The Opportunity Of A Lifetime

I met my wife in Greece, on the island of Chios, while she was visiting family for the holidays. It was love at first sight. So was Lakewood, OH. I was looking for an opportunity to leave the island, while the economy in Greece was taking a turn for the worse. It couldn't get any better doing it while chasing the love of my life back to the States. Returning to NYC after four years of living on the island was a reminder of why one would want to leave the city in the first place.

Visiting Kelly and her family in south, suburban Cuyahoga County was not the lifestyle that I had in mind. But being in the construction and real estate industry, and growing up in both NYC and Greece, I couldn't help but notice that this semi-forgotten city of Cleveland looked like it could be going through a renaissance period, and that opportunity is everywhere.

Wandering around the neighborhoods of the city’s west side, love struck once more, at the intersection of Detroit Avenue and Highland Blvd. There it was: Lakewood, OH. What a town, and what a gorgeous piece of architecture at 11817-11831 Detroit Ave., "The Highland Manor.” Who would have known that crossing 117th Street was just scratching the surface?

It’s been two years now since my wife and I have settled in. The deeper one digs, the better and more interesting it gets. The character of the town, and the melting pot of characters that blend into it, is what gives this town its unique feel. The people--they care. The authorities are there--the police and fire department, as if they await a signal in the sky over Lake Erie, and appear in a moment. City Hall, which is actually a haven for the civilian: these wonderful friends, so readily available to volunteer their knowledge and assistance, gives different meaning to the term "civil servant.” Lakewood Hospital—it’s as if whatever you attach the adjective "Lakewood" to, becomes super. The doctors, the nurses, the person at the front desk, the parking attendant: Super, Loving, Human, beings. I could not have been happier and more proud that my firstborn boy was born here, in Lakewood, OH. This is the American Dream Town, and I say town, because a city could never feel this much like home.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone in the town of Lakewood for the warm welcome and acceptance of our family as part of theirs. Thank you for the opportunity of a lifetime.

Konstantinos, Kalliopi, and Georgio Almiroudis

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Volume 8, Issue 12, Posted 9:10 PM, 06.12.2012