Thursday, January 7, 2010

Ray's Candy Store.

Last time I was in the East Village I noticed that this place was still there and I was I have to admit amazed because pretty much nothing in the East Village is still there. I wondered how it was possible, and I decided the guy must own the building because otherwise how could this little newstand/candy store survive the cultural nuclear bomb they call gentrification in New York? I can't even imagine how high the rent must be for a storefront on Avenue A. Turns out he doesn't own the building, and he's in trouble, and I can't express how sad this story makes me.

J and I met in late May of 1992. We both lived on East 10th St, around the corner and a few short blocks from Ray's. He lived between 1st and 2nd, in the studio apartment that we would eventually share for 6 years. I lived between 1st and A, two doors west of the Russian baths. That first summer, our routine was that we would have sex, then walk to Ray's and get chocolate milkshakes.

(I gained 40 pounds -- let's just say we had a lot of milkshakes -- I grew out of my costume, and I went on Slim-Fast (for real) to lose the weight, but then every sweet romantic story has a dark side, doesn't it?)

We would walk back to my place and sit on the stoop and drink our shakes. We made up the first Y'all songs during those bliss and sugar-fueled evenings on the stoop watching the East Village go by. Boy, that was a long time ago.

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