The Sunny-Side-Up Cook

In the back of Hellgate on the Park, virtually hidden behind the bar and the hanging baskets planted with plastic flowers, there are only a handful of tables. It’s a good thing there aren’t more because Emilio Pino is always the only guy in the kitchen. Hellgate is Astoria’s Cheers, so it seems a bit pretentious to call Emilio the chef. Cook doesn’t sound quite right either. Let’s just say that he fixes the food. Lasagna. Manicotti. Ravioli. And meatballs, oh the meatballs,…

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The Rising Rapper

The sky’s weeping like a new widow, and Waterflow‘s listening to the soft, steady heartbeat of the whispering rain. There’s a leak in the lobby of the Long Island City Art Center, where the up-and-coming rapper/hip-hop artist has his recording studio, and the water’s followed him, forming a shiny circle around his storm-cloud grey and black sneakers. “Rain is wonderful,” says Waterflow, a big, broad boy of a man with bright black eyes. “All my life, I’ve…

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The Model Mother

“Oh! Look at the cute baby,” coos Rose Marie Prager as a woman, infant strapped to her back, walks by. “See the little sunglasses she’s wearing!” Rose Marie’s comment isn’t an idle one. The 81-year-old mother of nine and grandmother of 11 likes, no, let’s make that LOVES, children. And she’s at her happiest when she has a full house. “I always like being with little kids,” she says. “They’re so much more interesting than…

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The Man About Town

Like a silver bullet, the Harley Fat Boy, a big, bad bomber of a bike, streaks up to the Pomme Cafe. Demetrius Partridge, its easy-going rider, cuts the motor, unzips his leather jacket and confidently strides inside like a movie star. Demetrius — let’s call him Demey as his friends do — picks a table in the back. This place is new, and Demey, a gourmand, is eager to try it out. As he sits down, the guy at the next table says, “Hey, Demey, long time no see.” After they…

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The Waiter in the Wings

Crooning “Sta Dosa Ola,” Antonis Armeftis, true to the title of the Greek pop tune, gives his customers everything — a menu and an invitation to his next show. His service with a smile and a serenade turns more than a few heads at Michael’s Restaurant. “You have a beautiful voice!” a woman of a certain age gushes as he hits the chorus of “I Gave You Everything.” “Is the entertainment free?” Antonis gives her a Broadway-wide grin and a wink.…

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