Tuesday, May 17, 2011


"They Talk Nice but They Break Your Back"

So said Ray , referring to city inspectors, Monday night as he was cleaning and correcting violations in his little candy store at 113 Avenue A.This day Ray had received not only a series of violations  for rodent excreta and other things but also a violation for continuing to sell food products with a closure order in effect . The violation of the closure order brought by far the larger fine .This Monday cost Ray a pretty penny .

Up and down Avenue A Monday , city agents had been  busy ticketing .They were breaking balls and backs both . Employees of city agencies were busy justifying their existence . A traffic enforcement officer spent most of the day writing parking tickets on the avenue   and 2 inspectors from the Dept . of Health and Mental Hygiene wrote numerous violation at Ray's Candy Store .

Early in the morning a health inspector arrived at Ray's and wrote a series of violations , then closed the store posting a closure notice on the front door .After the inspector left , Ray went to bed and business at his candy store went on as usual . Neighborhood folks visited purchasing coffee , ice cream , hot dogs etc. Some read the sign on the door , all entered . Even cops read the sign and entered to purchase something of Ray's faire .For most of the day there were no problems , just another day at Ray's.

Whether or not it made any difference , a large Internet news organization reported Ray's sanitary violations , mostly rodent droppings , and his declaration that he would have to violate the notice of closure. Ray stated that he had to violate the closure notice  in order to make money to pay the rent . It was business as usual at Ray's until  4:30 or so when another inspector from Health and Mental Hygiene arrived to write  more violations and also issue a $2000 fine for violating the notice of closure .The inspector demanded that all food products ; hot dogs , coffee , milk etc. be discarded and all food sales ended .

Since any familiar calculus used to determine likely future outcomes is inapplicable in Ray's special business universe not much can be said about even tomorrow .

Worse news I have heard all week by far. And maybe too late for any benefits? If he reopens maybe we can try to raise money again..my band will play as will many others as before..Maybe Theater 80 again..or theater for the New City..sigh..
That really sucks. I hate those people. Why can't they just leave him alone? Nice reporting, Bob!
Really great reportage and photos, Bob! Such a horrible situation. How does one so quickly go from 15 points in November to a close order in May? Wishing the best for Ray- just wish there was something I could do to help. Would raising money/throwing a benefit as Eden suggested help him get out of the DOH situation in time? Perhaps help him get an exterminator and things he needs to correct the issues?
Lindsay , all I know is open food containers and mouse shit count toward a closure .The multiple violations add up to closure .Its an unforgiving world .

I'll post more in a bit .
I think it is safe to say that anyone eating anything at Ray's understands, accepts, and embraces the risk. Health inspections exist for a reason, but they could just make an exception and leave Ray alone. When Ray's is gone the obnoxious, self-entitled zombies cruising up and down Avenue A can enjoy the cleanest little Cupcake Shop or Hipster hat store in the city. But for now, just let Ray's be.
I have no idea if the original closure was warranted, but its not wise to keep operating once the DOH has shuttered your business.
just another way of bloomberg's suburbanization or sanitizing nyc according to his image or what he thinks clean should be

as per jeremiah:

I have nothing against cleanliness. I like to see my elderly, immigrant neighbors sweep their stoops in the morning. This is Old World tidiness, not the same as New New York sterility. A little dirt is good for you--keeps the immune system strong. Today we're besieged by germaphobes. Their fearful suburban parents taught them to slather themselves and everything around them with antibacterial agents. Vongerichtification is their way of cleaning up the city.
walk around... look at all the grade pending signs.. it means they are being extorted. Just look at how many.
Mouse shit. Not a little dirt. Mouse shit.

I like Ray's, too, but really guys.
will mr Penley, help out on this as this is the heart of the les
@Anon 12:01, the grad pending signs simply means that the establishment didn't get the grade they had hoped for and the DOH is giving them another chance to clean up their act. It's not a sign of extortion.
...and just what do you think gets an establishment "the grade they had hoped for"?
Cleaning the mouse shit.
...or giving the inspectors some "consideration" which results in that "mouse shit" never being found.

You've obviously never been in the food service business, or any other 'inspected" business, in NYC.
I'll show you my Food Protection Certificate if you show me yours.
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