The Early-Stage Actress

She can tap dance and sing. She can play the flute and the piano. Okay, she’s better at the flute, which has been her instrument of choice since fourth grade. Did I mention that she’s more than passable at Pilates? If none of this wows you, she’s literally ready to bend over backward while cooing like a dove, making a bubble-popping sound and doing her signature diva impression. All she needs is a stage – any stage. Sarah Bradley, whose birth certificate named her Sarah Ricker, is an aspiring actress who’s waiting in the wings for her …

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The Serious Smiler

It doesn’t matter where he goes – the corner deli, the N train, the organic market – Todd Killian stands out in the crowd. It’s not the way he looks – closely cropped brown hair, dark-chocolate eyes and slender build – it’s what he does. Todd, aka the meet-and-greet guy, smiles a toothy grin and stops to talk to strangers. It works, perhaps because in a way, Todd, too, is a stranger. He has only called Astoria his home for a dozen years, and he was raised in a tiny town – ever hear of a one-stoplight dot on the…

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The Resident Stargazer

It’s 9 p.m. At 31st and Ditmars, the stars are out. So is The Telescope Guy. “You wanna see Jupiter?” he calls out as people crowd around him on the moonlit sidewalk. “Just step right up. You gotta see this. It’s great.” Patrick Cannon, the resident stargazer, mans his 90-mm silver Maksuktov Cassegrain as though he’s commanding the Starship Enterprise, pointing out the planets and singling out the stars. For the more than two years that the Astoria sky has been Patrick’s gazing ground, he’s changed our lives by putting stars in our eyes. He …

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The Answer Man

The black awning says “Halvatzis Realty,” and the open door says, “Come right in.” So everyone does. A neighbor steps in to talk about his girlfriend. She dumped him, just like that, no reason. They’d been together 10 years. Ten years! Can you believe that! “What should I do?” he asks in despair. “Dude, you’ve got to get right back out there,” George Halvatzis tells him. “You’re a nice guy, you’ve still got your hair, trust me, you’ll do well in the dating game. You’ve got what it takes.” The phone rings. Someone wants an …

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