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Concrete Runway

[whitespace] Cara Cordoni & Vranas La Bodega at 1337 Grant Avenue

Photos and Text by Elana Koff

Name: Cara Cordoni

Age: 24

Occupation: I'm working on opening The Red Fairie Family Cafe and Gallery sometime around Thanksgiving in the South of Market. A team of five collaborators, including myself, are creating a unique cafe experience. No tip jars, no busing of your dishes, with an emphasis on children's entertainment with storytellers and puppet shows.

What are you wearing today?:

Cape: Rise Cordoni, my mother, made it.

Scarf: We share it. It is from India.

Shoes: They are brand-new from Paris. We bought them together.

Skirt: New from Dharma on Haight Street.

Outer skirt: From Solo on Haight Street; it's very old.

Ankle Bracelets: Gifts from Vrañas from India.

Vest: A gift from my sister, who lives here in the city.

Name: Vrañas

Age: I was born in 1379. I am a Greek from Egypt. Actually, I'm 49 as of April 28.

Occupation: Artist, muralist, swordsman. I teach old-master techniques of painting and sword instruction (old Japanese and medieval swordmanship).

What are you wearing today?

Vest: It's ethnic, embroidered, from Sparta, Greece.

Jewelry: Most of my jewelry is from Turkomen in Afghanistan, the freest people in the entire world.

Coat: Made in Uruguay. The style is from the 18th/19th century.

I am covered with medallions of different orders of Celtic, Christian and military divisions. These medallions have been given to me from all my different teachers. I wear them to honor them and what they taught me.

What are some of things they taught you?

My code of honor that I live by is very medieval. As a swordsman, to cut people is easy; to teach people to change their behavior is work. It's the work of taking them out of sleep into wakefulness. Gandhi said, "The difference between what you do and what you could do would suffice to solve most of the world's problems."

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From the May 4-17, 1998 issue of the Metropolitan.

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