East Village ‘New’ Rallies to Save its ‘Old’
Since 1974, Ray Alvarez’s East Village store has been a safe haven for punk rockers craving cheese fries, small children seeking an after-school ice cream, and local residents simply looking for a chat after a long day. Even at 77-years-old, he still works the all-night shift—just as he has every night, seven days a week, for more than a quarter of a century.
Yet this winter, Ray’s future at 113 Avenue A has grown uncertain. He faces insurance complications, high utility bills and a steep decline in sales. As he struggles to make rent, his young, tech-savvy supporters, armed with Facebook, Twitter, and old-fashioned legwork, may be his only hope.
Today, the blogs are abuzz with news of tonight’s benefit concert (Theater for the New City). The ‘Save Ray’s! Facebook group has more than 2,000 fans. And don’t forget—it’s not too late to donate online via PayPal.