The Frame-O-Phile

“A great frame always excites me,” says Eli Wilner as he holds a gorgeous gilded example up to frame his angelic face. “I’d rather see a great painting with no frame than with the wrong frame.” In Eli’s world, frames are, indeed the big picture. For the nearly three decades that his Astoria-area frame restoration studio and Upper East Side gallery have been in business, he has devoted himself to bringing fame to the frame. In that time frame, he has gotten the…

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The No-Go Gal

When Josephine Todaro walks down Ditmars Boulevard, she makes it a sunnier place even on the coldest day. She has her kids in tow. Putting their feet on pavement gives 7-year-old Stefanie and 5-year-old Joseph a new sense of freedom, because up until recently, Josephine has packed them in the car and driven them everywhere. Now that they’re old enough to walk without wanting to be carried, the sights and sounds of this whole new world so excite them that they charge ahead of her like shiny…

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On the Street Where I Live

Four years ago, I moved to Astoria, the most eccentric place on the planet. On the first day, before the moving truck pulled away, I was welcomed with a Greek good-luck charm. A guy on the street, seeing my open front door, invited himself into my house and threw a quarter up the living room stairs. It bounced down to welcome me to the land of fig trees, $15-haircuts and French bulldogs. It wasn’t long before I found out that even though Astoria is part of the Big Apple, it possesses a small-town…

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