Ajay Naidu’s East Village

Ajay NaiduCourtesy Ajay NaiduAjay Naidu.

To some, he’ll always be Samir, one of the disgruntled heroes of “Office Space,” or more recently, Vikram from HBO’s “Bored to Death.”

They know him by his real name, however, in the East Village, the neighborhood that actor/writer/director Ajay Naidu has called home for over 16 years. Back in the day, he was a self-described “club kid,” and though he still frequents the neighborhood’s live music venues, he’s just as likely to be found on set these days as he is on the scene. Naidu has several notable projects in the pipeline, including Sacha Baron Cohen’s upcoming “The Dictator” (about which he’s been sworn to secrecy) and his own directorial debut, “Ashes”, a 10-year labor of love that has been touring the festival circuit (catch it next month at the New York International Latino Film Festival).

Naidu took a timeout to share some of his favorite places with his fellow Villagers.

Best Location for People-Watching

“My fire escape on Saint Mark’s. It has the perfect angle because it’s just above the crowd and you can watch everyone and hear everything.”

Best Live Music Venue

“That’s a really tough one because I go out a lot to music. The best place to go hear music right now is Santos Party House and has been for a while.”

Best Record Shop

“It used to be Breakbeat Science that was on Ludlow.”

Best Place to Take Out-of-Town Visitors

“I always take people to Café Orlin. It has the most delicious food and the best ingredients. It’s my home café.”

Best Place to Come Home to After a Long Trip

“I have a new one. It’s called South Brooklyn Pizza. It’s a slice to cry for — white wine and truffle. There’s only one pizza being cooked at a time there. ”

Best Dinner

Limited Time Only has celebrity chefs coming in all the time, so for a tasting menu that’s really nice. It’s really delicious every time I’ve been there and it’s always new chefs.”

Finally, we asked: “Did you choose the East Village, or did the East Village choose you?” Surprised, Naidu offers, “It was a little bit of both…” Then, considering, he finishes definitively. “No, it chose me.”

Angela Cravens is editorial director of the pop culture “channelzine” Arcade44.