We are excited about the return of our popular feature, “My L.E.S.,” the series that spotlights people who live and work on the Lower East Side. This month, we spoke with graffiti artist and fashion entrepreneur Claudia Gold, a.k.a. Claw Money.
How long have you lived on the Lower East Side?
I’ve lived in Alphabet City for 20+ years. I moved downtown because it was cheap, fun and wild. Now I’m back because this is where I feel most comfortable.
What do you do?
I’m an artist, designer, feminist, author, brand consultant and shopkeep.
What’s your favorite spot on the LES?
Claw & Co.– because it’s awesome! A distant second is Kossar’s Bagels.
Favorite cheap eats?
That bakery on Essex between Delancey and Broome– $2 sandwiches all day long!
Favorite place for a special night?
Bacaro on Division Street.
How have you seen the neighborhood change?
There are skyscrapers on Delancey Street now and 5th Avenue money is rolling downtown. But, NYC is an ever-changing landscape and you just have to jump on and hold on tight.
Is there a new arrival you love?
I’m really excited to see all these new galleries popping up. I’m glad the landlords are giving short-term leases and that art is invigorating this neighborhood.
What drives you crazy about the neighborhood?
All of the truck traffic and the noise that comes with it—they’ll kill ya if you don’t cross the street quick!
What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever seen on the LES?
I’ve seen people walking all kinds of animals.. once there were a bunch of farm animals on Hester street five years ago. But really, nothing really shocks me since I’ve lived in New York my whole life. NY is just a weird and wild place. All of it. Everywhere.
Tell us your best LES memory.
I’ve spent my whole life here [in NYC], there are so many. I would come to the L.E.S. to buy socks and underwear here with my father. I would eat at Ratner’s and I miss their onion rolls. I miss the clubs. I’ve had too many good memories here to even try to narrow it down to one.