The Sole Saver

In a shop that has long been vacant on Ditmars Boulevard, a gleaming gold coin-shaped sign has risen like the sun. “Cordwainers NYC” is what it says. In case you don’t know that a cordwainer is a fancy name for a cobbler, the words underneath, “Fine Shoe & Handbag Restoration,” offer a gentle hint. The place, in the middle of a block that’s mostly residential, is meant to be as elegant as Richard Ponce is in the chic milk chocolate leather apron he’s wearing to protect his jeans and blue-and-white checked shirt. Richard, size 11 D, didn’t …

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The Pasta Pair

It’s not the awning. That Italian-flag green flap of fabric is pretty pedestrian. No, what attracts attention to Cassinelli is that it’s shuttered so much of the time. Astoria’s only pasta maker is closed on Sundays and Mondays, and even when it’s open, its front-window gate is rolled down for 30 minutes at lunchtime and again at 3:30 in the afternoon when the cappeletti and cappelloini, the fettuccine and fusilli, the ravioli and rigatoni and the tagliolini and tortellini have been packaged and packed away. Photo by Nancy A. Ruhling …

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