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My LES – Ricardo Gonzalez

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Ricardo Gonzalez - photo by Ashlie Cotton

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 painter and I work in art galleries installing artwork.

How long have you lived on the LES?

8 years.

Favorite block in the hood?

Orchard Street, from Delancey to Canal.  Its been changing so much, but I like that it’s more quiet and still kind of diverse.

Favorite date spot in the hood?

I really like the Argentinean restaurant Azul, on Stanton and Clinton.  They have great steaks and wine and a really nice interior.  It’s better on a weeknight when it’s more quiet.

Favorite coffee in the hood?

In the summer I always go to 88 orchard.  They make their ice coffee with coffee ice cubes – its great!  They’re located on a really nice corner, and I’ve been going there since they opened in 2003.

Favorite slice in the hood?

Rocket Joe’s, on Delancey and Allen.  The tomato sauce is so good and sweet, they add sesame seeds on the crust, and they always have hot sauce and Parmesan cheese available.

Where do you take your visitors when they’re here?

Nam Son or Pho Grand for the the Vietnamese Pho soups, Barrio Chino for food and margaritas.

Favorite dive/locals bar in the hood?

Bar 169 on East Broadway, and Iggys on Ludlow and Rivington, they have great happy hour deals and good music.  169 has dumplings now and it’s never too crowded.  It’s the perfect bar for good long talks over many many drinks.

Favorite LES memory?

So many. I really miss rehearsing with my band every Saturday for hours and hours on the first floor of the building I used to live in on Orchard Street and Hester.  It was such an nice place.  Sometimes we’d play the local bars like Pianos, the Slipper Room, Mercury Lounge and we could just walk our equipment there.

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