Featured, Giveaways
Aug 05, 2013

To Hellas and Back: Book Giveaway

We’re giving away a copy of the book, To Hellas and Back. You have until Sunday, August 11th to enter this giveaway.

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We have a special treat for you today, Astoria, which includes a fun summer read we think you’ll devour.  Since as Astorians, we’re very in tune with Greek culture, we thought you may fancy the book To Hellas and Back.

To Hellas and Back

Image by amazon.com

Written by Lana Penrose, the book is a memoir about a modern day Greek tragedy, documenting the journey of Lana and Dion as they head to Athens on a travel adventure. While Dion enjoys every minute of discovering his Greek roots, Lana faces some challenges along the way, and the story takes on various comical twists and turns, with an unexpected, suspenseful ending.

We’ll be giving away a copy of the book to one lucky reader.  To enter the giveaway, please send us a comment here and tell us about your favorite Greek business in Astoria and why you love it.  You can choose to tell us about a restaurant, a cultural organization, a retail shop – whatever you like!

You have until Sunday, August 11th to enter and we’ll announce a winner on Monday, August 12th.

If you don’t get lucky but still want to read the book, it’s currently available on Amazon as well as on the Kindle.  Good luck and get reading!


kathy tebbett

my favorite place to experience greek culture and food is the home of my next door neighbors, the drongitis’s…they have shared all things greek with my family and all the foods that accompany every holiday, religious or secular, from new years cake with a coin inside of it, to stuffed dandelion leaves picked from their garden and cooked, to greek wines of every variety…most of all, they have shared the kindness and welcoming to all that is a part of their heritage and the people and that has carried over into their family!


Kopiaste Taverna – techincally Cypriot, but a wonderful meal in a vivacious atmosphere, with great waitstaff and management – highly recommended!


After living in Astoria for 5 years, I can agree with the dad from My Big Fat Greek Wedding, “There are two kinds of people – Greeks, and everyone else who wish they was Greek.”

I am not Greek, but the Greek community in Astoria makes me wish I was. I love going to Titan Foods to wander the aisles and find interesting ingredients like mahlepi. I also really love Zenon Taverna (I think they are Cypriot) for the home cooked food and amazing mezze samplers. I also really love that almost every grocery store in the neighborhood has at least 6 varieties of feta and halloumi, stocks fresh fish and phyllo dough, and carries all sorts of amazing delicacies I couldn’t get anywhere else. Definitely a vibrant, welcoming, and interesting culture that makes me love Astoria even more! Thanks for the giveaway.


My favorite Greek establishment is Ovelia – they have the best brunch in all of NYC!


I like to wander around Titan Foods every once in a while…mostly to partake of the feta cheese samples that they usually have available. :)

Phyllis Tsagdis

Bravo to Lana Penrose for sharing her modern day Greek tragedy by writing to Hellas and back. As a Greek American who has traveled to Greece several times, it would be a pleasure to read her take on her adventures in Greece as a non Greek experiencing it all for the first time.
There is so much Greek flavor in Astoria and hard to choose just one place. My choice would be Athens Square Park and there committee. It was great to see all the free Greek concerts there last summer. They bring the Evsones, Greek soldiers and representatives from Greece to have a special ceremonies before the Greek Parade. The Olympic torch also came to Athens Square Park. I love the Greek statues and columns. I can’t wait for the new Greek statue of Sophicles that they are raising money for to place in the park. It adds culture and beauty to Astoria.


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