Astoria Characters: The Sandwich King’s Sons

Standing at a silver slicing machine, John Gordon looks out at the crowd of customers at the counter and smiles. Sal, Kris & Charlie’s Deli, a.k.a. The Sandwich King of Astoria, at 33-12 23rd Ave. The stretching sun hasn’t even taken a bite out of the morning, but already hungry people are lined up, mouths watering, for the jaw-dropping, jumbo subs of The Sandwich King of Astoria, a.k.a. Sal, Kris & Charlie’s Deli. “My favorite thing,” he says, “is to stare at them when they…

Continue Reading →

Astoria Characters: The Artist Who Plays See-and-Think

“My work,” says Alex Markwith, “is meant to inspire a conversation.” Alex grew up in Pennsylvania. Alex, who is dressed in all black, brings a black and white painting into his black and white and gray living room. He places it on the floor, artfully leaning it against the leg of his black and white desk. Alex’s . , which is what Alex calls this work, is a black canvas edged in blood red inscribed with a single word that is cut in half: CON TEXT. It has a double meaning – there’s…

Continue Reading →

Astoria Characters: The Woman Who Owns City Scrap Metal

Michele Rothman pulls a coil of Bare Bright Copper No. 1 out of a plastic bin and holds it up to the unforgiving glare of the fluorescent light. City Scrap Metal is at 34-12 Borden Ave., Long Island City. “It’s gorgeous,” she says of the electrical wiring. “It’s scrap, but I consider it art.” As she’s admiring its gleaming beauty, a truck comes in with a delivery, and she rushes over to the table to help her crew remove the plastic insulation from the new cache of copper. Michele…

Continue Reading →

Astoria Characters: The Actor with the Role of a Lifetime

As an actor, Mike Moreno has had the opportunity to play many different roles. Being Daddy to Malcolm is the one that changed his life. Mike is an actor and a father. Malcolm, who is 2 and a half, is sitting in the living room watching cartoons with his mom, aka Cristin Downs. Bronte, the family’s decade-old dog, is lying on the couch watching him. And the two cats, well, they’re doing whatever it is that cats do when they don’t want to be found. With Malcolm’s arrival, Mike, who was used…

Continue Reading →

Astoria Characters: The Cameraman Who Shot the Vietnam War

March 17, 1969. That’s the day that Spec. 5 David A. Russell didn’t come back. First Lt. Don Fedynak arrived the next day. Or, as he says, a day too late. “I never met him, but I still felt responsible for his death because he was on my watch,” says Don, who had come to Can Tho, a city in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta, to command the Vietnam War camera crew Russell was in. “I had to go with another photographer to identify his body. I have been haunted by what happened to him ever since.” For…

Continue Reading →