EDITOR’S NOTE (Nick Stamatakis): Arthur Piccolo is chairman of the Bowling Green Association and the co-founder of the Lower Manhattan Historical Society. He has been active in Lower Manhattan the area from City Hall south to the Battery since the 1980s promoting the past, present, and future of Lower Manhattan New York’s first community created as New Amsterdam in the 1600s. Arthur Piccolo is responsible for bringing Arturo DiModca’s world-famous “Charging Bull” to Bowling Green back in 1989. And he co-operated in 1996 with representatives of our community (chief among them was Theodore Pavlakos, current President of the Pan-Laconian Federation of the U.S.A and Canada) for the installation of the second large flag pole at Bowling Green donated by the Greek community. This open letter to John Catsimatidis is the latest example of Arthur Piccolo’s struggle so that GOARCH and our community do the right thing and install two flagpoles outside St.Nicholas.
WE REMIND EVERYONE THAT AT A MEETING OF HANC (Hellenic American National Congress) with AB Elpidophoros last May, the Archbishop had promised there would be two flagpoles outside the Church (link here)…
BELOW IS THE OPEN LETTER BY PICCOLO…
“Mr. Catsimatidis described the fund-raising dinner,
where Ms. Hochul raised some $200,000,
as a “high-end business get-together .”
WHY DOES JOHN CATSIMATIDIS
NOT SUPPORT TWO FLAG POLES
@ ST. NICHOLAS NOW ???
To: John Catsimatidis
All it would take is a few words from you to NYS Governor Hochul and two 55 ft. flag poles would be on their way to St. Nicholas GREEK Orthodox Church& National Shrine for the opening ceremonies on July 4, 2022, and the raising of the Greek and American flags there.
As the wealthiest and most visible Greek New Yorker it is impossible to understand why you are not supporting including two flag poles at the new St. Nicholas at The World Trade Center, to fly both the Greek and American flags.
You are very well known for your massive campaign contributions to virtually every major politician in New York and far beyond. Of course including former NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo and current NYS Governor Kathy Hochul. Both no further away from you anytime you want to reach them or anyone else than a phone call to their personal phones or an email from you at their personal email addresses.
Yet you NEVER requested that Cuomo support the two flag poles when he was Governor nor that Governor Hochul do so now. Neither could “afford” ( $$$$$ ) not to agree with such a simple logical request from you. But you REFUSE to do so. Yes I am obviously not Greek but that does not prevent me from raising such a troubling issue. There is no good reason for you NOT to support the two flag poles at St. Nicholas even more that you go out of your way to brandish your GREEK identity in every other way.
The only reason that seems “logical” is you have a personal agenda that takes priority over your Greek identity. We know for a fact that Cuomo wanted to turn the new church into an anonymous white building because in his mind it was more politically advantageous for him to tell every religious group no matter their faith this is really generic prayer center NOT a Greek church. And obviously Cuomo knew he could get away with very influential Greeks like you and other not challenging him by offering you something more valuable to you personally ?
But why would you conceivably agree except like Cuomo there is more personal “value” for you in favoring an anonymous white building at the site also not having the name etched brightly above the entrance. Worse of all Cuomo is gone and you have now given tens of thousands $$$ to Governor Hochul’s political war chest but you still do not support the two flag poles or the name St Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church & National Shrine above its entrance.
To me, as a very strong supporter of the Greek American community going back to 1996, I find it very very sad the Greek-American community allows you to get away with this duplicity and even after they named you Parade Chairman for the 2022 Greek Parade on 5th Ave. this June. You and Governor Hochul leading the Parade up 5th Avenue, smiling at all the Greek Americans lining the avenue while you sell out Greek IDENTITY out at St. Nicholas at The World Trade Center.
Shame on you John Catsimatidis!
TIME TO TAKE A STAND JOHN !!
WAY IT MUST BE JULY 4th !!
GOVERNOR KATHY HOCHUL & JOHN CATSIMATIDIS
WELCOMING GREEK FAMILIES & EVERYONE
OPENING OF ST . NICHOLAS ON JULY 4th !