Astoria Characters: The Actor with the Role of a Lifetime

As an actor, Mike Moreno has had the opportunity to play many different roles. Being Daddy to Malcolm is the one that changed his life. Mike is an actor and a father. Malcolm, who is 2 and a half, is sitting in the living room watching cartoons with his mom, aka Cristin Downs. Bronte, the family’s decade-old dog, is lying on the couch watching him. And the two cats, well, they’re doing whatever it is that cats do when they don’t want to be found. With Malcolm’s arrival, Mike, who was used…

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Astoria Characters: The Cameraman Who Shot the Vietnam War

March 17, 1969. That’s the day that Spec. 5 David A. Russell didn’t come back. First Lt. Don Fedynak arrived the next day. Or, as he says, a day too late. “I never met him, but I still felt responsible for his death because he was on my watch,” says Don, who had come to Can Tho, a city in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta, to command the Vietnam War camera crew Russell was in. “I had to go with another photographer to identify his body. I have been haunted by what happened to him ever since.” For…

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Astoria Characters: The Private Eye

Once, Clarissa McNair had to convince a Diamond District dealer that she was a shop owner eager to buy his designer knockoffs. Another time, she played the widow of a Tiffany-glass collector to see whether the well-known dealer, who had served time for selling stolen goods, had turned over a new leaf. And then there was the time she pretended to be the mother of a child dying of cancer. She had to memorize medications and complicated medical terms so the oncologist, who was suspected of…

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Astoria Characters: The Man Exploring the Art of Life

Hyungjo Moon doesn’t have many possessions. His fifth-floor apartment, which looks out over the Broadway subway stop, isn’t so much immaculately austere as carefully curated. The living room/dining room/art studio of his efficient one-bedroom box contains nothing more than a futon-like sofa, a white card table for eating meals, a coffee table surgically stacked with books, a computer desk with a swiveling office chair and a small bookcase with a handful of objects, including a Victoria’s…

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