Friday, April 2, 2010

Lambadas on the subway

As a kid in Brooklyn, Easter and holy week were pretty important and the services were very impressive.
Whenever friends, who were not Greek Orthodox came, they found the services amazing.

Getting the holy flame home after midnight mass was a bitch. None of the Greeks from Coney Island, then, had cars.

Transport was the subway. The church was off of Kings Highway, that stop was at least 6 to 7 stops from Stillwell Ave., Coney Island. Our stop.

Getting on the train with a flaming lambada, usually with 10 other Greeks all with their lambadas, was not easy.

Not too many subway employees were Greek, so we could not use connections. We used distraction, pleading, some even attempted to hide a flaming 2 foot candle under their coats. Somehow enough of us got on the train with lit lambadas, so everybody relit theirs and we hoped no subway cop would show up, chances of them being Greek were nil.

We usually made it to Coney Island with lambadas blazing. Next, the 3 block walk home, at 2 am. with the wind from the ocean blowing like crazy, was the hardest part. No miracles to still the wind, or even 10 minutes of calm, till we made it home.

I usually made it home and the flame was kept burning for 40 days in the iconostasio at home.

Now, after 60+ years, I have a confession to make. When I did not make it and the candle blew out, I relit it with a match. I am not sure if it is a mortal sin or even a regular sin.
Nothing disastrous ever seemed to happen.

Sorry Momma.


  1. Very touching. Especially the last sentence. Made me cry and laugh at the same time.