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Astoria

Astoria Characters: The Laundry on the Line

Nancy Ruhling | Posted 07.01.2014 | New York
Nancy Ruhling

There was a pole and a pulley at the end of my driveway when I moved in. This cave-man apparatus was tethered to the back of the house by an ancient umbilical cord.

A Grassroots Mural Show Brings Explosive Color To New York

Jaime Rojo & Steven Harrington | Posted 06.30.2014 | Arts
Jaime Rojo & Steven Harrington

When the revered graffiti holy place named 5Pointz in Queens, New York was buffed and slated officially for demolition last fall the collective respon...

Astoria Characters: The Old Kid on the Block

Nancy Ruhling | Posted 06.03.2014 | New York
Nancy Ruhling

It's going on six decades. Even Jimmy Bejanis is astounded when he does the math. That's a long time -- his entire life -- to stay in one place and in one house.

Astoria Characters: The Soul Worker

Nancy Ruhling | Posted 05.27.2014 | New York
Nancy Ruhling

Eleni Petraki used to be a dancer. There's not a bit of regret in her voice when she talks about bowing out of the profession.

Astoria Characters: The Forgotten Hero

Nancy Ruhling | Posted 07.06.2014 | New York
Nancy Ruhling

Nick is the guy who made headlines as the Hard-Hat Hero in October 1996 when he risked his life to save a woman and her son and granddaughter from a crane's crashing boom at a Harlem construction site.

Astoria Characters: The Woman With a Third Eye

Nancy Ruhling | Posted 06.29.2014 | New York
Nancy Ruhling

Manuela Rana never had dreams of the American dream, but when she found the man of her dreams, she didn't hesitate to cross the Atlantic to be with him.

Astoria Characters: The President of the Galician Club

Nancy Ruhling | Posted 06.22.2014 | New York
Nancy Ruhling

It's a windy day, and the four flags of Casa Galicia are flapping like a flock of geese flying south for the winter. The stately wedding-cake white building on 31st Avenue, wedged between a burger joint and a supermarket crowned by barbed wire, looks like a foreign embassy.

Astoria Characters: The Guy Who Seized the Wheel

Nancy Ruhling | Posted 06.15.2014 | New York
Nancy Ruhling

Not everybody who gets a second chance wants it or takes it. Paco Soto was pretty much set in his ways when the opportunity was thrust upon him, but he didn't hesitate to move into the driver's seat and speed into the fast lane.

Astoria Characters: The Man Who Holds the Universe in His Hands

Nancy Ruhling | Posted 06.08.2014 | New York
Nancy Ruhling

Rain. That's what pelted Marco Pereira's boyhood brain, drop by drop by drop time after time, until it finally sank in.

Astoria Characters: The Guy Who Mans Two Counters

Nancy Ruhling | Posted 06.01.2014 | New York
Nancy Ruhling

Nine a.m. comes mighty early when you didn't go to bed until 3 in the morning. That's why Pedro Gonzalez is hiding behind the brim of his black fedora.

Astoria Characters: The Artist Who Draws In Nature

Nancy Ruhling | Posted 05.25.2014 | New York
Nancy Ruhling

She paints. She writes. She welds. She wears men's Tony Lama cowboy boots and dangly turquoise earrings that fly through her long black hair when the wind blows.

Astoria Characters: The Martial-Arts Mentor

Nancy Ruhling | Posted 05.18.2014 | New York
Nancy Ruhling

With his white hair and sky-high sleek physique, Dino stands out in a crowd, making it virtually impossible for him to hide in a corner office, much less in a corner. He's closing in on 53, but he has the enthusiasm of a teenager who just got the keys to his first car and wants to take the whole world for a joyride.

Astoria Characters: The Hard-Driving Couple

Nancy Ruhling | Posted 05.11.2014 | New York
Nancy Ruhling

With one well-practiced pull, Fanny Cedeno rolls up the fortress-like metal gate at Astoria Express Transit. When her husband, Luis Gualotuna, walks in a minute later, she rushes up behind him and smoothes the rumpled collar of his grey sweater.

Astoria Characters: The Dog Tamer

Nancy Ruhling | Posted 05.04.2014 | New York
Nancy Ruhling

Although Judy started her dog-walking business, Woofs 'n Purrs, near retirement age, she has been a pooch pal since she was no more than a pup. Dogs walked into and out of her life, and it was their love that saved her life.

Astoria Characters: The Lady of the Lights

Nancy Ruhling | Posted 04.27.2014 | New York
Nancy Ruhling

It is the light of the sun that brings Barbara Barrow to life. Intently, she watches the flakes fall from the sky. There are no rays today. It looks as though a baker is shaking powdered sugar over an ice-skating rink.

Astoria Characters: The Guy Driving the '55 Chevy

Nancy Ruhling | Posted 04.13.2014 | New York
Nancy Ruhling

There's no seatbelt. Pete D'Andrea throws back his head and laughs. It's going to be a loud, rough ride. He can't wait to rev up the engine.

Astoria Characters: The Comic Who Counts Laughs

Nancy Ruhling | Posted 04.06.2014 | New York
Nancy Ruhling

Sooyah, who calls herself Christine when she's not holding a microphone, longs for the day when she can kiss her day job good-bye. She wants to be as funny -- and as famous -- as Seinfeld.

Astoria Characters: The Passionate Potter

Nancy Ruhling | Posted 03.23.2014 | New York
Nancy Ruhling

Ellen Evans climbs the three flights of stairs to Terrafirma, her pottery studio, balancing four cups of steaming coffee and a brown paper bag of doughnuts.

Astoria Characters: The Yoga Singer

Nancy Ruhling | Posted 03.16.2014 | New York
Nancy Ruhling

Brian was born to be a song and dance man, and he'll do whatever it takes to take the stage. But his very vocal chords and tapping toes are only the tips of his talent.

Astoria Characters: The Newlywed Who Lost Her Diamond Ring

Nancy Ruhling | Posted 03.09.2014 | New York
Nancy Ruhling

She ran to the bathroom to wash the mess off her hands. To her dismay, when it was gone, so was her wedding ring.

Astoria Characters: The Family Who Lives Above the Store

Nancy Ruhling | Posted 03.02.2014 | New York
Nancy Ruhling

The glass door to Astoria Carpet stands wide open in welcome. Eleanor Kazas is watching the people pass by, but she won't be doing this for long. Today, and every day, she has a lot of orders to tend to.

Astoria Characters: The School Fireman

Nancy Ruhling | Posted 02.16.2014 | New York
Nancy Ruhling

Tommy's not sure how much longer he can do it. But he must: Although his two sons are grown, his daughter is only 16.

Astoria Characters: The Original Wild One

Nancy Ruhling | Posted 02.09.2014 | New York
Nancy Ruhling

Everybody else in the house is still asleep. That's why Tommy Capezza is waiting at the front door.

Astoria Characters: The Straight-A Student of Life

Nancy Ruhling | Posted 02.02.2014 | New York
Nancy Ruhling

In the bedroom that also serves as Stefanie Weisman's office, a cheap, crisply creased paper map of the world is taped to the wall over the bed. Its c...

Astoria Characters: The Wide-Eyed Girl

Nancy Ruhling | Posted 01.25.2014 | New York
Nancy Ruhling

Fashion photographer Casey Brooks is used to being on the other side of the lens, and she doesn't think any pictures taken of her look good. She's posing in her favorite alley, a long crossed-shaped space that oozes with urban chic.