Astoria Characters: The Cutting-Edge Entrepreneur

Bring a knife. Meet me at the back of the house in the garage. This sounds a little strange, but, OK, I’ll go along with it. Jason Wilkinson, the guy with a knife. A tall bearded dude with brooding brown eyes rolls up the door and offers his hand in greeting – or does he simply want me to surrender my knife? The garage, illuminated by a series of clip-on lamps that cast eerie shadows, has two stainless steel surgical-looking work tables. There’s a Triumph Bonneville opposite…

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Astoria Characters: The Next-Stage Performer

It’s a glorious morning in Astoria Park, so Anna Tsoukala celebrates by bursting into song. Anna is an actress and singer. Her voice – “Sometimes I feel like a motherless child, Sometimes I feel like a motherless child … A long way from home, a long way from home” – pierces the somnolent silence, shaking the sunlight and floating over the East River like a rose petal in the wind. It’s just a traditional tune, a spiritual, yet there’s something in her choice that resonates…

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Astoria Characters: The Coffee-Table Carpenter

The idea came to Chris Lynn –bam! just like that — as he was looking for a coffee table for his new apartment. Chris is a carpenter. While he was browsing in a salvage/second-hand store, a 9-foot plank of wood caught his eye. “I looked at it – it was a slab of sweetgum – and thought, ‘I’m a carpenter, I can make something out of it,’” he says. So he moved his car out of his garage, built a workbench that has a table saw and a miter saw and worked on the table…

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Astoria Characters: The Woman Who Didn’t Know She Could Draw

Things haven’t turned out as Kate Crescenzo expected, but you know what, that’s OK because even though she’s all turned around, she’s right where she wants to be. Kate’s original career goal was to be an actress. Kate, whose face is defined by perky brown ringlets and an effervescent smile, came to New York City at the end of 2019 to pursue an acting career, which she has been understudying for virtually all of the 26 years she has been on this planet. She was finding her…

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Astoria Characters: The Creator of Clayful Characters

It all occurred during Covid cocooning. Kaitlin Kemp found that she had a lot of time on her hands, so she put them to work, doing what she always does, creating. Kaitlin is from Virginia. Because she and her then-boyfriend couldn’t go out on a date, they spent the evening crafting with clay, an activity that he had done years ago. “I started making mini-foods,” Kaitlin says. “And then I saw an article in BuzzFeed about someone who makes earrings out of clay, so I made a pair…

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