Astoria Characters: The Renaissance Man

The sunlight, streaming into the studio like a spotlight, focuses its beam upon a bright red chair. Empty, it’s sitting next to a couple of lutes and an electric guitar. Roman is from Kiev, Ukraine. Into this eclectic still life walks Roman Turovsky, carrying one painting. Then another. And another and another. The works are as dark and brooding as storm clouds. Melancholy, that’s what Roman calls them as he takes his seat to sit for his portrait. Where should we start? Perhaps with…

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Astoria Characters: The Master of the Art of Business

In Barbara Papantoniou’s office, there’s a domed stained-glass skylight in the center of the ceiling. Barbara is the owner of York Industrial. She designed and fabricated it during her recent renovation of York Industrial, the family commercial/industrial painting business she joined nearly 30 years ago. Three decades is a long time to work for one company, and after that much service, many people would have their minds on retirement. But not Barbara. She’s only 38. The mural…

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Astoria Characters: The Self-Made Woman

Standing solidly with her hands on her hips, Anita Del Greco surveys her garden. Anita’s from Orsogna, Italy. She notes the ripening fruit of the fig and peach trees, the big blooms of the hibiscus and the steady progress of the oregano, parsley and rosemary. Her little piece of paradise fills the empty lot next to the three-family house she owns. She bought the properties for $73,000, which, in 1976, was a considerable sum, especially for an unmarried working woman. The garden’s…

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