The Wondrous Wellness Woman

Strong sunlight streams onto the circular coffee table, illuminating a pyramid-shaped amethyst crystal and a white candle that sends out the scents of lemon and verbena. Golda Poretsky settles herself on the plush red-velveteen sofa and places her tarot cards on the table. After asking the universe, in the name of the Cosmic Mother and the Cosmic Father, to bless the reading, she slowly shuffles the deck. Flip, flip, flip, she turns over the oversized, sapphire-color cards. She pushes her long dark…

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The Gallant Globe-Trotter

Soft music plays, crystal chandeliers sparkle like diamonds in the dimmed light and candles fill the air with the seasonal scent of bayberry. “What can I get for you – wine, lemonade, filtered water?” asks Timothee Faberger. He stands at attention, smiling as if getting the answer is the only thing in the world that matters. Timothee, flight attendant/caterer/tour guide, has made a profession of making guests feel at home whether they’re at his three-family house in Astoria,…

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The Corner-Eatery’s Owner

It’s the after-lunch rush, and the line of UPS drivers stopping in for a snack is almost out the door. Andreas Andreou hasn’t had a break all day or a day off in more than a month, but he gladly steps behind the counter to take the take-out orders. There’s nobody else to do it. His mother, Timi, is slaving over the stove, his father, Rotis, is manning the grill, his younger sister, Avgie, is heating the pizza slices, and his best friend, Robbie Greco, is at the cash register. Cyprus…

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The Early-Stage Actress

She can tap dance and sing. She can play the flute and the piano. Okay, she’s better at the flute, which has been her instrument of choice since fourth grade. Did I mention that she’s more than passable at Pilates? If none of this wows you, she’s literally ready to bend over backward while cooing like a dove, making a bubble-popping sound and doing her signature diva impression. All she needs is a stage – any stage. Sarah Bradley, whose birth certificate named her Sarah…

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The Serious Smiler

It doesn’t matter where he goes – the corner deli, the N train, the organic market – Todd Killian stands out in the crowd. It’s not the way he looks – closely cropped brown hair, dark-chocolate eyes and slender build – it’s what he does. Todd, aka the meet-and-greet guy, smiles a toothy grin and stops to talk to strangers. It works, perhaps because in a way, Todd, too, is a stranger. He has only called Astoria his home for a dozen years, and he was raised…

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