More Hellenic Happenings Coast-to-Coast

From a baking class at a North Carolina church to yet another TV Greek-American star, the National Herald follows community goings-on.

NORFOLK, VA – At the ANNUNCIATION GREEK ORTHODOX CATHEDRAL in Norfolk, VA, longtime teacher EMILIA SIMMONS demonstrates to dozens of children how to bake prosphoro – offering bread, to dozens of children, the Virginian Pilot reported. The proshoro is offered during the Greek Orthodox Divine Liturgy.

Approximately 300 people consume 10 loaves of the bread at Annunciation’s services each Sunday, the Pilot reported, according to its priest, REV. GEORGE BESSINAS.

A master baker who has baked prosphoro for over 40 years, Simmons is originally from Cyprus. Her recipe is quite simple: Flour, sugar, water, and yeast, “but not too much yeast,” she adds.

As Simmons explained, “the bread is blessed and cut into pieces, which are put into a chalice of wine, symbolizing the body and blood of Christ. Communion is offered with a spoon from the ‘common cup’ – a practice dating from the ninth century. The bread’s texture keeps it from getting soggy.”

During the demonstration, Simmons told the onlookers that she prays, wrote the Pilot, and “you can create your own prayer, or say the Lord’s prayer,” which the children did first in Greek, then in English.

Sixteen volunteers signed up to return and train as future bakers, the Pilot reported – just in time for Lent.

HOLLYWOOD, CA – ARIEL (“ELEFTHERIA”) WINTER, a Greek-American star on the smash TV sitcom MODERN FAMILY, in a recent photograph she revealed on Instagram looks more like the fashion-conscious valley girl HAILEY, played by SARAH HYLAND, who plays the older sister of Winter’s character ALEX, the nerdy, frumpy-clad genius of the DUMPHY family.

“It’s just a wig,” Winter reassures, People magazine reported, because she has conspicuously red hair in the photo – Winter’s hair is naturally dark brown/black.

The 18-year-old actress has been very much in the news as of late, having made public her breast reduction surgery, which she described as “a weight off my chest, literally and figuratively,” raising consciousness in a culture that glorifies a large bosom about the pain and discomfort that large breasts can cause.
Only five feet tall, winter told People how she was teased growing up by her peers, being so diminutive in height but with such large breasts. She also said she feels so much better now because the situation was physically excruciatingly painful.

SYOSSET, NY – Hoping to reverse the “curse” of failed eating establishments over the past 16 years at the intersection of Berry Hill and Muttonwood-Eastwood Roads in Syosset, NY, PLATIA GREEK KITCHEN was opened by NICK NERANTZINIS, his father, GEORGE NERANTZINIS, and GREGORY SPANOS, Newsday reported.

Spanos told Newsday that although he acknowledges the bad luck the location has had with previous establishments, “we like the challenge.”

The father and son owned the CELEBRITY DINER on Jericho Turnpike until they sold it a couple of years ago, Newsday wrote, and also the adjacent NORTH RITZ CLUB catering facility.
According to Newsday, Platia’s chef is MICHAEL GIANNAKIS, previously the executive chef at the BARCLAY CENTER’S 40/40 CLUB and, before that, a corporate chef with senior positions at CITI FIELD and NYU. His restaurant experience includes RAO’S and AVRA in Manhattan.
Newsday comprised a retrospective of the eateries at that location since 1990: Nissos (2014), Toast & Tapas (2012), Americana 516 Kitchen & Bar (2012), 516 American Kitchen & Bar (2011), Moules et Frites (2009), Pomodorino, Ohana Luau Hawaiian BBQ (2006), Umi (2005), Asia Palace (2004), Pulau (2003), Penang (2001), Royal Ruby (1994) and Fu Ho (1990). Also, the building was once a Friendly’s.


ATHENS - A regulation in an omnibus bill will allow repatriated Greeks from Albania and the former Soviet Union to receive full national pensions, Labor and Social Protection Minister Kostis Hatzidakis said during a discussion in Greek Parliament on Tuesday.

Top Stories


A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

FALMOUTH, MA – The police in Falmouth have identified the victim in an accident involving a car plunging into the ocean on February 20, NBC10 Boston reported.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.


Fragile Cease-Fire Between Israel, Gaza Militants Holding

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — A fragile cease-fire deal to end nearly three days of fighting between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza held into Monday morning — a sign the latest round of violence may have abated.

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