Astoria Characters: The One and Only Gildo

“I bet you can’t guess what this is,” says Gildo Spado. Gildo, the diversified artist. He holds up a round metal object whose center pole is surrounded by rods of different lengths. Is it the frame for a fancy lampshade? Or could it be a funky cake pan? Before I can answer, he brings out a violin bow and starts playing it, sending forth scary, swooping sounds. He explains that it’s a waterphone, a musical instrument invented in the 1960s that caught his eye and his ear. Before…

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Astoria Characters: The Pedaling Pedagogue

Ben Sherman is standing outside his apartment building eager to hop on his bicycle. Ben works for the city’s Department of Education. A former high school principal who works for the city’s Department of Education, he rides to work in Downtown Manhattan virtually every day on his own two wheels. Even when he takes the subway, he rides a Citibike to and from the Queensboro Plaza station. For Ben, it always feels like the first day of school. He can’t wait to get to work so…

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