(Queens, New York, United States) – Councilman Costa Constantinides recently celebrated the co-naming of several streets in honor of the late Demetris Kastanas on May 7. On February 5th, the city council unanimously passed INT. 1054, which was responsible for co-naming the street in honor of Kastanas, as well as several others. It was officially signed into law on February 25th. The celebration took place at the intersection of 31st Avenue and Steinway Street. Assembly member Aravella Simotas, Coucilman Costa Constantinides, and members from the Kastanas family were all in attendance.
Kastanas was an influential member of the Greek community in the area. He founded the Greek Television program in 1975 and it became its own channel in 1987. He also started Eseis Magazine, which was a publication that came out on a biweekly basis that talked about issues relevant to Greek-Americans and the community. Many believe that these media outlets provided a way for the Greek-American community to achieve solidarity and to spread news about the various issues and current events that impacted them. They both fit a need because not all of them could speak English very well. These media outlets provided a way to reach them. He was also heavily involved in various charitable causes, many of which impacted the Greek community, such as the Greek Children’s Cancer Fund.
Various people payed their respects to Kastanas during the ceremonies. They all spoke of how much he has enriched their lives.
Constantinides said, “Demetris Kastanas helped promote Hellenism and Democratic values throughout his life. We honor him because he served as a great example of civic engagement. As the founder of the first Greeklanguage channel, he made news and entertainment accessible to Greek-Americans throughout our city and our country. We are proud to commemorate Kastanas’ contribution to our city with this street co-naming.”
Senator Gianaris said during the event, “There is not a single Greek- American in New York whose life has not been touched by Demetris Kastanas. “I have fond memories of watching his Saturday afternoon television show with my grandmother when I was a child, as it was the center of the Greek community at that time. It is an honor to continue his legacy through the addition of ‘Demetris Kastanas Way’ right here in Astoria.”
Demetris Kastanas passed away at the age of 70 back in 2013. He died from complications related to open heart surgery.