The Artist Who Draws In Nature

She paints. She writes. She welds. She wears men’s Tony Lama cowboy boots and dangly turquoise earrings that fly through her long black hair when the wind blows. Lisa Zilker loves math, science, literature and getting her sturdy hands dirty down to her short, unpolished nails. Photo by Nancy A. Ruhling Lisa Zilker paints trees, nudes and geometrics. “There is nothing I don’t do,” she says. “I guess you could say I’m a modern-day Renaissance woman.” But wait. Lisa whips out her iPhone, the one in the hot-pink case, and bends down in the middle of 21st …

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The Hard-Driving Couple

With one well-practiced pull, Fanny Cedeno rolls up the fortress-like metal gate at Astoria Express Transit. When her husband, Luis Gualotuna, walks in a minute later, she rushes up behind him and smoothes the rumpled collar of his grey sweater. Photo by Nancy A. Ruhling Luis and Fanny own Astoria Express Transit. It is a familiar routine. Luis and Fanny have been married 35 years, and they have been working together for 25. They can’t see enough of each other. They met in their 20s in their native Ecuador when Luis was working full time and going to college at…

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The Dog Tamer

It’s what’s not in Judy Bushman‘s third-floor walkup that commands attention. Her tiny, tidy studio has a kitchen, bathroom and living room/dining room/bedroom combo, but it doesn’t have a dog. And that’s a shame because Judy loves the furry, four-footed creatures more than she loves some people. Make that most people. Photo by Nancy A. Ruhling Judy started Woofs ‘n Purrs when she lost her job. “Dogs give you unconditional love,” she says. “They lick you for no reason or come to you with a ball and ask you to play.” Judy, who …

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