The Whiz Kid

It’s hard to remember that Zoe Manuel is only 15 years old. Sometimes even she forgets. That’s because Zoe’s acting as an adult, acing college courses and working part time in a pet store. A sophomore at Middle College High School, she’ll have four LaGuardia Community College courses — vocabulary enhancement; psychology; Italian I; and literacy and propaganda — under her belt by the time the semester ends. “When it comes to classes, it’s simple — I see it, and I get it,” she says. Photo by Nancy A. Ruhling Zoe started taking college courses at 14. But Zoe, whose&…

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The Perpetual Principal

Don’t let the rocking chair fool you. Sure, Norm Sherman is sitting in it shoeless, but he has no real need of rest or relaxation. A gregarious grandpa with a beard, he’s been working hard ever since he was 5, and at 76, he views his retirement as his final job, an important one he gives virtually all his time and energy to. Seventeen years into his so-called non-working career, he has the rigorous routine down pat. What with running seniors programs at the North Queensview Homes and serving on its co-op board and its NORC Self-Help Advisory Board, plus&…

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The Inventive Restaurateur

Giuseppe Falco pulls a chair up to the table and pours himself a cup of coffee. Pachanga Patterson, his Mexican restaurant with a New York accent, doesn’t open until evening, but his day starts at 10 a.m., and he’ll be around until at least 8. So the coffee, black as ink, is a necessity. His parents, immigrants from Sciacca, Italy, always told him that if he worked hard, he could have anything he wanted. He’s proof that they were right: Pachanga is Giuseppe’s second restaurant. He and his partners opened it after their first, Vesta, was a …

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