Astoria Characters columnist hosts annual 'family reunion'
Sep 26, 2018 | 550 views | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Astoria Characters Day: The Second Family Reunion attracted about 200 people.
Astoria Characters Day: The Second Family Reunion attracted about 200 people.
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Simona Rodano (The Italian Fairy) teaches children – and the people at the event – how to speak Italian.
Simona Rodano (The Italian Fairy) teaches children – and the people at the event – how to speak Italian.
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Stand-up comic Ben Rosenfeld keeps the crowd laughing.
Stand-up comic Ben Rosenfeld keeps the crowd laughing.
slideshow
Harpist Tracey Horst plays and sing a Beatles tune.
Harpist Tracey Horst plays and sing a Beatles tune.
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Some 200 people attended the second annual Astoria Characters Day, a free public event that celebrates the accomplishments of the residents of one of the most diverse neighborhoods in Queens.

The September 23rd event, which featured people profiled in Nancy A. Ruhling’s weekly “Astoria Characters” column, was kicked off by civil-rights activist Brendan Fay.

“Nobody else is doing what Nancy is doing,” Fay told the audience at the Variety Boys & Girls Club of Queens. “It’s great storytelling and local journalism at its best. The 450 profiles she has written in the last nine years reflect the wonderful diversity of our community.”

Ruhling, who billed the event as a family reunion, encouraged everyone to “meet and greet your neighbors.”

Each Astoria Character received a certificate of merit from Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas, who told them that she was proud to highlight their accomplishments.

The event, sponsored by The Long Island City/Astoria Journal, the Boys & Girls Club and Bareburger and Salt & Bone, featured performances by Queens Poet Laureate Maria Lisella, the Long Island City School of Ballet, stand-up comic Ben Rosenfeld, violinist Marina Fragoulis, Broadway Dance Studio, harpist Tracey Horst, singer Simona Rodano and author Audrey Dimola.

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