Astoria Characters: The Puppet Masters

There’s a lot going on. The pet rats, Softee and Gray Spot Star Sword, are climbing their cage. The children, 5-year-old Leif and 3-year-old Finn, are tucked into a corner hovering over a smartphone. The adults, Chad Williams and Lindsey “Z” Briggs, are playing with puppets. Z literally has her hands full with Grandma Ellie and Grandma Nancy, while Chad is armed with Mystery Max and Finn the Fox. The husband-and-wife duo make funny faces and say silly stuff. They’ve…

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Astoria Characters: The Soccer Star

The first time New York Cosmos defender Jonathan Borrajo kicked a soccer ball, it was down the hall of his apartment. “I was 2,” he says, smiling at the memory. “My father told me, ‘Don’t let the ball hit the walls.’ That’s how I learned precision.” The connection went from his foot straight to his heart, where it has remained for the last 29 years. “Soccer’s in my blood,” he says. “My father, who is from Spain, loves soccer – he even got a college scholarship…

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Astoria Characters: The Sisters Who Are Raising Astoria

Perhaps it’s because they have young children. Maybe it’s due to the fact that they had so much fun growing up. Or it could be that they just love being around kids. Then, again, it’s likely to be a combination of factors that have led Eleni Graciano and Thekla Manoloudis to devote themselves to Raising Astoria, the children’s educational center and play space they bought a little more than two years ago. Eleni and Thekla, who are sisters, never dreamed that they would own a business…

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