The Bouzouki Balladeer

Near the end of a residential street of attached row houses, there’s a small storefront whose plate-glass window proclaims “ALPHA SCHOOL OF MUSIC” in bright gold letters that are surrounded by a melody of dancing musical notes. The front door is adorned with a golden treble clef. In the waiting room, whose walls are lilac with dark purple trim, an eclectic variety of stringed instruments that range from the oud to the electric guitar are suspended from the ceiling like clothes in a closet. There’s an overstuffed sofa and an extra-wide, extra-comfy chair. The faint scent of long-ago …

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The Hi-Tech Twins

“I’m Dom,” says the twin wearing the black T-shirt. “I’m Tom,” says the twin wearing the blue T-shirt. They answer the door in that order — Dom Tancredi, Tom Tancredi. They have their routine down to a T. In this case, Dom’s T has a bright blue pyramidal design that matches the color of Tom’s T. Different yet just enough alike to declare their common identity. There’s a reason the Tancredi twins go …

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The Starry-Eyed Tailor

It started in Cyprus with a little girl and a big dream. “I used to climb out on the balcony of our house and close my eyes and open my arms and say, ‘I’m going to fly away.’” Panayiota Pelengaris is used to putting her time to good use, so as she talks, she threads a needle. The beautiful buttercream cashmere sweater, soft as chick fluff, has a half dozen moth holes she needs to repair before the morrow. By the way, before we go any further, Panayiota says it’s best to call her Patricia or Pat. “…

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