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The NYC shoe repair shop that survived 9/11 beat COVID-19



The NYC shoe repair shop that survived 9/11 beat COVID-19

Asimenia Polychronakis is determined to reopen the Repair of Minas Shoes in June, the 50th anniversary of the business of her late father.

Before the pandemic, his faithful daughter, 37, planned proper respect for his father, Minas, an immigrant from Greece, who became internationally famous after September 11 when his shop was destroyed at the World Trade Center. His story is told in many articles that are now displayed on the walls of businesses that are relocated on 63 Wall Street.

He hopes to celebrate with some excitement and special promotions, such as shoe shine for 75 cents – a fee in 1970.

In exchange, Polychronakis quietly opened the door on June 15 despite empty streets and office buildings in the Financial District.

No shoeshine was on duty yet, because “nobody was clothed” and too few people returned to their offices, he said.

But seeing his old customer has become one of the brightest places in his new day.

Bianca Alexis has been a patron for 10 years, first becoming friends with Minas, with whom he discussed cooking and politics.

“It’s wonderful to see them open again,” Alexis said, adding that he had a pair of white shoes that needed repainting.

Then there was the French doctor, a customer for 15 years, who came in with 14 pairs of shoes in the first days after the store reopened.

“In the years he came, I had never seen him bring the same shoes twice,” Polychronakis said.

However, hard times: Revenues are down, he estimates, by 90 percent from last year, and summer is already a slow season for shoe repairs.

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He has applied for a $ 40,000 PPP loan to bring back five of his employees for full time work and to help bill.

The speed of the hustle and bustle of Polychronakis used for – six weekdays, several nights spent working until 3am – has been rolled back to five days a week, 10am to 5pm, for now.

Asimenia Polychronakis
Asimenia PolychronakisAnnie Wermiel / NY Post

The toughest decision he had to make was to close the second shop, Omega Repair, located a block away, on June 30.

He said there was one downside: “I am retired by my mother, who is 65 years old [and managed Omega]. I want him to be calm. “

Looking around Minas, Polychronakis wondered about unclaimed shoes – more than 100 pairs – on his shelves and whether any of them were customers who had died of a virus or had lost their jobs “and did not think about their shoes and bags. “

During the three months the shop was closed, only 10 customers called to pick up shoes they left at the store in March.

But there are encouraging signs. Some customers send shoes for repairs during locking, others bring a small piece of leather furniture to sew, and the locals who need it really need it. He called a lawyer whose office was reopened nearby, and he stopped to finish shoes.

“I’m still trying to be optimistic and patient,” Polychronakis said. “I can hear my father’s voice in my head telling me to keep believing.”

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Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.



Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.

Method Media Bermuda will present the documentary FABRIC: Portuguese History in Bermuda on Thursday, December 29 at the Underwater Research Institute of Bermuda.

A spokesperson said: “Method Media is proud to bring Bermuda Fabric: Portugal History to Bermuda for its 5th and 6th showing at the Bermuda Underwater Observatory. In November and December 2019, Cloth: A Portuguese Story in Bermuda had four sold-out screenings. Now that Bermuda has reopened after the pandemic, it’s time to bring the film back for at least two screenings.

“There are tickets For $ 20 – sessions at 15:30 and 18:00. Both screenings will be followed by a short Q&A session.

Director and producer Milton Raboso says, “FABRIC is a definitive account of the Portuguese community in Bermuda and its 151 years of history, but it also places Bermuda, Acors and Portugal in the world history and the events that have fueled those 151 years.

“It took more than 10 years to implement FABRIC. The film was supported by the Minister of Culture, the Government of the Azores and private donors.

Bermuda Media Method [MMB] Created in 2011 by producer Milton Raposo. MMB has created content for a wide range of clients: Bermuda’s new hospital renovation, reinsurance, travel campaigns, international sports and more. MMB pays special attention to artistic, cultural and historical content.

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Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.



Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.

Maestro Filipe Cunha, Artistic Director of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Braga, has been invited to conduct the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra, as announced today.

According to a statement sent by O MINHO, “he will be the first Portuguese conductor to conduct this orchestra in its entire history.”

In addition to this orchestra, the maestro will also work with the Lyceo Mozarteum de la Habana Symphony Orchestra.

The concerts will take place on 4 and 12 March 2023 at the National Theater of Cuba in Havana.

In the words of the maestro, quoted in the statement, “these will be very beautiful concerts with difficult but very complex pieces” and therefore he feels “very motivated”.

From the very beginning, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 will be performed by an Italian pianist (Luigi Borzillo), whom the maestro wants to bring to Portugal later this year. In the same concert, Mendelshon’s First Symphony will be performed.

Then, at the second concert, in the company of the Mexican clarinetist Angel Zedillo, he will perform the Louis Sfora Concerto No. 2. In this concert, the maestro also conducts Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony.

“This is an international recognition of my work. An invitation that I accept with humility and great responsibility. I was surprised to learn that I would be the first Portuguese member of the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra. This is a very great honor,” the maestro said in a statement.

“I take with me the name of the city of Braga and Portugal with all the responsibility that goes with it, and I hope to do a good job there, leaving a good image and putting on great concerts. These will be very special concerts because, in addition to performing pieces that I love, especially Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky, I will be directing two wonderful soloists who are also my friends. It will be very beautiful,” concludes Filipe Cunha.

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