At Ray’s, The Spirit Of The East Village

In a neighborhood where everything is changing, Ray’s Candy Store remains refreshingly unchanged. Faded posters line the walls, many of which depict smiling teenage girls in 80’s headbands enjoying Lime Rickeys. Since buying the shop in 1976, Ray Alvarez and his candy store have become fixtures in the East Village.

“Ray’s is the last real thing left in this neighborhood,” said Clemente Valguarnera, owner of the nearby Café Pick Me Up.

This sentiment is echoed by most of Ray’s patrons. That is why the community joined together to raise money when Alvarez began having problems making rent payments.

Open 24 hours a day, Ray’s is the late night gathering place for local regulars, bar-hopping visitors and those who just like the consistency of the frozen yogurt.

NYU Journalism’s Alexandra DiPalma reports.