October 7th, 2011

The Original Greek Festival: Up with Opa!

Ah the Greek Festival, it comes but once a year. You’d think with so much Greek around Houston, the festival dedicated to this ancient culture, on its 45th incarnation in Houston no less, might lose its luster. Not so. The lack of parking alone disproves that notion.

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On opening night, it was obvious to see that we are still craving everything about Souvlaki, Boutari wines by the bottle,  and the Laïkó songs and dances. And for those that weren’t up for the vulgar indulgence, the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral was giving ’round the clock guided tours of the cathedral.

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According to the programs we received at the fest, three types of dances would be seen throughout the four days. Demotika, Neesiotika, and Laïkó—we may have witnessed one of these or perhaps all three.

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Sweet Baklava and Kourambiedes. Two more reasons why I don’t like sweets. I’d eat them all the time. That’s self-delusion for ya.

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And of course, what’s the Greek Festival without at least one Gyro? Why, it’s still the Greek Festival, only with one less item I feel I need to “try.” Right?

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Paul had the good mind to snag this shot of the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral. As swell as this shot may be, it just doesn’t come close to the intricate  details and architecture within.

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It didn’t matter what booth you found yourself at, the lines were thick. The difference between getting pissed off and patiently waiting was the bottle of wine in your hand, keeping you and your friends company in the face of first world adversity.

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If this had been my job, there’d have been serious lamb shaving kickbacks. This fella didn’t seem to have that problem. He provided lamb for the masses all night long.

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The dancing made my legs tired to watch it. Luckily, I found an empty chair. Not pictured here, a man dressed in black who swirled about the stage as he held tables between his teeth. I looked for strings. I found none.

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I believe that’s a mosaic. With so many people swiftly lumbering about, it was refreshing to see such an elaborate work of art in the thick of it. I didn’t think people took the time to piece bits of tile together anymore. I’m glad I was wrong.

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A tent with plenty of tables crammed in close proximity. Live music lead by multiple lyras. More boisterous conversations than humanly decipherable. Half empty bottles of wine. Sticky, baklava-laced fingers. That’s the Greek Festival.

— Richard

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