Astoria Characters: The Thanks-Giving Guy

When Lou Romano Trujillo looks out over the tables at Chick-N-Soup, all he can think of is his good fortune. “I’m a lucky guy,” he says, “because of the people – family and friends – who helped me open it.” Chick-N-Soup is at 30-12 Astoria Blvd. He mentions his mother (“an extraordinary woman who raised me by herself”), his landlord (who encouraged him to take on the renovation and gave him a really good deal on the rent), his uncle the electrician and his uncle the carpenter (who…

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Astoria Characters: The Print Promoter

The first thing you notice about K.Y. Chow is his apron. It’s green, the color of a forest in deep shade. He points to the large red and white medallion in the center of its top. K.Y. is from Hong Kong. “It’s Chinese calligraphy,” he says, standing in front of a wall of awards in the lobby at Grand Meridian Printing in Long Island City. “It means ‘best of the best.’” K.Y., a tall, pen-thin man who is angular and animated, wears it when he’s in the office, and since he’s on site…

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Astoria Characters: The Acting Cafe Owner

After she takes a tray of pineapple coconut muffins out of the oven, Sonnie Brown concentrates on the frosting for her chocolate peanut butter layer cake. She stands smiling over the small stainless steel mixing bowl at her coffee/cake/conversation café Sonbobs, swiftly stirring, stirring, stirring. Sonbobs is at 34-15 28th Ave. When the icing is creamy and thick, she paints it onto the cake with a spatula, crowning the confection with miniature Reese’s peanut butter cups. The decorative design…

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Astoria Characters: The Yogi with 5 College Degrees

“Would you mind removing your shoes before coming in?” Jagadisa-devasri Dacus, a tall, toned man with a shaved head and a bushy beard, is standing at the door of his apartment in black flip-flops, toenails painted the color of ripe cherries. Jagadisa-devasri is a social worker, behavioral scientist and yogi. He went on a business trip to San Francisco, and he just got home a half hour ago on the red-eye flight. He hasn’t had any sleep. He says he’s tired, but he looks wide awake. It’s…

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Astoria Characters: The Cocktail Curator

When you’ve just finished an overnight shift, 9 in the morning feels like an exceedingly unseemly hour. Which is why Alex Mouzakitis keeps apologizing; he got off at 5:30 a.m. after working 15 hours and hasn’t had much sleep. Alex is a co-owner of HandCraft Kitchen & Cocktails in Manhattan. He has his Mets cap pulled down over his somnolent eyes and worries when he takes it off that he has hat hair. (He doesn’t; his tresses looked professionally tousled.) He’s not going to lie, he’s…

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