Astoria Characters: The Guy Who Saved the Cat That Fell From the Sky

By now, most of you probably have heard the story. Phil Cappadora was on his bicycle making a Postmates food delivery at noon on July 25 on 27th Street and Hoyt Avenue when he heard about an injured cat lying on the sidewalk nearby. Phil’s an actor: His role on July 25 was saving Ava. When Phil arrived at the scene, people were standing around and staring at the unfortunate feline, discussing whether it had been thrown from the roof of the four-story building that was under renovation…

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Astoria Characters: The Green-Juice Gardener

“Try this.” Robert Urban plucks a little leaf off the sorrel next to his feet. The herb tastes tantalizingly tart. Like a lemon. Robert is the founder of the juice business The Highest Good. Next, he offers a stevia leaf, a sweet counterpoint. Nearly everything in Robert’s 2,000-square-foot garden, which has 100 varieties of vegetables and herbs, is edible. Much of what Robert grows, in a rented plot behind an attached row house and in a smaller space that are right by his…

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Astoria Characters: The Family-Food Chef

Oh boy! It’s breakfast time! Lucas, who is 7, and Thiago, who is 4, are practically jumping up and down at the prospect of pancakes. Kim’s the founder of The Connected Chef. They sit —  not so still – on the living room sofa watching TV before they come to the table to gobble up the sweet circles. Rocky, their 13-year-old dog, a pug-beagle mix, eyes them enviously. Their mother, Kim Calichio is a former chef who has made it her mission to make food a positive experience…

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Astoria Characters: The Renaissance Man

The sunlight, streaming into the studio like a spotlight, focuses its beam upon a bright red chair. Empty, it’s sitting next to a couple of lutes and an electric guitar. Roman is from Kiev, Ukraine. Into this eclectic still life walks Roman Turovsky, carrying one painting. Then another. And another and another. The works are as dark and brooding as storm clouds. Melancholy, that’s what Roman calls them as he takes his seat to sit for his portrait. Where should we start? Perhaps with…

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Astoria Characters: The Master of the Art of Business

In Barbara Papantoniou’s office, there’s a domed stained-glass skylight in the center of the ceiling. Barbara is the owner of York Industrial. She designed and fabricated it during her recent renovation of York Industrial, the family commercial/industrial painting business she joined nearly 30 years ago. Three decades is a long time to work for one company, and after that much service, many people would have their minds on retirement. But not Barbara. She’s only 38. The mural…

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