Astoria Characters: The Woman’s Whose Life Is in Limbo

Saneun Hwang rummages through her tote bag until she finds a thick white book. She places it on the coffee table and begins flipping through its image-heavy pages, which she likens to birds’ wings flying freely through the sky. Saneun is from South Korea. There is a story – her story – behind the tome she has titled ; in fact, it will tell you pretty much everything you want and need to know about who she is. Saneun, who is from Seoul, South Korea, made the so-called artist book while she…

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Astoria Characters: The Chef Behind Chip Cookies

Wearing silver mitts that stretch to her elbows, Andrea Prunella pulls a tray of peppermint chocolate cookies out of the oven and brings them to the front counter, where they warm themselves under heating lamps like newborn chicks. Andrea created Chip NYC’s signature crunchy-gooey cookies. “It’s the crushed candy canes in the dough that make them so special,” she says. Their sweet scent fills the air, bringing a bit of home-for-the-holidays cheer to Chip NYC’s Ditmars shop —…

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Astoria Characters: The Warrior of the Waterways

Clare Doyle, candy-apple red hair flitting about in the breeze, is standing on Shore Road in Astoria Park watching the water wave to her. It’s a gray day; it’s not supposed to rain, but the sky is spitting at the forecast, sending down spritzing mists like a perfume atomizer. Clare is the vice president of Green Shores NYC. Clare, the vice president of Green Shores NYC, spends every Saturday and Sunday in Queens parks, sometimes visiting up to a half a dozen per weekend. In fact, this has been…

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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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