The Family at Home in the Kitchen

“Would you like me to make breakfast?” Because the asker is Peter Giannakas, the chef at Ovelia, the answer is an enthusiastic YES. “I’ll just fix something simple,” he says as he begins frying organic eggs in Greek olive oil. “A traditional Greek family-style breakfast.” Within minutes, he brings the platter of eggs to the table. Then he presents country-style pork sausage made with leeks and orange zest; grilled halloumi cheese from Cyprus; grilled pita bread seasoned with salt and pepper and oregano; a dish of deep-fried boiled potatoes, onions and red and green peppers; and tomatoes and cucumbers …

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The Pet Pamperer

Ginger, a toy poodle whose name matches her fur color, prances into Central Park Pet Spa. She has an appointment for a shampoo and haircut. The grooming salon on Ditmars Boulevard at 38th Street is new, and she’s never been here so it’s unclear whether she knows about her upcoming beauty treatment. She’s only a year old, so when her mommy walks out the door, she cries like a baby until Reda Elabd, the spa owner, scoops her up in his big hands and plies her with puppy kisses and treats. By the time he trims her …

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The Charity Worker

Although it takes up an entire tree-lined block of Long Island City, the CMMB Distribution Center is a remarkably unnoticeable building. The only thing that announces the presence of the long and low cream-colored 33,000-square-foot structure is a grey blend-into-the-background metal front door with a small sign so far overhead that you have to crane your neck to read it. It notes, in robin-blue lettering, that this is the home of the Catholic Medical Mission Board. Ralph Barberio, the longtime manager of the CMMB, is similarly low-key. Self-effacing and soft-spoken, Ralph, who is grandfatherly grey, doesn’t want to talk …

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