My LES – Jessica Delfino
This weekly feature spotlights a wide variety of people who live and work on the Lower East Side. If you would like to participate in “My LES”, please email us here.
What do you do?
I’m a controversial satirical / comedic musician who travels the world, performing, and also performs regularly around NYC. I play an assortment of odd instruments, such as the flying V ukulele and a guitar my friend made for me out of parts he found in the garbage. (I purell’d the whole thing first). I even made up a song on my rape whistle which I play on stage, too. I’m also a writer, a blogger, a show producer, an artist, activist, sometimes model, animal lover and a sassy pants. I’m very googleable. (Jessica was recently featured in Time Out NY in their “Most Stylish New Yorkers” series.)
How long have you lived on the LES?
For about 5 years, and I don’t know if I could ever live anywhere else.
Favorite block in the hood?
I love Orchard between Broome and Grand. It’s coming along nicely with very cute independent stores and businesses popping up. I live in what I like to call “Lower East Chinatown”, where the LES kisses Chinatown. I love that little triangle at the end of Ludlow where the two neighborhoods meet.
Favorite date spot in the hood?
I love Bacaro. It’s beautiful, dark, moody, the food is good, the wine is nice, there is fire coming out of the walls, handsome ladies & gentlemen hang out there, there are little private rooms you can rent for events, and it’s not sickly over priced.
Favorite coffee in the hood?
I like 88 Orchard and Flowers is pretty good, too..
Favorite slice in the hood?
I love Rocket Joe’s. They put sesame seeds on the crust — it’s a nice touch. And it’s the only place you can still get a slice around here for less than $2. I also really love the place across the street from the Slipper Room — what’s it called? Geno’s? The pizza is good, but also that place is a real hottie fest. You can’t throw a ukulele in there without hitting a model in the face with it.
What is your favorite activity to do with your kids in the hood?
I don’t own any kids, but when I spend time with friend’s kids, we walk over to the park on Essex and Houston or Allen and Houston and swing on the swings. I teach a few kids ukulele and guitar lessons in the park, which is fun. I also like to simply wave at kids when I’m riding my bike to a show, wearing my colorful, coquettish stage get ups — they always stare at me with amazement and awe, and I wonder if I didn’t just witness their little minds becoming ever so slightly warped at that very moment.
Where do you take your visitors when they’re here?
I usually like to take them to the Tenement Museum for a tour or their reading series, stop by Vanessa’s for dumplings or a meal at Malaysian Skyway, and drop past Lolita Bar to see Liam McEneaney’s Tell Your Friends show or roll into the Bowery Poetry Club to catch Skits’N’Tits variety show. Every so often, I’m lucky enough to gain entry to Rev Jen’s Troll Museum. It’s a special and rare treat, like seeing an eclipse or a ghost.
Favorite dive/locals bar in the hood?
I like Clandestino and The Slipper Room. I try to avoid Mars Bar, but that place’s gravitational pull is sometimes just too strong.
Favorite LES memory?
I’ve had too many great LES memories to narrow it down to one. If I had a dollar for all the great times I’ve spent riding my bike around my neighborhood or over a bridge at sunset, hanging out with friends, going to shows and art openings and parties, falling in and out of love — my bed would be stuffed with wads of cash. The rainbow of memories I’ve had in this neighborhood are the things that will stay with me til the bitter end of it all.