My LES: Jonathan Medows
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What do you do?
I am a CPA and the Managing Member of MEDOWS CPA, PLLC. We are a Lower East Side based firm (Grand St & Columbia St) and we expanded and moved to our current location in January 2012. My work focuses on tax planning, tax preparation, tax controversies, business planning and structuring. Our clients are freelancers, small businesses and individuals with moderate to complex tax returns. I am sympathetic by nature and very much like to help people solve their problems. Nothing gives me greater satisfaction than helping someone remove their stress so they can sleep at night.
How long have you lived on the LES?
I grew up down here and am the second generation of professionals to work in the area. My uncle, Dr. Gary S. Medows, ran his pediatric office at 550-G Grand Street until he passed away in Jan., 2012.
Favorite block in the hood?
Actually not a block, but my favorite stretch is the East River Park along the East River. I loved being walking by the water and seeing the boats and occasional sea plane that lands at 23rd Street. I do my best thinking there away from my desk.
Favorite date spot in the hood?
My wife and I are very low maintenance and we like the Remedy Diner as it has a variety of foods that can be ordered.
Favorite coffee in the hood?
Lately it has been Dunkin’ Donuts as my kids like to go there for their sugar rush.
Favorite cheap eats in the hood?
Shalom Chai Pizza on Grand and Essex.
Where do you take your visitors when they’re here?
I actually enjoy taking them to the synagogues of the area. We have some eclectic places that you just don’t have in the ‘burbs from the tenement styled Stanton Street Synagogue to the beautifully restored Chasam Sopher Synagogue and Eldridge Street Synagogue.
Favorite dive bar (or hangout) in the hood?
I have never been a drinker and as a young parent I rarely have time to hang out so I am going to say the Hillman Playground watching my two boys enjoy themselves.
How has the neighborhood changed in the last few years?
The neighborhood is becoming younger. When I grew up it was mostly middle age and older people but in the past 15 years I have definitely noticed an influx of young families which is a great sign about the vitality of the area. I also have noticed that more and more professionals and businesses are setting up shop down here. People are coming to appreciate the area over the corporate stuffiness of downtown and midtown.
Favorite LES memory?
1988. I was 14 years old. Al Gore, in his first run for the US presidency came down to the Lower East Side to campaign. I remember he played a pick-up game of basketball with Assemblyman Shelly Silver, Rabbi Azriel Siff and Mayor Ed Koch. Afterwards one of the merchants came over to complain to Ed Koch about the closure of the Williamsburg Bridge (due to structural issues) and Mayor Koch started bickering with him like someone would do with a relative.