Astoria Characters: The Salsa Master

Salsa In Queens is going to open soon, so Jean Franco Vergaray grabs a broom and starts sweeping the wooden dance floor. He moves back and forth, back and forth and back and forth again. Over and over and over. Once his feet feel the beat, he establishes his own methodical rhythm, his movements reflected in the studio’s wall of mirrors. This simple dance for this simple task is a far cry from the spicy, sassy salsa steps students come to Jean Franco’s studio to master. Whether…

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Astoria Characters: The Daughter Who Took Over the Family Business

When Gerri Domenikos was growing up, she always figured that she would go into the family’s commercial heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration business. After all, she had been involved with Bayside Refrigeration (now AirLogix) since she was 5. Her father, a Greek immigrant, had founded the company in their home in Bayside in 1984 two years after she was born. To make it a success, he had to work all the time, and the only way he could see Gerri was to take her with…

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