Astoria Characters: The Schooled Stylist

Janete Chris is arranging silver scissors on a mirrored tray at her styling station. Cutting hair, at least in her hands, is an art form, which is why she has 27 styles of scissors at her side. “It’s not my entire collection,” says Janete, the owner of the hair salon that bears her name. “I have more at home.” She opens a pair of boxes and places her set of Edward Scissorhands-like cutting claws next to the scissors. Janete, who has long golden hair and fire engine-red…

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Astoria Characters: The Shy Actor

Ben Rogers is a real shy guy. At least that’s what he says. He has no trouble being on a stage – he is, after all, an actor. But that’s different because when he’s playing a part, he gets to hide behind the character. Talking about himself, well that’s another matter altogether. “I’m a private person,” he says, adding that he hopes he can come up with at least one interesting thing to convey about himself. Ben, lean and despite what he says, loquacious, didn’t…

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Astoria Characters: The Chess Master

Evan Rabin made his first career move when he was 7. All he did was play a game of chess. “My older brother and my dad taught me to move the pieces,” says Evan, the founder of Manhattan-based Premier Chess, which teaches the game to adults and children in five states. “A month later, I played in my first tournament. Two months later, I played in the nationals.” There was nothing extraordinary about his rapid advancement, he says, adding that despite what you may have heard…

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Astoria Characters: The Tea Touter

As the morning customers pour in like coffee, Peter Zotis stands behind the copper counter of Loose Leaf explaining the health benefits of herbal tea. He’s a tall man of hyperbolic hand gestures and grand, wide-open-mouth guffaws. He’s saying that if you want to improve the looks of your skin, try sipping some calendula, which is more popularly known as the bright orange-yellow marigolds you see in gardens. If you want to revitalize your system, have a cup of the blend he calls…

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Astoria Characters: The World-Famous Ballroom Dancers

As partners in dance and in life, Delyan Terziev and Boriana Terzieva have become adept at anticipating each other’s moves. It all likelihood, this is because they have been virtually inseparable since they were 7. So in November, when Boriana was ready to give birth to their second child, a daughter they would name Olivia, they thought they had everything figured out. After all, the arrival of their first child, Savanna, who is now 4, had been a carefully choreographed event. But…

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