By Nick Stamatakis

The Parade Committee of the Federation of NY had one more “Panomogeniaki” meeting last night at Stathakion, under the steady hand of Chairman Philip Christopher, who managed to guide the assembly into a productive evening.  Progress was reported on all fronts, but the most innovative idea so far was announced at the end: Next meeting will be held at Saint Nicholas of Flushing – and hopefully, another meeting will be held in Brooklyn.  This is necessary for organically involving communities other than Astoria in the Parade Organization and – finally!! – eliminating the concept that the Greek-American community is equivalent to Astoria… It was about time!… We all love Astoria; it is always the “center” for us. Still, we need to involve everyone in the Parade, and the majority, for many decades now, lives away from Astoria…

Other than this great idea, the usual progress was reported in most areas: 1) The Hilton Gala is moving along, as Dimitris Gonias reported, and as you would have guessed, the first necessity is more sponsors, as this is quite an expensive event.  2) The Sunday Pre-Parade Lunch, where Yiannis Stroumbakis is in charge, will be held at the Pierre Hotel, with restricted entrance, “invitation only”.  3) The album needs another $96,000 to meet the goal, Nikos Bardis said.  4) The “Cultural Committee” under Nomiki Kastana focused mainly on the “Ms. Independence Beauty Pageant”, while leaving open the Athens Square event or events.  I should note that Gus Lambropoulos has done excellent work in the past in Athens Square and is expected to contribute again.  No mention of the Bowling Green Ceremony, traditionally held on Friday at noon before the Parade Sunday. Hopefully, it will be finalized soon. The idea for Bowling Green should be to showcase a young leader of our community as the “keynote speaker” each year.

An essential piece of news was the announcement that the Archdiocese would cover the expenses of the Evzones Presidential Guard visit to New York for the Parade.  This is a welcome development, as it relieves the Parade budget of a significant cost, anywhere between $35-50,000…  Initial letters have already been submitted to the Office of the President of Greece – and this makes us hopeful that this year Helleniscope and the president of HANC Mr. Mataragas will not need to help at the last possible minute… However, I must mention one more time that handling the Evzones should be left to the secular part of the Community, specifically to the Parade Committee. The “Show” involving “Priests and Evzones” is inappropriate, aesthetically and in every other way. Please avoid it…

Finally, who will be the Parade Grand Marshall(s)?  Philip Christopher said that invitation was already sent to Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan Chase, a famous Greek-American.  Alternatively, he announced plans for Andrew Liveris and Jim Logothetis.  Helleniscope suggests that some other famous Americans of Greek descent could be considered, such as Jennifer Aniston.  Also, Elon Musk and his team of three Greek engineers (of the famous Athens Polytechnic), the people who developed the TESLA battery, could be invited in the future. I should remind everyone that TESLA has already established a permanent research lab at the Democritus Research Center of Athens, Greece.

The goal here is to fill 5th Avenue with people… To that effect, we have suggested in our critique of last year’s parade (link here) some other ideas, among which significant would be the involvement of the many high-class Greek restaurants in Manhattan for apparent reasons.  It can be a win-win situation if we can allot 4 or 5 of these restaurants an area of a few blocks each to pass on to the participating people on the sidewalks some information about their cuisine and – possibly – a tiny bite of their delicious appetizers or desserts (wrapped in their name/logo).  Any ideas or help to that effect is welcome – please email Helleniscope…

Photo: Yiannis Stroumbakis addresses the meeting…

Photo: Nikos Diamantidis explains his ideas… At this point, I have to add a correction: Mr. Diamantidis is only 87 years old and not 95, as I mistakenly wrote previously… May we all reach his age with the same amount of energy and vigor…


  1. Ο χρόνος είναι το τέρας που μας τρέφει και
    μας καταστρέφει. Το φείδου χρόνου των
    Αρχαίων προγόνων μας δεν είναι τυχσίον.
    Δυστυχώς το περσινό μάθημα δεν μας έγινε μάθημα.
    Η ενημέρωση για τις κινήσεις της Παρέλασης είναι σπουδαίος παράγων. Τα
    Ελληνόφωνα ΜΜΕ που σιτίζονται….. από την Ομογένεια, έχουν ιεράν υποχρέωση να
    προβάλλουν εν μέρει αφιλοκερδώς τις
    προσπάθειες της Επιτροπής.
    Για την επόμενη συνεδρίαση που θα γίνει
    στον Άγιο Νικόλαο Flushing ( που είναι έξυπνη απόφαση) θα πρέπει να γίνουν μερικές αναφορές από τα ΜΜΕ για να συγκεντρωθεί πολύς κόσμος, να υπάρξει,
    ενθουσιασμός και ενίσχυση του Πατριωτικού μας συναισθήματος και να
    ακουστούν διάφορες προτάσεις και απόψεις, από τις οποίες μπορεί να υπάρξουν
    υιοθεσίες…….που θα συντελέσουν στην
    προσδοκούμενη επιτυχία , που είναι η νόστιμη γεύση όλων μας και κυρίως αυτών
    που θυσιάζουν χρόνο και χρήμα .
    Οι περισσότεροι παρακολουθούν τα δυο μεγάλα κανάλια , ERT WORLD και ANTENA
    Και θα πρέπει να βάλλουν μερικά δωρεάν
    SPOTS για την Πανομογενειακή συνεδρίαση
    στο Flushing.
    Οι υπεύθυνοι της Παρέλασης θα πρέπει να
    να γνωρίζουν πως οι συνεδριάσεις πρέπει
    να αρχίζουν ενωρίς και να τελειώνουν
    ενωρίς , μόνο έτσι θα έχουν επιτυχία οι
    συνεδριάσεις. Αυτό έχουμε εφαρμόσει στον
    Κοραή , ξεκινάμε επτά και τελειώνουμε εννέα και αυτό συμβαίνει πάντοτε.
    Δεν είναι δύσκολο όταν υπάρχει σωστός
    Ανακοινώσετε την ημερομηνία της συνεδρίασης στο Flushing το συντομώτερο
    δυνατόν και κοινοποιήστε την στα ΜΜΕ.

  2. Better the Newark and Melville Marriotts. Astoria peaked in the 1970s, Flushing peaked in the 1990s, now folks have spread far and wide.
    You are correct that the accomplishments of Greek scientists has been widely underreported.

  3. Flushing originally alternated languages every week, English one Sunday, Greek the next (NY Times, Nov 14,1955, p. 23). Now, the finger wagging yiayias throw a hissy fit just because they see English in the church program. Which of course drives all the young folk away. When will we celebrate all the Americans who went to fight for Greek independence, one of whose (Howe) descendants even wrote the Battle Hymn of the Republic using Byzantine themes?

  4. Flushing Koreans march in the largest Memorial Day Parade in the Northeast, at Douglaston, but the Greeks don’t act like they belong to the community.


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