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Tatiana Delligianakis: “Yes, I have seen numerous dead bodies…”

She likes bagels (as does the stereotypical New Yorker) and because of this we met at a bagel shop.  This sweet and well-established girl is only 26 years old, and she writes for the New York Post, the largest tabloid newspaper of New York.  And, unfortunately, no one from the Greek Embassy of New York, nor any other organization, has approached her to maintain correspondence.  Surely, I think that we would want these types of people near us.  And she would never say no, especially to an invitation for a meal; just as she will later admit.

What part of Greece are your parents from?
My father is from Kefalonia, and my mother is from Thessaloniki.  I was born in the Bronx but then we moved to Astoria.

Did you go to a Greek school?
Yes, I went to the Saint Demetrius School.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t any good.  When I was a freshman in high school I changed schools and I went to an all-girl American high school.  I was completely behind in my studies because the preparation was terrible at Saint Demetrius.  Also, it was incredibly boring because we had religion for an hour a day — I was completely disenchanted; then, they told me that I was going to a to an all-girls’ school.  I was shocked, but also relieved that I was leaving that Greek school.

What have you studied?
I got a degree in Journalism and my Master’s from Fordham University.

How did you start working at the NY Post?
In the beginning I did an internship and then I started writing in the newspaper’s web page.  After that, since they liked my work, they offered me a full-time position as a reporter, which I, of course, took.

What are the two most memorable articles from your career at the Post?
To tell you the truth, for me, everyday is completely different from the next, and many times I don’t remember the article I wrote a week before, so I can’t really answer that question.

Do you have Greek-American friends?
Not many, but I would like to become more involved in the Greek-American community.  Many people tell me that I don’t act or look like a Greek girl at all, and I ask myself what that even means.  Honestly, what makes you a Greek girl?

Do you go to Greece often?
Yes, about every three years.  When I am there I feel very comfortable, I don’t think of it as being away from home.  My grandmother and cousins live in Greece.  I love them a lot.  Usually I stay in Thessaloniki, I think it’s wonderful, and I would have no problem living there. However, there is no way I would be able to live in Athens.

How much interest do you take in Greek media?
I would say very little.  I watch Greek TV only when I am in Greece, and sometimes when I go to my parents’ place, because they have some Greek Channels.  Overall it seems just like American TV, only that it’s in Greek.  I don’t read Greek newspapers, either.  Once in a while I might get into reading some Greek Magazine’s web page.

Where do you see yourself professionally in five years?
I would like to be in a different newsroom.  Perhaps I could get into editing news so I won’t constantly be traveling.

What do you usually write about?
I do general articles and I cover crime a lot.

Have you covered many crime scenes?
Yes, I have seen numerous dead bodies and a lot of blood shed on floors.

How do you stomach it?
What can I do?  Naturally I don’t care for it, when I show up at a crime scene I look at the body once, then I look elsewhere.  I have spent many hours in waiting rooms of hospitals and I have gone to many funerals.  I have been depressed many times but that is the nature of my work.  Many times my job makes me into contemplation; for example, last week I went to a funeral of a soldier from Iraq and I spoke with his parents and his extended family.  They were all so stoic and dealt with the situation with such calm that I really admired them, but it also made me think.  They were saying that he died for his country, but I put my own family in their situation, if something like that had happened to me.  My parents would have reacted completely different in a similar situation.

Have you ever considered your job as a dangerous one?
No, because I have not been threatened, but I have had interviews with prisoners who may have disliked something I wrote, and, believe me, it isn’t the best thing to happen to you.

Have you been approached by Greece, or the Embassy in New York, or representatives of the Greek government so that they might invite you to some dinner, to discuss the place of our country (in the global scene)?
Unfortunately, no, never.  I am sure I would not decline the offer for dinner though.

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