Astoria Characters: The Art-Foundry Owner

What’s your title? It’s not meant to be a funny question, but it makes Michael Perrotta of Sculpture House Casting laugh. Photo by Nancy A. Ruhling Michael’s family owns Sculpture House Casting. “We’re a family business,” he says. “We don’t have titles. I’ve done everything from sweeping the floor to doing the patina on a bronze. Nothing is above or below anyone here.” Michael, who handles the business aspects of the foundry, is sitting at an art-scarred antique oak desk. Photo by Nancy A. Ruhling Sculpture House Casting is at 43-77 9th St. It …

Continue Reading →

Astoria Characters: The Voice of Chinamerica Radio

The first time Steve Warren stepped in front of a radio-station microphone, he was wearing a bow tie. Photo by Nancy A. Ruhling Steve’s the voice behind Chinamerica Radio and The Country Oldies Show. “I was in third grade and sang White Christmas,” says Steve, a tall man with an easy-going, ear-pleasing voice. “An organist in a suit was playing the music live. They gave me a wristwatch.” The timepiece, which Steve wishes he had preserved as a souvenir, turned out to a prescient present. Steve, the host of Envision Radio Network’s The Country Oldies Show, America’s …

Continue Reading →

The High-Flying Acrobat

“Why walk when you can fly?” Bobby Hedglin-Taylor answers his own question by starting to scale a giant London Plane tree in Ditmars Park. This probably isn’t a good idea. Anything could happen. He could fall. He could reach the top. He wonders, momentarily, whether it’s illegal to climb a park-property tree. It’s too late to worry. He jumps to the top of a park bench so he can grab the lower branches. He looks upward. It’s nice to say hi to the sky, but he’d rather be in motion. Let’s go to the …

Continue Reading →