Astoria Characters: The New Taco Chef in Town

“What would you like me to make?” Astoriana Diosa del Taco is at 22-35 31st St. Sebastian Royo, the executive chef of Astoriana Diosa del Taco, is standing in the kitchen, pan in hand. It’s early – especially if, like Sebastian, you were up working until 3 a.m. – but he can’t wait to start cooking again. Should he fix breakfast or lunch? The Coliflor. He settles on a medley of taco favorites – the Astorianos chicken, the Al Pastor, the Carne Asada and two vegetarian…

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Astoria Characters: The Writer Soaring on the Wings of His Words

It never really occurred to Seanie Sugrue to write things down. Seanie began writing in New York. For many years, he was content to let word after word take up residence in his head, where they started stringing themselves into sentences that begat a series of siblings that swirled into stories striving to be released. “I always had a very active imagination, but I didn’t know what to do with it,” he says. This was not much of a difficulty for him when he was a working-class lad…

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Astoria Characters: The Guy Who Saved the Pet Store

After Tom Odermatt flips on the fluorescent overhead lights, he heads to the aquariums, where he jokes around with the jocularly striped clownfish, who swim rapidly to the top of the tank to greet him. Tom opened Tom’s Pet Supply in July. He pokes his finger into the water, which, thanks to artificial lighting, is deep blue like the sea, and attracts a cleaner shrimp who goes by the name of Jacques. Thecrustacean clings to Tom’s appendage, stripping it of parasites. Next, Tom…

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Astoria Characters: The Constant Creator

A gentle mist is falling as Kevin Patrick Corrigan leans into his guitar and starts strumming. Kevin’s a member of the Astoria-centric band Begorrah. He’s sitting in his galley kitchen, by the window with the faded shamrock decal, as the day goes grey. Here, by the snow-white stove and refrigerator, Kevin rehearses and records his CDs. Kevin recording in his kitchen. He does most of his writing in the room across the hall, whose only significant furnishing is a sofa, or in…

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Astoria Characters: The Man Out To Heal the World

At the present moment, Dave Santander is sitting on a bench outside a café sipping herbal tea. Dave is working on his master’s degree. He’s reflecting on his life. All 30 years of it. It’s more full than his cup of tea: He’s a college student, commuting to class in Connecticut three times a week, and he’s working a bunch of jobs to pay the rent and the tuition to fuel his ambition. Dave grew up in Harriman, New York. If you’ve taken a Chinese yoga class, stepped…

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