Astoria Characters: The Vintage Queen

Waitress. Seamstress. Photographer. Bartender. Screenwriter. Costumer. Carpenter. Actress. Interior designer. Purveyor of vintage attire. Jade is the owner of Vintage Queens NYC. Jade Oliver, who has long, flowing auburn hair, cherries-in the-snow-red lips and dramatic diction, has, at one time or another and even simultaneously, been all of these things. “I’m a jack of all trades, she says. “I do whatever I can to survive.” Most recently, that meant sitting down at her sewing…

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Astoria Characters: The Woman Who Brings History to Life

Hal bursts into the back yard like a flying bullet, grabs a knit cap from the bag on the chair and starts dragging it through the mud. He gets excited when visitors come, says Lynda Kennedy, as she tries to pry the prize from his mouth. Lynda works for the Intrepid museum. Hal, a Great Dane/Labrador/Border Collie mix, is a 4-and-a-half-year-old rescue with innocent brown eyes. He joined Lynda’s family when he was only 4 months old, so he’s had plenty of time to train everyone to…

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Astoria Characters: The Egyptologist Who Digs the Past

It’s complicated. Ava Forte Vitali’s life, that is. Ava has been fascinated with Egypt since childhood. She lifts her biker-black leather skirt to reveal the tattoo on her right thigh. The half-foot-long stick-figure skeleton is from a mosaic in Pompeii, the ancient Roman city that Mt. Vesuvius buried in a belch of volcanic ash in 79 A.D. “He’s carrying two jugs of wine,” she says. “The image was found on the floor of a party room, and in Greek it said, ‘Be cheerful,…

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Astoria Characters: The Keen Competitor

It’s turn-your-ears-red cold when Andreas Chronis makes his arrival at the soccer field in Astoria Park early in the morning before work. Andreas is competitive on and off the soccer field. As the joggers run rings around the track, Andreas ties his dark hair up in a man bun and starts kicking the ball around the perpetually green artificial turf. “I always get emotional on the soccer field,” he says, sending the ball spinning into the air like a shooting star. “I’m competitive…

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Astoria Characters: The Couture Curator

Oh, it feels s-o-o good to get dressed up again! For Colleen Hill, getting dressed up means donning a chic 1960s black velvet dress whose bat-wing-like bell sleeves are trimmed with outrageous curlicues of rigid white ruffles. Colleen’s a curator at FIT. It, of course, complements her black patterned tights, her kicky dark-purple secondhand suede ankle boots and her leopard-print cloth mask. She bought the dress on Etsy and remarks that it’s silk velvet, which nobody makes any…

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