Sunday, January 27, 2008


8 Days A Week and 75 Years Old ..

8 days a week Ray works at his candy store even though he is 75 years old .It is absolutely necessary that he work everyday because he has big bills to pay , Con Ed , water , supplies , employees and something like $5000 per month rent with a harridan ( our opinion and term )of a managing agent that harrasses him and who will only allow him a month to month lease .

Today most in the neighborhood don't even know what a candy store is and certainly don't recognize Ray's enterprise at 113 avenue A as being one . Too many in this neighborhood today are above having a need for the things that are commonly found in a candy store . Most , not knowing Ray's name , only think of "Belgian Fries" when the location is mentioned ; not knowing that the store at 113 avenue A is not "Belgian Fries " but "Ray's Candy Store" . Because of all of this Ray has less business than he did 20 years ago . With the high rent it is difficult to keep his candystore going but somehow he continues .

Ray's venerable candy store at 113 Avenue A is one of the last of the existing anchors to the past and to the ways of the old East Village .This village is quickly fading to little but a memory .

Everyday Ray labors on at least 8 hours a day while still somehow finding the time and the resources to also help so many people by listening to their problems , loaning them a little extra money or by giving them a little free food or coffee .He is "holding down the fort" against gentrification and a banal future for all so many of us every day .

At 75 he deserves a real birthday party and that is what his friends ,customers and neighbors made possible and celebrated with him Friday night .

Creamy Stevens from the " Starshine Burlesque " came to dance for Ray . Perhaps for some this performance was all a bit too lascivious but most had no problem with the celebration and enjoyed it greatly . Since NMNL is already tagged by "Blogger" as an adult site we pulled no punches when editing . If your parental security settings are correctly set then your Kids can't look at this site without your permission . Ah censorship....

We here at NMNL proudly present the evening in pictures for your enjoyment . We hope that you can celebrate with us and the neighborhood the birthday of a real neighborhood hero .

A special view from the customer's side of the service counter .

In the midst of the show a little conversation

One more "Raison d'etre" for Ray's "Boar's Head" brand hotdogs
Off with a glove
More flesh is exposed

Left-over accessories

Sort of like airplane propellers but she does not fly away

A birthday cheer for Ray

An after-dance embrace

the birthday kiss

Ilya cuts the cheesecake birthday cake donated by Pozzo's Bakery

Some of the guys just wanted to spend some time talking to Creamy

Phil liked the cheesecake birthday cake

"Team Spyder" was there doing some video

Another birthday cake for Ray from some friends

Jack and Biker Bill arrived early to be sure to be able to be right up-front watching the show

Phil was there early too but he mostly watched the show along with many others from outside the candy store .

Biker Bill , wearing recently deceased "Outlaw"s hat , enjoyed the show

Creamy Stevens of the " Starshine Burlesque" every Thursday at Rififi ( Cinema Classics ) , 11th street between 1st and 2nd Avenue .

Impresario Ilya who with help from friends produced the birthday extravaganza

Ray's birthday kiss by Ilya's Polaroid

A portion of the cheesecake donated by Pozzo's Bakery

that post was totally amazing. i loved it. thanks for documenting the birthday party.

damn, I hate that ray's existence is so tenuous.
Yes the times and what people do with their money are changing and that is hurting Ray and many others but in Ray's case the harrassing and the demands for more money by the landlords managing agent are especially cruel . She makes more money of course with each increase in rent and also in other exploitive ways that I won't mention here .there is as you probably know a special ring in hell just for this kind of person .
You can be sure there is no hell Bob unless it is wherever we look too closely at what is going on.
best post ever about the east village.. no joke. thanks.

east village podcasts blog
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