Astoria Characters: The Cabaret Singer

Cancer and cabaret. Those are the two Cs that have defined Becca C. Kidwell’s life in the last year. To allay alarm, she wants you to know that the cancer’s gone. The cabaret, she says, is here to stay. Becca beat cancer — twice. Becca, who has cropped hair the color of caramelized carrots, zips off her charcoal-grey hoodie to reveal a low-cut, high-voltage red-hot cocktail dress. Rhinestone drop earrings studded with purple stones and black patent-leather Doc Martens that shine like stars…

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Astoria Characters: The 92-Year-Old Vet Fighting for His Wife

These days, Eddie Indellicati is playing a lot of solitaire. He sits at his computer in the living room of his apartment and silently moves the cards from one pile to another, trying to take his mind off his wife, Li Hong. Eddie is a WWII and Korean War veteran. Lili, as he affectionately calls her, is trapped in Shanghai, China, which is where she is from. It’s a long, complicated story, which he will get into, but for now, all you need to know is: She is there. He is here. Eddie, 92, has lived…

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Astoria Characters: The Colorist

What’s for breakfast? It’s Saturday, one of Shawna Morlock’s days off, so the answer is chocolate-chip pancakes. Shawna works for ARROJO Studio in SoHo. The question comes from her 4-year-old daughter, Cara, her who is wearing a purple paper crown to hold down her long, little-girl blond hair. “I don’t like to be late for breakfast,” Cara says. Shawna’s husband, Roger, is at work, so she and Cara make them together. When Shawna sets Cara’s plate on the living room coffee table,…

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Astoria Characters: The Honey Harvesters

Nick Hoefly isn’t wearing gloves. His wife, Ashley, points this out as she pulls on a pair of rubber ones the color of sunflowers. Ashley and Nick are the owners of Astor Apiaries. They are getting ready to reach their hands into a hive filled with 5,000 buzzing bees, and she wants to make sure every vulnerable part of her body is protected. She hasn’t been stung – yet – but Nick has. Eight times. Nick, solid and self-assured, shrugs; it’s no big deal. Besides, he was a newbie when the…

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Astoria Characters: The Successful Actor You’ve Never Heard Of

You’ve probably never heard of Neal Arluck. And it’s highly unlikely that you’d recognize his face. Neal is an actor and a lawyer. There’s good reason for this. Although Neal’s acting career has spanned more than four decades, it has, for the most part, played out on small stages in out-of-the-way states, where dinner often is served with theatre. Don’t feel you should be upset about Neal’s lack of fame or fortune. He certainly isn’t. In fact, he thinks it’s fantastic that he has…

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