The Iconic Artist

It’s on the top floor. To get there, you must pass through a spiral of boring hallways whose numbing palette is grey upon grey upon grey. The door to the dollhouse of an apartment opens straight into the cubby of a kitchen, whose table is spread with crystal, silverplate platters and a pretty pink and yellow chintzware tea set edged in gold. There’s a sleeping area off to the side, and the bed’s done up in frilly bridal white. Straight ahead, in the living room, where the flat-screen TV is tuned to toons, the sponged-gold walls are …

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The Self-Made CEO

It came about, when Edith O’Donnell was in her late 40s, that she found herself without a husband and without a job. And with two daughters to put through college. Most people would panic, whine or curse. Not Edith. She simply squared her small-boned shoulders, pulled herself up to her full flat-heel height of 5-foot-4 and got down to the business of reinventing herself. In short order, she had co-founded Lyons, the friendliest mortgage and insurance services company in Astoria. “It’s always a risk to start your own company,” says Edith, whose title at Lyons is CEO. “And …

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The Chic Shopkeeper

“Clothing is like art,” says Kristie Foster. “It’s to admire.” The statuesque Kristie, does, indeed, look like a gallery work. She’s clad in a two-layer shirt dress, deep iris purple over light lavender, that makes her Tiffany-blue eyes pop like spring crocuses. Her neck is decorated with a long, flowing vintage scarf that features dancing angels that accent her short, highlighted blond hair. Her retro-style spectator shoes, in cream, complement the white leather wraparound band of her wristwatch and the slinky silver snake bracelet coiled around her arm. The owner of KrisTEES is a live billboard for her …

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The Classic Educand

Helen Polychronis comes to the front door carrying a tin coffee pot, the kind that would have been bright-shiny-new a half century ago. It’s filled with water. “Excuse me, I have to go save a dying gardenia,” she says as she shuffles to the garden. Walking isn’t too easy, even without the can throwing her off balance: Helen’s left leg is an inch shorter than her right, and she wears a brace. She’s not using her cane today. Back inside, she surveys the living room. She’s in the middle of a project, and there are …

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