Technically, our tale starts in the summer, but turtles are slow-shuffling creatures so it makes sense that everything has come to a head in the dead of this winter of our discontented spring.
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It's the dog days of summer, and Zora is sitting on the front porch watching the people pass by.
The "defining moment" of Helen Polychronis's life occurred when she was 5. She went to bed one winter night, and the next morning she couldn't raise her arms or legs.
It happens every June: St. Antonio Abate makes a four-night appearance on Ditmars Boulevard at his namesake feast.
The secret's in the squeegee. That's what gets windows streak-free, squeaky clean. So says Barry Feirstein, the guy who does windows for a living.
Amaro Azeredo, the flamboyant fellow with the amorous accent and the long, raven-black Medusa locks, commands the counter of the Ditmars Deli like a Fortune 500 CEO.
Astoria, Queens: for 40 years, this has been Josephine Todaro's stomping ground. "Everyone I know who has left Astoria always comes back," she says.
Welcome to the wacky world of George Halvatzis, Astoria's resident and residential therapist, aka The Answer Man. "In every real estate transaction, I'm doing therapy."
There's no bookstore in the Ditmars section of Astoria. We don't need one. Harry puts the words out on the street -- his bookstand has been in the same spot for nearly a quarter century.
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