Astoria Characters: The Guy Who’s Found the Keys to Happiness

What can you say about a guy who plays hockey and the piano?

Who’s just as comfortable with Bach and Beethoven as he is with boilers?

Photo by Nancy A. Ruhling
Greg is a self-described Renaissance man.

Let’s allow Greg Post’s fingers to explain it all to us.

Greg, whose long black hair is tied back in a man bun that’s comfortable but just enough imperfect to be perfect, sits down at the grand piano.

He flexes his fingers. 

He’s just come in from the cold, so he limbers up with Rimsky-Korsakov’s fanciful and bouncy “Flight of the Bumblebee.”

Photo by Nancy A. Ruhling
Greg started lessons when he was about 5.

Now he’s ready to really wow you.

He launches into a neo-classical piece of his own composition – it’s untitled, he explains, and he’s going to improvise and continue to play until it plays itself out.

“Hey, I’ve got this idea,” he says, fingers flying. “Why don’t I play as you interview me? It could be interesting.”

Or not.

Photo by Nancy A. Ruhling
Greg makes his living installing and repairing boilers.

He plays for a while then abandons the idea, abruptly ending the piece on a high note.

Greg, whose mother is from the Turkish island of Imbros and whose father hails from Crete, was born and raised in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, where he started playing the piano on the family’s upright when he was around 5.

He did it to please his mother, but he ended up falling in love with the ebonies and ivories.

“My older brother and sister took lessons, but I’m the only one who became a musician,” he says. “My grandfather, who was from Cyprus, was a pianist, and my uncle, Louis Demetrius Alvanis, is a famous British classical pianist who does concerts.”

 The fact that Greg made 88 friends so quickly made it all the more shocking when, at age 12, he abandoned them for a skateboard and a hockey stick and didn’t get in touch again for six years.

Photo by Nancy A. Ruhling
Greg grew up in Bay Ridge.

“I only got back into music when I went to a friend’s house to copy his classic rock collection,” Greg says. “While I was there, I also copied his father’s classical collection. It opened my eyes to the classical musical world. That’s when I really started to hear the masterpieces of the piano. I wanted to learn them on my own.”

By that time, Greg was in high school; none of the other kids were listening to this stuff, much less learning to play it.

Greg continued to play while he was in college, where he quickly switched his major from engineering to music.

Ultimately, and after a two-year break where he gave concerts with a violinist, Greg got a degree from Brooklyn College in piano performance. He also studied at Juilliard.


Astoria Characters: The Guy Who’s Found the Keys to Happiness #astoria #nyc #queens #musician #painist #fyp #foryou #foryoupage

♬ original sound – Nruhling

“All I wanted to do was to play all over and share these classical masterpieces,” he says. “I felt something when I heard them, and I wanted others to feel it, too.”

As Greg’s compositions spring from his mind, he writes the scores down by hand on paper.

“I improvise to explore,” he says, adding that he has never taken lessons in composition. “It helps me discover avenues of composition. I consider writing music an art form that has the same beauty as the music itself.”

Several years ago, Greg moved to Astoria.

Photo by Nancy A. Ruhling
Greg composes neo-classical music.

He’s not sure of the year, but it was when he was 27 or 28. He’s 35, no, he’s 36, he can’t remember, ages are not important anyway.

But you can do the math: Greg was born in July 1987.

He started helping his father install and repair commercial boilers – Greg’s an electrician – and now he does that work around the metro area through his company, Post Plumbing & Heating, and sells boiler monitors.

Working with boilers, he says as he observes his hands, which are in his lap, not on the keys, is bad on the fingers, but it’s a wonderfully interesting way to pay the rent on the one-bedroom apartment he shares with his singer/actress wife, a grand piano and an electric piano that had been his grandfather’s.

Photo by Nancy A. Ruhling
Writing music by hand, Greg says, is an art form.

The space, he admits, is small. But he’s living large with big ideas.

And that’s really all that matters.

Oh, one other thing that he nearly forgot: He also has been creating oil paintings.

Photo by Nancy A. Ruhling
Greg plays hockey on league teams.

“They are like improvisations; they are a unique style,” he says.

When Greg’s not at the piano – he often practices at the Archdiocesan Hellenic Cultural Center at Newtown Road and Crescent Street – you might see him on the hockey field.

He’s a goalie, aka the protector of the puck, and plays on league teams.

Calling himself a “Renaissance man,” Greg says that all he wants is to “have enough time to practice and have a concert career so I can spread my neo-classical music.”

There is something else.

He’s thinking about moving to Miami next year to become part of its vibrant arts scene.

Photo by Nancy A. Ruhling
Greg is thinking of moving to Miami.

He would, of course, have to find a different day job.

He’s not worried.

Boilers may not be profitable in that summery environment, but air conditioners sure are.

Greg’s eyes light up at the thought of doing something new.

Copyright 2022 by Nancy A. Ruhling