Thursday, October 6, 2011

Chico creates tribute for Bob Arihood at Ray's Candy Store

Yesterday after, we posted photos of Chico working on a mural for the Ray's Candy Store awning on Avenue A ... Single Linds Reflex, who worked with Chico on the concept, was there to watch it happen ... Here's a sort of Blogger time-lapse with the final work ...

And later... Chico talks with Lucy and Ray...


Jeremiah Moss said...

i'm really conflicted about this. i like Chico's stuff and respect his stature in the neighborhood. but i don't like that we've lost the original rag-tag, hand-painted look of Ray's.

also, i know we can't say what Bob "would have wanted," and no one can speak for him now, but wasn't he always the guy behind the scenes, behind the camera? he was, as i recall him, a quiet face in the crowd, not out front.

of course, memorials are for the living, and not for the dead. the dead, most likely, don't care one way or the other how we memorialize them. still, something about this isn't sitting well with me.

am i alone in these feelings?

Anonymous said...

This is amazing. Thank you Chico for your wonderful work, and thanks EV Grieve for the photos.

Anonymous said...

That is just beautiful. It's a lovely tribute to Bob and also a well-deserved sign of triumph for Ray's, the little candy store that could.

Bravo, Chico, and yays for everyone in the EV today!

Lindsay said...

Months ago, I was speaking with Bob and Matt in front of Ray's about the awning. Matt said how much he loved Bob's old photo of Ray's and would like to see "Truth, Justice and the Comics" back up there. We talked about finding a way of removing the white paint to reveal the old sign or at least getting it repainted on there. When Chico and Barbara talked about the awning, I thought it would be a great time to finally get it up there. I asked him if it was possible to remove the white paint at this point to show the awning underneath and he said it wouldn't work. This is so much better, though!! Ray finally has a proper awning- the best one on Avenue A!! Chico is amazing!! Can't thank him and Barbara enough for doing this... and Maximo for helping out so much!!

Thank you so much Chico, you are the best!!

Lindsay said...

@Jeremiah- I am a bit conflicted about it, I understand what you are saying.

Anonymous said...

i agree with jeremiah,it wouldnt have been his way even though he would have been touched by people's
affection for him

Someone else suggested to me a life-size iron statue of him with cameras bolted to the sidewalk next to the infamous pee phone --always on "static post" although to be accurate i remind everyone that the last few years he just as often hung out on the opposite side of avenue A
along the park as he did in front of rays

to remind everyone: truth justice the comics was from NY Newsday..
back when ray still sold newspapers (other than the polish paper) and when Newsday was pushing its city edition, they bought him an awning with their logo on it

Anonymous said...

Hi Jeremiah. I understand why you would feel conflicted. Bob probably would have been embarrassed seeing all this attention called to him. He wasn't a showy person or an attention seeker from what I heard of him. But Ray and Chico had good intentions. They wanted to pay tribute to a lost friend. Perhaps this will be a temporary tribute to their buddy. I love the idea of the awning reading Truth, Justice and the Comics again.

Lindsay said...

but, Ray really needed a sign. Without a sign, it's really hard for people to know you are there or to know what a place is. I hope this helps his business which is the most important thing.

Chico wanted to do a memorial for Bob. Chico does amazing work and it was wonderful of him to want to do this for Ray, while memorializing Bob. I don't think a memorial can be wrong when it is done with love and that is exactly how Chico did it, with love. People were saying how much they loved it as they walked by, it got people talking about Ray and about Bob and I think that is great and important. Ray loved it as well. What we love about Ray's Candy Store won't change because there is signage out front, if anything I hope it helps him out.

I think Chico did a great thing. While it may not be a memorial for Bob we would have personally done, it was Chico's way of remembering Bob and it turned out very well.

Shawn said...

Jeremiah I very respectfully disagree. :-)

Had Ray bought a gaudy new sign or awning with plain jane lettering - like many of the other storefronts - I would agree.

However this mural/sign/tribute does wonders:

1. It makes Rays more attractive to customers.

2. It's a hand painted piece of art from a longtime local graffiti artist.

3. It will attract people into Ray's - "Hey Ray nice new sign, I need a this and that" - and it will attract some new customers who see it from across the street.

4. It's a semi-permanent tribute to Ray's best friend and all our friend, Bob. After the candles and flowers are gone, I want to be able to see Bob at Ray's. And now I can.

5. It's a flashback to an earlier time when the slogan "Truth Justice & The Comics" was on Ray's in the 80's.

6. So far as I know, the sign cost Ray $0.

No matter how you slice it, this sign helps Ray. And Bob was all about helping Ray.

That Chico mural felt right from the start.

The fact it came together in a few minutes at the memorial, and was up and painted within 24 hours is just the "good from the bad" that was needed.

glamma said...

way to go chico! what impressive work. i walked by and admired this last night as it was being created. came out so beautifully. chico should get some kind of lifetime achievement award from the east village! i love the candle next to bob. the whole thing is just so heart warming. and that last pic is priceless!
thanks to all who made it happen.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Awesome job by Chico! Btw does anybody know how I can get in contact with him to do a job?

Jeremiah Moss said...

Shawn, you make very good points, and i don't disagree with any of them.

still, i have mixed feelings. i don't think it's something i can argue, or say "this is wrong," that's not it. it's just that there's an ooky feeling about it for me.

now, a statue at the pee phone!

Marty Wombacher said...

Great job by Chico! As for the question of if this should be here or not, well, I think that fall's on Ray, it's his store after all. The rest of us are just lucky visitors. Let's not overthink this, let's just have an egg cream and work on getting that statue up by the pee phone already!

Anonymous said...

I think it looks like Awesome! and regardless of whether Bob would hem and haw about it or not - It's still fucking awesome! Thank you so much Chico. Once again you racked up another brownie point in my book! :)

dmbream said...

@Anonymous 10:37-

You can reach Chico at (646) 246-5024.

We spoke via phone last night and I asked if I could post his contact info to drive some business his way. He's taking off from NYC soon, so make a move.

He did, indeed, do the mural at Ray's for free, both as a tribute to Bob and to his friend Ray, who has been serving him since he's a kid.

The only thing he asked for in return: "a milkshake!"

bayou said...

Bob's portrait is achingly good. That makes it right for those left behind.

If the triptych of Bob, Ray and Chico ain't the Alphabet City of days gone by, nothing is.

Tom said...

Ray loves it. I love it too. But even if I didn't, Ray's opinion is the one that really matters.

Melanie said...

Bob and Ray look really good. Nice likenesses of them. Bob would likely say aw gee--I think of him when I walk by and I like the reminder too. RIP Bob and support Ray as always.

Melanie said...

Since the Pee Phone still has no receiver but was cleaned up a bit--it can now become a living collaboration once again --with a nice statue..a think tank right on Ave. A done by free thinkers..


my 2 cents!!
i love it!!
bob is still watching over rays
chico did a fantastic job!!!!
have known ray since 1975
7th. st. resident

rainer. susan. kim

Eden Bee said...

I know that bob would prefer a statue by that pee phone! He would freak if he could see this. For several different reasons which I won't go into. But it's a nice thought and gesture and if ray is happy I think bob would see the humor in this..!

Anonymous said...

Looks great to me. Now I can still see Bob when I walk by Ray's. Besides that, there is the obvious practical advantage that now Ray will attract a larger clientele because the new look will attract more kids and people who were off-put by the old look. Still captures the essence of Ray. Bob would be embarrassed, but secretly amused. Master work by Chico.

chris flash said...

I'm sure Bob would not have liked being a part of Chico's mural, because he was a low-key behind-the-scenes kind of guy who wasn't into self-promotion.

Still, it was a grand gesture on Chico's part and it really is quite beautiful. Besides, it does us all some good to have Bob and Ray to look up to whenever we pass Ray's.

Anonymous said...

This is such a lovely tribute to Bob and totally agree with one of the previous posters that had all great of which: now, we can all see Bob again at Ray's. Bravo, Chico!

Anonymous said...

yes, eden, bob would hate it for at least 2 reasons..nor would he find humor in it either

he would at least laugh, however, at a statue by the pee phone, even if he wouldnt like that either

(not that im actually suggesting a statue)