Emily labeled the man in the post below with a towel as having a "sweat towel." That's not really accurate, though that's a fitting guess because it sure is hot! These are actually the locals who carry around their stolen goods in large towels, looking for a place to vend them on the sidewalk. These men have their illegal wares (e.g., shoes, watches, cheap jewelry) set out on these blankets so they can at a moment's notice wrap up their merchandise and run around the block when the cops show up. And as I was walking by, a whole group of them suddenly gathered up their stuff and bolted. Sure enough the cops were right behind. But as I walked down the street, I turned back and could, from a single vantage point, see on one side of a corner, these men with their goods slung over their shoulder and the cops inspecting the place on the sidewalk where a moment before they had been selling their stuff. These 2 photos were taken on the same spot, with essentially single 90 degree pivot to the left.
The vendors (the guys in the back looking to the left):
This was block from my hotel the first night (off Omonia square). Kind of borderline neighborhood.