The 95-Year-Old Spring Chicken

The Milano cookies are on the table, the metal cane is curled around the closet door knob and the walker is sulking in the corner. Henrietta Spilkia, whose friends recently toasted her 95th birthday with champagne and wraps, comes into the living room on her own power. She’s as short as her time left on this planet; she doesn’t even stand five feet any more. “I used to be taller, but then everyone shrinks with age,” she says. Don’t let her age fool you. She looks 75, and she’s as vibrant as her hot-pink turtleneck and cherry-red …

Continue Reading →

The Coolest Club Kid

To go up to Apt. 30, you have to go down. Through a menacing steel door, apartment-building brown, and down a set of stairs that look as though they ran away from a fire escape when they were little rungs and planted themselves in the pavement. It’s Alice’s rabbit hole: there’s a white-washed courtyard filled with bulging garbage bags and plastic trash cans. And this giant who’s posing, cigarette ash dripping on the concrete like a fizzing fountain. He’s in furred suede moccasins, stick-to-the-skin jeans, a striped hoodie and a charcoal fringed scarf that reaches a …

Continue Reading →

The Born Baker

Way back in the corner of LaGuli Pastry Shop next to the swinging door that leads to the bakery, Rosario Notaro is sipping a cup of coffee and munching on a crusty piece of Italian bread. Rosario, a compact man with big milk chocolate eyes and the energy of a youngster, doesn’t like cookies and cakes; perhaps it’s because he’s been baking them nearly all of his 74 years. Or maybe being around sugared treats all the time has soured his sweet tooth. It’s easy for Rosario to remember exactly when the Ditmars Boulevard pastry shop began …

Continue Reading →