Tag Archives: Greek economy

Dressing John Stamos for Awards Season

31 Jan


It’s awards season in Hollywood, and Greek-American actor John Stamos just won Favorite Actor in a New Series for Grandfathered at the 42nd People’s Choice Awards! At the January 6, 2016, event, he hammed it up for the crowd, stopping to take selfies with adorable young fans. He looked quite suave in a black velvet suit accented with a red pocket square.

He seems to be a fan of the red pocket square.

He wore the red pocket square again recently, still with an all black suit, though this time it wasn’t velvet and there was a tie involved. (William Shatner was also involved.)

He wore it better with a tux a few weeks prior to the People’s Choice Awards when he attended The 67th Emmys Governors Ball. He told People:

“All dolled up and sporting Frank Sinatra’s pocket square. Given to me by his manager, the great Tony O.”

Okay, if I had a pocket square that once belonged to Frank Sinatra, I might wear it out as often as possible too!

But the pocket square might be getting a bit too ubiquitous. I mean, it’s kind of like how fellow Greek-American Jeffrey Eugenides became so known for his vest that someone started a Twitter account for Eugenides’ vest. Is someone going to start @StamosPocketSquare?

Even The Washington Post commented on it, though that time he wasn’t wearing Sinatra’s red pocket square but a different one.

I think it’s time for John Stamos to find a new accessory! If you follow him on Instagram, you know the man looks good in a pair of glasses. I’d like to see Stamos rock a pair of glasses at his next awards show. I’d recommend these Greek Handmade Frames:



It would be great to see more Greek-American stars using their influence to help Greek and Greek-American companies, particularly during the Greek economic crisis.

John Stamos strikes me as a man who can pull off a piece of jewelry. I say, ditch the red pocket square and wear a piece of striking jewelry. After seeing Konstantino’s exquisite jewelry at the welcome reception for the GABBY Awards, I would pick a piece from his Byzantium collection for Stamos to wear:


And you know how his Full House (and now Fuller House!) character Uncle Jesse was obsessed with his hair? I would obviously have Christo, the Greek-American hairstylist behind Curlisto, do Stamos’ hair. Curlisto did hair for the runways for the Greek American Fashion Week, and he has an entire line of men’s haircare products:


On to the fashion! For clothing, John Varvatos is a Greek-American clothing designer who creates stylish looks. For an awards show, Stamos could wear a grey John Varvatos Cotton Shirt.


Over the shirt, I would add some sophistication with this black Cotton Vest with Piping Detail:


And over that, I’d layer Varvatos’ black Cotton Jacquard Jacket:


For pants, a simple black pair of pants like Varvatos’ Wool Blend Pant would do nicely:



When Tommy John approached me about dressing a Greek star for the red carpet this awards season, I thought to myself:

Really? But can’t I just leave him … undressed?

I mean, he did just recently share a picture of himself on Instagram in his undies!


And then there was that time in 2014 when the Oikos spokesman showed off his underwear with the Greek yogurt logo on it.


Why not just leave him in Tommy John’s underwear Second Skin Square Cut:

Red Carpet 2 TJ

And Tommy John’s Second Skin Crew Neck Undershirt:

Red Carpet 4

Have mercy!


“The Mediterranean Is a Miserable Place”

6 Jun


While surfing the Web, I came across an article titled “Vacationing in the Most Miserable Place on Earth This Summer?” The tag line: “The Mediterranean is a miserable place.”

By the second sentence, the author Curtis Tate, was finger-pointing Greece: “[…] Greece was the flag bearer for the economic and social misery these countries are experiencing.”

There are countries in the news right now for deadly protests, horrific crimes against women, suicide bombers, and warlords. Vacationing in those countries would quite possibly be a more miserable experience.

But wait! Tate’s article actually has nothing to do with vacations. It’s about how people actually living in the Mediterranean–not only in Greece but also France–are unhappy with their current economic situation. His article concludes by saying “[…] China, Brazil, and even Kenya are optimistic for the future….” I have nothing against those countries, and I’m sure they can make lovely vacation destinations, but I’ve heard more people say they’d want to travel to France and Greece. Tate’s article is dangerously misleading.

Tate’s article title perhaps compels readers to click to read but it is offensive in its fear mongering. Unfortunately it appears to be a tactic he–or his editor–has used before:

Is Europe’s Unemployment Worst Than We Thought?

7 Reasons to Fear the Housing Bubble

Is Europe Holding the Rest of the World Back?

Are Chinese Export Numbers Increasingly Sketchy?

To be fair, the actual content of Tate’s “Miserable Place” article is not inaccurate in terms of the statics cited for the outlook of people in the Mediterranean.

The topic is not even his original idea.

Instead of linking to the Pew Research Center’s reports that he cites, Tate links to Drew DeSilver’s article published the day before his, entitled “The Mediterranean: Go for the Beaches, Not the Mood.” Although not identical word for word, Tate’s and DeSilver’s articles have the same content and in the same order. While Tate’s title invokes fear, DeSilver’s title is slightly more optimistic but suggests that the mood will affect one’s vacation.
While it is true that a poor economy can put a damper on tourism because of diminished resources and increased crime, neither Tate’s nor DeSilver’s articles are not making this point. Their articles says absolutely nothing about if and how the economy is affecting vacationers.Instead, Tate remarks that young people are unemployed. Unless he is subtly trying to warn you that you’ll be ordering your frappes from someone in their forties instead of some hot young thang, the fact that young people aren’t finding work right now probably isn’t going to deter your vacation plans. Oh and about that age thing — Jennifer Aniston is 44 and John Stamos is 49. We age well.

DeSilver says, “And, in what should surprise exactly no one, Greece has by far the bleakest outlook.” Hm… “in what should surprise exactly no one,” huh? He’s right: I’m not surprised that the statistics say 99% of Greeks say their country’s economic situation is “very or somewhat bad.” We’re a notoriously melodramatic people. Have you ever read the tragedies?

Does our “miserable” and “very or somewhat bad” outlook on the economy really affect who we are and how we treat our tourists, though?

My sense is that it doesn’t. Certainly, I’m a bit biased, but I’m basing my understanding of Greek tourism on the fact that every non-Greek I know who has visited there has loved it. They’ve found the people to be warm and generous, and they’ve gone multiple times or wished they could.
An article published the same day as Tate’s article was titled “Greece: Athens Tourism Up 10% for First Time in Three Years.” It concluded saying, “Arrivals at regional airports across the country last month showed a 20.5% increase in arrivals of foreign tourists compared to the same month last year.” Earlier this year, the Austrian newspaper Der Standard even hypothesized that this could be “the year of Greek tourism,” according to Capital.Gr.

I did my due diligence and checked out the Pew Research Center’s report. Guess what. The words “travel,” “traveler,” and “vacation” appeared no where in the report.

Greece needs your tourism now more than ever.

Greek American Fashion Week Show Recap

14 Sep

Gate-crashing fashionistas had no luck sneaking into the first Greek American Fashion Week Show, which kicked off Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York City. The hot-ticket event was completely sold out well in advance of its September 7, 2012, date, and the security at the Midtown Loft & Terrace was tight.  After all, some of the biggest names in Greek fashion — ENOE ME by Lia Kastanidi, Timothy George, Angelo Lambrou, and Tatiana Raftis — had come together to preview their Spring/Summer 2013 collections, and even the Consul General at Consulate General of the Republic of CyprusMs. Koula Sophianou, was in attendance to celebrate these bright young Greek designers.  The evening was clearly about more than showcasing lush fabrics, innovative cuts, and taste-making, though.  The Greek American Fashion Week Show was a visually engaging testament to the innovative spirit of Greeks throughout the world.

Organized by the Fashion & Design Committee of the Hellenic American Chamber of Commerce (HACC), the Greek American Fashion Week Show was produced by Ioannis Makris.  Founder/HACCYP Maria A. Pardalis (pictured top row right) emceed the event, looking radiant in a dusty-rose-hued dress designed by Angelo Lambrou and wearing her hair in romantic tendrils.  Peter, also an emcee, took a more casual approach to style, embracing grunge’s comeback by rocking jeans and a plaid button-down shirt.

During intermission, attendees were treated to the captivating Sarina Suno, The Violin Diva (pictured top row middle).  Gyrating her hips, pumping her bow in the air like a rock star, and taming an electric violin into musical submission, the classically trained Japanese violinist, who has played in Athens and throughout the world, became the music she was playing.

Throughout the evening, NXNY, Trump Soho’s resident DJ, kept the atmosphere lively with an eclectic mix of new and old beats.

If you think the fashion forward don’t eat, you’ve never been to a Greek fashion show.  Delicious morsels from Loi, Maria Loi’s Upper West Side restaurant, circled the room, with attendees chasing after the servers for more.  (Incidentally FOS, the Forum on Orthodox Spirituality, will be hosting its outreach party for its new series at Loi on September 25 at 7pm; for more information visit the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity.)  Flavored Stoli Vodka and other spirits and wines flowed freely at a neon-lit bar.

The event’s platinum sponsors were The Artisnal Kitchen, Jet Airways, Korres (whose products I used to get myself fashion-show worthy! Check out my reviews of the Pomegranate line here and the Wild Rose line here.  I’m pictured bottom row left in the image above.), Make, Mana, and Timothy George.  The Silver sponsors were Hendrick’s Gin, Loi, Snapshotz Photography LLC, Stoli, and YA Mastiha.  Other sponsors included The Cyprus U.S. Chamber of Commerce; Elefteria Georgalis, Greco Title Agency; Petros Georgiadis; George Kolotouros, Hermes Classic Printing; Peter Legakis; Katerina Matzouranis Duarte, Esq.; Evangelia Trilios, Esq.; and Mavromihalis, Pardalis & Nohavicka, LLP. There was also a fantastic silent auction.  The silent auction sponsors included Diane von Furstenberg, Godiva, Livanou, Dennis Bass, Kensie, Thalassa Restaurant, Ammos Estiatorio, Avra Estiatorio, Parea Bistro (check out my review here), Vareli Restaurant and Lounge, and Kefi Estiatorio.

The event was covered by Greek news station ANT1.

I’ll be profiling each of the four designers in the Greek American Fashion Week Show — ENOE ME by Lia Kastanidi, Timothy George, Angelo Lambrou, and Tatiana Raftis — next week!  You’ll get to see exclusive photographs from their Spring/Summer 2013 collections, along with commentary on their styles.  I’ll also give you the inside scoop on who these designers are and where you can find their designs.  You won’t want to miss it!  Each designer is truly unique, creating beautifully made statement clothing.


Tasty Tuesday: Chew on These Greek Crisis Cooking Tips

13 Dec


My yiayia (grandma) never threw anything out.  She repurposed plastic bottles and sewed up the runs in cheap, drugstore pantyhose.

When she made chicken, the leftover bones got thrown into soups.

Raising her family in Greece during World War II, she had to stretch the drachma as far as it could go.  Now, with the economic crisis in Greece, Greeks are having to return to the thrifty ways of their yiayias.

The Associated Press takes a look at Eleni Nikolaidou’s book “Starvation Recipes,” a collection of recipes and “survival tips” based in Nazi-occupied Greece, and chef F. T. Bletsas’ budget-minded cooking tips in his Greek tv show “Mama’s Cooking” and English-language website www.cookingeconomy.com.

One tip from the article: You’ll feel like you’re eating more if you chew your food veeeeerrrrrrrryyyyyy sssssllllloooowwwwlllllyyyyy.

Greek Journalists Strike against the War on Words

20 Oct

I believe in the power of words.  I believe words inform, enlighten.

I also believe in the power of silence.  Silence can sometimes be more powerful than words.

On Tuesday, October 17, about 2,000 Greek journalists went on strike.  The Greek journalists protested the layoffs resulting from Greece’s poor economy and the austerity bill stipulated by creditors.  Unemployment in Greece in general is up to 16%.  Unemployment in Greek media is up 25%.  The result of the strike was that internal Greek news coverage came to a halt.  (You can read more about the details here, where I obtained the statistics.)

The media professionals on strike in Greece sent a message about the critical role of news journalists in disseminating information.  Journalists are liaisons between the government and the general public, the protesters and the general public, the protesters and the government.  They go to the front lines of protests; they gain access to interviews with politicians; they give a voice to the villager whose pension has been cut to the point that he is having trouble making ends meet.  They are spokespeople.  They are advocates.

The 25% unemployment rate in the media sector of Greece is a war on words.  The pay cuts and layoffs indicate the devaluation of research and reporting.  We see similarities in the United States, as the media sector here has yet to find an effective way of monetizing content.  Try to find employment in journalism, and the majority of the ads you’ll read list “experience,” “exposure,” and “a byline” as your compensation.  If you’re lucky, you’ll find a job that pays 2 to 10 cents a word.  The result is that we read the work of bloggers who simply aggregate content, instead of conducting research and interviews, and spout opinions.  Those inclined toward professional journalism may see the low wages and long hours and redirect their editorial skills toward, say, writing advertising copy—because, you know, we live in a society that likes to consume and be entertained, not informed.

While I understand why the Greek journalists went on strike and shut down news, it is imperative that they find ways to report on the current events taking place in Greece.  The citizens in Greece need them.  Greece should not become like North Korea, where the government controls the distribution of “information.”

Greek Cookbooks at BEA 2011

2 Jun

Zigzagging my way through the Javitz Center last week at BEA, I discovered two beautifully packaged Greek cookbooks I want to share with you.


I’m a huge fan of pretty much everything Chronicle publishes, and their upcoming book Kokkari is no exception.  Written by executive chef Erik Cosselman and food writer Janet Fletcher, the cookbook gives insight into life at the Greek restaurant Kokkari in San Francisco.  Look for it this coming September.

Marketing copy not yet available, but the book will be 224 pages of text and color photography.  Just look at that cover design!  Rather than focusing only on traditional Greek fare, the cookbook will discuss contemporary Greek cooking through the lens of what is servied at the popular California restaurant.


Arsenal Pulp Press showed off last year’s publication From the Olive Grove—and with good reason: Helen Koutalianos’ and Anastasia Koutalianos‘ book pairs the history and health benefits of olive oil with classic Mediterranean recipes.

Marketing copy reads as follows:

The healthful virtues of olive oil, a key component of the Mediterranean diet, have become well-known in recent years; its monounsaturated fats and antioxidants are beneficial in preventing heart disease by controlling LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels while simultaneously raising HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels.

Helen Koutalianos has preached the gospel of olive oil and its benefits for years; at the same time, consumers across North America have become more sophisticated and appreciative of flavorful, boutique olive oils that are not mass produced. In this charming, intimate cookbook, Helen and her daughter Anastasia have collected 150 delectable, Mediterranean-inspired recipes (Greek and beyond), many of which have been passed along from Helen’s mother and grandmother, in which olive oil is a central ingredient; these include Olive Oil Poached Lamb, Quail with Olives, Turkish Kebab with Garlic, Shrimp and Feta Casserole, Octopus in Wine Sauce, Seared Scallop and Prawn Gazpacho, Artichokes with Lemon, and Kolokethakia Yemista (Stuffed Zucchinis with Lemon Egg Sauce).

The book also takes readers through the artisan olive oil-making process, from cultivating and processing the fruit to the production of the oil itself. Complemented with full-color photographs of recipes, From the Olive Grove will seduce and inspire readers to create their own delicious, heart-healthy meals at home.


Perhaps in the downturn of the Greek economy, more Greeks have been immigrating to the United States, because I’ve noticed at least two new Greek restaurants pop up in Manhattan in the past six months.  In the past few years, Peruvian and Korean food seems to have assimilated into the culinary world, and while Greek food has been around for a while, I wonder if we might be headed into a bit of a Greek food renaissance—with a focus on new, contemporary explorations of Greek cooking.