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Ditmars Boulevard

Astoria Characters: The Puppy and the Pepper

Nancy Ruhling | Posted 10.07.2012 | New York
Nancy Ruhling

It's the dog days of summer, and Zora is sitting on the front porch watching the people pass by.

Astoria Characters: The Classic Educand

Nancy Ruhling | Posted 05.25.2011 | New York
Nancy Ruhling

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.

Astoria Characters: The Sicilian Saint

Nancy Ruhling | Posted 05.25.2011 | New York
Nancy Ruhling

2010-06-29-saint.jpg It happens every June: St. Antonio Abate makes a four-night appearance on Ditmars Boulevard at his namesake feast.

Astoria Characters: The World-Wise Window Washer

Nancy Ruhling | Posted 05.25.2011 | New York
Nancy Ruhling

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.

Astoria Characters: The Continuous Counterman

Nancy Ruhling | Posted 05.25.2011 | New York
Nancy Ruhling

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 Characters: The No-Go Gal

Nancy Ruhling | Posted 05.25.2011 | New York
Nancy Ruhling

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.

Astoria Characters: The Answer Man

Nancy Ruhling | Posted 05.25.2011 | New York
Nancy Ruhling

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."

Astoria Characters: The Veteran Bookseller

Nancy Ruhling | Posted 05.25.2011 | New York
Nancy Ruhling

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.