Astoria Characters: The Neon Guy

When he reaches the end of the dark, tunnel-like hallway, Kenny Greenberg switches on the signs. Kenny is the owner of Krypton Neon. Luncheonette. State Garage. Pepsi-Cola. Airstream Since 1931. Krypton Neon is in Long Island City. Beacons in the blackness, they blink their eyes open, one by one, bathing the studio in the soft glow of history. Neon signs debuted 108 years ago, and for the last 38 of them, Kenny and his Krypton Neon studio have been an integral part of their illuminating story. Kenny,…

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Astoria Characters: The Puppeteer and the Producer

It happened at a summer camp in the Catskills. It’s where Mike and Allison Hayhurst met; it’s why they share the same surname. Allison, who doesn’t have a Southern accent, is from Alabama. Mike, who is from Leighton Buzzard, England, was teaching theatre there. So was Allison, who was from the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, specifically Huntsville, Alabama. Mike’s from England. Allison: “At the last minute, a friend asked me to design costumes for . It was just for three weeks,…

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Astoria Characters: The Yogini Who Is Happie

Kicking off her slip-on sneakers, Lisa Samuels steps into a small space that is the color of sunshine. Lisa is the owner of The Happie House. Filled with fire, she balances on one leg, and leaning forward, positions herself in Dancer’s Pose. She stands, holding her other leg in the air, as still as a statue. With joy, she transitions into Tree Pose, turning her legs into a grounded trunk and her arms into triumphant branches. Satisfied with that, she pulls out a yoga mat for King Pigeon, another…

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Astoria Characters: The Guy Who Colors Outside the Lines

Every morning, Zach McCurdy sketches. He draws lines for a living, and this routine, sometimes with a pad and pencil, other times on a computer tablet, helps his brain get in the right frame of mind for the day’s designs. Zach has been drawing for nearly a quarter century. “It’s therapeutic,” Zach says. He creates his cute kid-centric cartoon characters in his apartment. He doesn’t have a dedicated space – he likes to roam from room to room. There is a compact computer desk in the living…

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Astoria Characters: The BFF of Socrates Sculpture Park

A comet’s tail of hair streaking in the air behind her, Audrey Dimola power-pedals to the front gate of Socrates Sculpture Park on Cherry Bomb, her single-speed Schwinn. Audrey’s the director of public programs for Socrates Park. She jumps off her burgundy “chariot of fire,” which is her constant commuter companion, and jubilantly raises her arms in a V. Because she loves her job. (She’s the park’s director of public programs.) Audrey and the park grew up together. Because she loves…

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