The Two Cooks in the Kitchen

Elbow to elbow. When Mariantonia and Guillermo Hung are working in the kitchen, that’s how it is. They say that they love it this way, but even if they wanted more breathing room, they wouldn’t have a choice. Their husband-and-wife fast-food restaurant, Pao & Cha-Cha, is the size of a one-man food cart. Photo by Nancy A. Ruhling Mariantonia says laughter keeps them going. “We have a lot of fun working together,” Mariantonia says as she twirls around Guillermo like a ballet dancer. Mariantonia and Guillermo, who are from Caracas, Venezuela, …

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The Eclectic Educator

On top of the office refrigerator there is a jar of Skippy peanut butter that is nearly empty. There doesn’t appear to be any jelly, but by the sofa, there are an acoustic guitar and a big rubber exercise ball that’s give-the-teacher-an-apple red. Photo by Nancy A. Ruhling Steven is the director of the Open School Project. Steven Zimmerman, who has a conservative cap of gray hair and intense brown eyes, is taking his coffee at the yin-yang table. He designed it so it splits down the center in an S curve to become two. Steven is an …

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The Priceless Pair

It would be flip to say that it was a toss of the coin that landed Jennifer and Frank Greco at Astoria Coins & Collectibles. Photo by Nancy A. Ruhling Astoria Coins & Collectibles has been in business 65 years. But it wasn’t much more complicated than that. The owner was going to relocate to New Jersey after a 15-year-long home run, and Jennifer and Frank were newlyweds in search of jobs in a deep recession. “My father was a collector, and he used to take me to the shop when I was a little girl,” Jennifer says. “He suggested…

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