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My LES – Lisa Qiu

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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 freelance journalist and writer, an assistant editor at SMITH Magazine, and an intern at the Lower Eastside Girls Club.

How long have you lived on the LES?

I’ve always lived low and east (in Chinatown) but I officially set up proper in the LES August ’09.

Favorite block in the hood?

My favorite block would have to be the delicious stretch of Ave B shooting down from 11th street and dipping deep into Clinton after Houston. It’s perfect, it encompasses the park, lots of live music venues, Back Forty, Frankies 17, Clinton St. Bakery, Mercadito… Glorious.

Favorite date spot in the hood?

My favorite date spot is Milk and Honey. It’s quite perfect for nearly everything. I’d even deliver my baby there. They serve the best cocktails in the city and there is never a rush to turn tables. Reservations are well managed so there’s not a ton of people bum rushing the place and everyone can hear each other.

Favorite coffee in the hood?

For a coffee on the go I like go to Celebration Cafe in the Bowery Poetry Club. To work on projects, I enjoy Cafe Pedlar or Ost. To buy coffee for my French Press I always go to Porto Rico (Importing Co.) – there’s just nowhere better.

Favorite slice in the hood?

Two Boots, hands down. The Bayou Beast to be specific— crawdads on pizza? YES.

What is your favorite activity to do with the kids in the hood?

If I had some kids I’d take them to run amok in American Apparel. I’d congratulate them for getting out their crazies by taking them to eat authentic southern BBQ at Georgia’s Eastside BBQ, all kids love BBQ. If I was with girls we’d go to the Lower Eastside Girls Club and participate in some fantastic arts programs. For all purpose gender neutral fun: The Lower East Side Tenement Museum! I love the room they take you to with the trained actor that makes fun of your modern clothes… i.e. “you’re missing half a shoe!” she’d say pointing at my sandals. Kids will learn so much from her anecdotes.  Afterwards we’d indulge in some edible culture at Il Laboratorio del Gelato right next door.

Favorite place to order delivery from?

I’ve never ordered delivery before! Yarf. If I had to, I’d do Clinton St. Bakery, just to avoid the lines.

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

Mwahahaha, my visitors will be in for a treat. We’d go to Cake Shop, hopefully on a Tuesday so we can catch Crime and Punishment— this hilarious stand up show. Instead of eating a proper meal at any one place I’d take them on a little snack tour of the ‘hood, which will definitely include the pescado tacos at Mercadito and the Italian cookie cupcake at Pinisi. We’d go to Mehanata to dance and possibly sit in a refrigerated Plexiglas box, wear winter comrade gear, and pound vodka.

Favorite dive/locals bar in the hood?

I love the happy hour at Local 138. They have Old Speckled Hen on tap… oh yumtastic.

Favorite LES memory?

Everyday I wake up in the neighborhood.

Horray! All questions answered.

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