The Costume Queen

“Every day is Halloween for me,” says Suzie Sims-Fletcher. “I always dress in a different costume.” Right now, Suzie, who also answers to suzQ, is wearing tones of teal and turquoise and a black, blue-dotted jumpsuit. Tonight, for trick-or-treat, she’ll really go out all. She made the jumpsuit to celebrate the 80th birthday of her mother, Dorothy, who goes by Dottie or Dot. Dots for Dot. Get it? “When I was young, she used to wear this itsy-bitsy blue polka-dotted bikini, and she used to paint rocks,” Suzie says. “Her tagline was Spots on Rocks by Dot.” But the …

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The Guy in the Tutu

“Before I do anything else, I have to put on my tutu,” says Alistair Williams. He drops his canvas gym bag on a chair outside Madame Sou Sou Café on 33rd Street, which is where he usually hangs his tutu. Like a magician with a rabbit, he pulls out a scrunched-up circle of black tulle. Alistair, tall and lean in jean shorts, Yankees cap and sleeveless Broadway Bodies T, slips it over his big, black Nike Air Force 180s and does a little dance. Ah, that’s better. There was a time, and it wasn’t all that long ago, …

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The Moon Priestess

Sylvia-Anais Mouzourou brings out a box of dates and places them on her office desk. Would you like a cup of iced coffee? Or how about a glass of water? Feeding visitors, she says, is a Greek thing. Sylvia is, among other things, a Moon Priestess, and, the food aside, she tends to focus more on the spiritual than the physical side of life. She is from Limassol, Cyprus’ City of the Sun, which is where her training as a healer and psychoanalyst began and where most of the rest of her family remains. Sylvia, who has a dainty diamond …

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The Perennial Shopkeeper

Gladys Gray is thumbing through an album of old photos, and when she sees the black-and-white studio shot of the wedding, she stops. She points out the smiling flower girl with the chubby cheeks and bobbed hair. “That’s me,” she says. “This was taken 85 years ago when my cousin got married. I remember the exact year because I was 4.” There’s something else about that photo that Gladys will never forget: the bouquets. Bold, bountiful and almost too big to hold, they were made by Donhauser Florist, which has been in Gladys’ family since its establishment in 1889. It was …

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