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The list of reasons to love Toledo is long.

Love Letters to Toledo is partnering for the month of June with Welcome Toledo-Lucas County in celebration of Immigrant Heritage Month 2016. Immigrant Heritage Month is a national month-long celebration of the individuals, families, and communities who have built our country’s economy and created the unique social fabric of our nation. Welcome Toledo-Lucas County, a collaboration of community partners housed in the Board of Lucas County Commissioners in partnership with Toledo LISC, are asking community members to join them in celebrating Toledo’s vibrant immigrant heritage by telling immigrant heritage stories using the social media hashtags #IHMToledo and #Welcome TLC.

 

Dear Toledo,

I arrived in America in 1979 when I was 26 years old. When I landed in America I could feel the freedom. I can’t even explain it really, but it was something I could feel.

In just a little more than a year, I had started my new life as a property and business owner at 17th and Adams Street in downtown Toledo. I had also married my wife, Judy. Together we set out to fulfill a vision of a busy, vibrant area that would become known as the UpTown district west of the downtown. We started with just a small sandwich shop called “The Store”, but soon started preparing authentic Greek cuisine and Manos Greek Restaurant evolved — as they say “the rest is history”.

The opportunity you afforded me was extremely exciting. I had never owned a business before but was able to create and open the business because people working in the city’s departments were eager to help someone wanting to start a business. It seemed that city employees viewed themselves as people whose mission was to aid entrepreneurs in figuring out ways to start and/or grow business in efficient and cost-effective manner. This was especially important to me because I was not familiar with the codes and regulations involved and, more importantly, I did not have deep pockets.

In the last 36 years, Judy and I have truly grown to love the diversity of your people, ethnicities, neighborhoods and cultural richness. How can one not love the lush greenness and flowers in the spring and the colorful trees lining the streets in the fall. The cultural history of your neighborhoods and industries is unsurpassed and the magnificent Toledo Museum of Art is, amazingly, free of charge!

The list of reasons to love Toledo is long – The Toledo Zoo, Library system, Metroparks, boutiques, theaters — to name a few; but those who live in this city already know why most who live here would write their own love letter to Toledo.

 

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While Manos may be well known for his eatery Manos Greek Restaurant and his popular hangout, The Attic on Adams,  Mr. Paschalis is so much more to our community. As a visionary for UpTown and the Village on Adams, Manos wholly supports the arts and those around him. He has been integral to the reinvention of UpTown as a gathering place for independent artists and creatives by founding the Manos Community Garden, being a visionary supporter of Art Corner Toledo’s The Love Wall, taking part in the formation of the Corporal Max Klinger Sportsball Complex, and much, much more.

Manos was photographed on his beloved Adams street. Above he is pictured under a brick archway his father constructed during their renovation of the building in the early 80s.

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