The Indelible Artiste

Tigers and tiger lilies. Screaming skulls and beautiful butterflies. Dragons and devils. Jesus Christ and Chryslers. The Mona Lisa in a mustache. Andreana Verona flips through the images in the black loose-leaf book that holds her portfolio. The owner of Supernova Tattoo, …

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The Tall Guy in the Shorts

Hey, man, it’s winter. The snow is stacked up like skyscrapers. What gives with the shorts and sockless Converse All Stars? Anthony Bendinelli — Tony to his friends, Anthony or Tony B. to his clients– is dashing through the sidewalk slush. He’s literally running an errand, so he doesn’t see the point of bundling up. And he’s quick to point out that he is, for heaven’s sake, wearing a cable-knit sweater and a knitted cap. Tony is a long-distance runner; a little jog up and down the block is like a stroll in Astoria Park. He …

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The Lace-Curtain Ladies

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to The Great Snow Show. I’m standing in the access road behind my house, three shovels in tow, surrounded by a knee-high sea of snow. My rapt “audience” — the Lace-Curtain Ladies — is peeking at me from behind draped windows. They are eagerly waiting to watch what this season has become the weekly back-breaking feat of a 93-pound weakling — me — who shovels an astounding 1,200 square feet of snow in one go. I’ve done this act every winter since I moved in six years ago, and I’m their only source of amusement. Photo…

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The Canines’ Constant Companion

“Hey, Dog Walker!” The shout-out bounds across the street like a puppy fetching a stick. Erin O’Meara, leash and iPod in hand, waves. This happens to her all the time. Since she started this job four years ago, she and the dogs on her leashes have walked just about every square and non-square block of Astoria. “Everyone knows who I am, but nobody knows my name, so they just call me the Dog Walker,” she says. “This is not a career for someone who’s anti-social. People are always stopping me on the street — to talk to the dogs.” …

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