Volume 80, Number 25 | November 18 - 24, 2010
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933
Ray progress report:
Call him a perfectionist, but Ray of Ray’s Candy Store on Avenue A is devastated that his Sanitary Inspection Grade wasn’t also an A. Instead of the coveted blue A, he got a green B. It seems like a pretty good rating to us, but Ray isn’t satisfied. “If the girl, she wears a hat, I get an A,” Ray explained. As Ray tells it, an inspector came by his Seventh St. store last week, to rank it for cleanliness and such under the Bloomberg administration’s controversial new letter system. The inspector scoured the little place for two hours, but only could come up with two no-no’s: Eryn, who was working behind the counter, wasn’t wearing a hat, and Ray, who possesses the required food-handler’s license, showed up 10 minutes late because he had to run out to the hardware store and buy a wrench. Ray said every store has what’s called a “docket” listing violations, and that over the past 20 years, the main complaint on his docket has been “hair” — as in failure to wear a hat. Of course, Ray is never without his trusty Boar’s Head cap, but the women he employs, well, they just don’t like to don them. Ray said he even got a whole box of 200 paper hats, to no avail; the chapeaus are shaped like “boats,” he said — like the type stewardesses or Air Force officers wear. “They don’t want to wear,” he said. “They want to look pretty.” But he said, that’s it, he can’t take it anymore, because each violation is $1,000. The week before Eryn got nailed for being hatless, the same thing happened to Natasha, another one of Ray’s helpers, during a preliminary inspection. (By the way, Ray said, Eryn has really beautiful, long hair; he also is in awe of her because, a squatter, she single-handedly sawed up a huge, old refrigerator in his place and removed it for him.) … In other Ray news, he finally has his Ansul system and exhaust pipe and rooftop fan all fixed up and ready to go, so the pieces of paper covering his “Belgian Fries” signs are down and he’s now once again firing up his famous fries. The installation job had dragged on for months, yet still wasn’t done correctly: Where the pipe was supposed to be welded, it was only screwed together, a key wire was hanging loose; basically, it was a mess. To the rescue came E. Seventh St. filmmaker Nick Peate, who brought in Jeff, a local Ansul expert, who took over the job after the previous contractor had botched it, and finally got it right. The latest in a long line of East Villagers who, over the past year, have volunteered their efforts to help Ray, Peate previously also made sure Ray got his new three-year lease settled. … With the cold weather, Ray is transitioning away from ices and toward grilled cheese and turkey melts. He’s thinking of filling the ices cooler with cold cuts but is a little worried that, if he puts a roast beef in there, someone might steal it if he goes to the back of the store. (Maybe hide it under a hat?)
Get that Rosario photo!
Everyone seemed to love the photo by J.B. Nicholas (a.k.a. “Paparazzo Diary”) of Rosario Dawson in our Nov. 4 issue — you know, the one where she was flashing a “V” sign and beaming a huge smile while standing next to a dignified-looking Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver at the groundbreaking for the new Lower Eastside Girls Club headquarters building on Avenue D. First, local blog EV Grieve asked permission to post the photo, and did so, captioning it the “Photo of the Week.” Next, we got a call from no less than the “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon Show,” requesting to use the photo during a segment with Dawson, who was appearing on the TV talk show a couple of days after our article came out. We e-mailed Fallon the photo, but in the end, it didn’t make the cut. How could they not use it? It was such a cooool shot!