I was lucky growing up in that I am blessed with a loving family. My father, mother and sister are the most important people in my life and each has influenced me in so many different ways. My father taught me drive and character, and my sister creativity and tenacity. Lessons that endure throughout a lifetime. That said, this business is dedicated to one person, my mother.
Those who know her know of an adventurous spirit who lives to live. From the time I was a boy, she would take my sister and me into New York City on routine visits, but these visits were far from routine. An expert cook who is genuinely fascinated with other cultures, she would walk us down Mott Street in Chinatown before stopping for dessert a block away on Mulberry in Little Italy. We would cross the Queensboro into Astoria for Greek or the Triborough into the Bronx for Arthur Avenue Italian. Always an adventure and always something I looked forward to.
As the years went on, my own Greek background became progressively important to me. Although New York City has a huge population, I noticed the Greek young adults in Manhattan were not really getting together. As such, I started an informal e-mail list among a handful of friends with the promise of sending out a message when something interesting popped-up in our community worth attending. It slowly spread by word of mouth and now, just a few years later, the email list has become a well-known and popular part of our community.
Countless friendships have formed, couples have met and recipients of these messages have become better informed about our own community. The “blasts” detail restaurant events, live music nights, shows and various cultural happenings throughout the city. As I looked to transition this listserve into a website, I realized something important: that every ethnicity could use a service like this.
Having lived in Sydney, Australia I have since wanted to connect with other Aussies and enjoy the ex-pat venues they frequent. I also feel fortunate to have traveled extensively abroad and the music, sports, media and time spent during these adventures have left me wanting to learn more about each experienced ethnicity. How nice would it be to easily figure out where that culture exists within your own community? Easier said than done though, until now.
My hope in doing this is that the success built within the Greek community spreads to each community we bring to the site. If even one new friendship forms or a cultural venue attracts a new patron, my work is done. I also hope others will find that special feeling of being taken to a distant land in their own city and celebrate it. Finally, I hope you share what you learn with loved ones, just as my mother did with us.
Welcome to LivEthnic,
Justin K. Bozonelis