadjarian says goodbye…

Mobile shoping by Puzant Nadjarian

You are standing outside, on the corner of Platonos Street in old town Nicosia. The woman buys her fruit and pockets her change. Behind her, a packed parking lot, despite the NO PARKING IDIOT signs  graffitied on the wall. You sip your coffee,  press your finger down and take the picture. You are Puzant Jean Nadjarian.

I was a teenager when I met him, he was a little older. Long hair, big beard, Rasputin eyes, a good-life belly and a fat roaring motorcycle. He rode with a pre-invasion mix of Turks, Greeks and Armenians, their common uniform, long shaggy hair.  A lover of photography and art, Puzant supplied us with our fix for posters, especially those coveted early Athena masterpieces we all had to have – mind blowing, state-altering, psychedelic trips, blockmounted and glossy on our walls. There was music too, rock and progressive and just about everything else. Puzant always seemed to find it first.   And then, way before anyone thought the walled city was hip, he beautifully converted that ancient sandstone house with its patterned  floors, archways and high ceilings into Plato’s Bar, the only bar worth visiting with a clientele so loyal it still homed in like pigeons long after he’d sold it and moved on. His life was about  great food, good booze, sharp wit, passionate debate and politics. And if you could do all that on  the back of a  motorcycle, you were in. Puzant was active within his community – The President of The Armenian National Committee of Cyprus (Hay Tad), a member of the ARF Dashnaktsoutiun and a member of the Artsakank Armenian-language Editorial Board. He was also a husband, a dad, a son, a brother, a friend.

You were standing on the corner of Platonos Street , Old Town Nicosia. You sipped your coffee, took a picture, got on your bike and left.  Asdvadz Hokin Lousavore, Puzant. Rest In Peace.

Puzant Nadjarian

Puzant ( Jean) Nadjarian will be laid to rest  on Saturday 12 March at 2:30 pm at Sourp Asdvadzadzin Armenian Church Nicosia, Cyprus.


photos by Puzant Nadjarian

4 responses

  1. strovoliotis

    I was so sad to hear the news.

    I expected the usual blues tour de force at Robert Camasa’s radio show and then it was just Robert with a crashed voice dedicating a Diamanda Galas song, a long cry, to his memory.

    I was a regular at Plato’s during those first years, and over the bar we had said a thousand things.

    My life had changed since then, and I would only “meet” him through the radio, with his witty angloarmeniangreekcypriot accent. He would make me smile every time, even if he was talking about death.

    March 11, 2011 at 10:49 am

  2. Newham

    RIP Puzant.

    I do not know how much is mythology but Puzant once told me that his mother wanted a girl so until he was 6 he was dressed accordingly. Anyway he acquired all the right talents and could sew as well as he could ride a bike, and back then he looked like Jesus.

    In the ’74 troubles he stood on the hills of Lapithos and watched the invading Turks arrive then dragged a bunch of terrified Germans and Anglos from the North to the South before drifting off to Europe.

    The name Jean was coined at the Au Piree restaurant in Rue Mouffetard during his time in Paris in 1974 when the name Puzant was considered too exotic for the locals and his alternate of John was too anglo.

    By ’75 he was in Athens, defining his love of photography and cleaving to his Armenian heritage and then he met Alice and the rest is history. He returned to Cyprus and grew into the businessman, proud husband and father, and strong representative of his Armenian heritage that he was when he died, too soon.

    March 12, 2011 at 11:17 am

  3. Ann Patey

    What a loving tribute Vicky. You captured everything and he will be remembered all our lives.

    Take care beautiful xxxx

    March 17, 2011 at 7:54 am

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