The First Family of Fright

This is kind of creepy: Evan Makrogiannis is talking about mixing up a batch of blood. The recipe is so simple that even a child can do it, and his sons, 13-year-old Liam and 12-year-old Tristan, are pros at adding red, blue and yellow food coloring to corn syrup. Now, intestines, that’s another matter. It’s not exactly a trade secret, but Liam and Tristan, cool kids in geeky horn-rimmed glasses, are not sure they want to spill the beans about how they spill their guts. Evan waves his hand and tells them to go ahead. Photo by Nancy …

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The Preacher at the Old Red Church

The Rev. Dwayne L. Jackson is standing tall in the pulpit staring at the empty pews. The First Reformed Church of Astoria, the red Gothic Revival building wedged between the houses of 12th Street like an afterthought, holds 300 faithful. On a good Sunday — there are no bad Sundays or any other days of the week in Dwayne’s mind — attendance has never topped 50. Today’s Saturday, the day Dwayne puts the finishing touches on his sermon, so the fact that he’s alone with God doesn’t bother …

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The Man Whose Hobby Is Working

The tail of the “Y” went missing at Rudy’s Hobby Supplies. Sometime in time, someone painted it in to match the rest of the bright cobalt name on the 3-D sign. It’s an expert stroke of brushmanship, so this flat portion isn’t noticeable from the street. The left plate-glass …

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The Actor Who’s Late to the Show

Orlando Anthony Pavich wasn’t expecting morning to come so soon. He’s hasn’t shaved yet or put on a shirt. Zoe, his 2-year-old dachshund, is scurrying around the living room, jumping on the couches. The little hot dog has a big bark and poop the size of grapes. Orlando was out until 2:30 in the morning, and his coffee table, which holds a vase of dead flowers, a pair of sunglasses, a half-drunk bottle of water, a TV remote and a folded up sign-out sheet for the movie Affluenza, looks like he feels. God, he’s dying for a …

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