The Two-Time Immigrant

Underneath the grape arbor on the back patio, Garo Apanian opens his candy-apple-red laptop. “Let me show you the apartment where I was born,” he says. “It’s a beautiful building.” As he taps into Google Maps, Nike, his 9-year-old cat, leaves her chair and pads across the glass-top table to look over his shoulder. The image that appears is of a six-story, nine-family building in Beirut, Lebanon. “My family lived on the first floor,” he says. “My brother and I shared a room in the back. The rooms had high ceilings, and there were balconies.” Photo by Nancy A. …

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The Belly-Dancing Psychologist

When Irina Kom parts the exotic pink and gold silk curtain to reveal her living room-cum-bedroom-cum-dance studio, the incense refreshes the senses like a walk in a spring shower. In the corner, there’s an open suitcase filled with glittering costumes spilling out of its sides. Its image is captured in the trio of floor-to-ceiling mirrors that …

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The City-Slicker Chicken Farmers

Jules Corkery trudges up the marble stairs hauling a white plastic bucket of compost that’s almost as big as she is. “Welcome to the farm,” she says as she opens the double deadbolt door to her dollhouse of an apartment facing the Astoria Park tennis courts. She hands the bucket off to Robert McMinn, her significant other, as Esmeralda, Penni and Dearie crowd around her feet. “Oh! There’s some poop,” she says as she excitedly scoops the shiny black pearls into her hand. “These are like nuggets of gold.” Photo by Nancy A. Ruhling The Serama chickens: Esmeralda, …

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