Tear drops, candle drips, and the audible boom-tss of music emanating from Yuca Bar set the tone for Bob Arihood’s candlelight vigil last night. What began as a complete grassroots effort by compatriots Shawn Chittle and Lindsay Wengler in the wake of his death, resulted in quite a gathering outside Ray’s Candy Store at 113 Avenue A.
Mourners slowly trickled to Bob’s familiar perch outside the store. There was plenty of milling about as friends placed flowers and photos by the wooden storefront extension. Neighborhood jester LES Jewels even paid his final tribute by dropping his drawers for the full monty.
Chico was there and promised a new mural somewhere in the immediate vicinity or on the awning itself; Jim “Mosaic Man” Power presented a memorial mosaic in honor of Arihood to Ray.
The turnout was testament to the number of people he touched while a resident, those who knew him forever or otherwise. Neighbors spoke. Ray spoke. Chico spoke. John Penley spoke. Clayton Patterson spoke. Lincoln Anderson (of The Villager) spoke. It was also revealed that there are serious efforts to archive Arihood’s vast catalog of photos, but that it might “take a while.” Neither More Nor Less will remain in the ether for the foreseeable future. It’s all just so sad.
By 9 pm, the crowd reached critical mass and the sidewalk was completely clogged. In a sign that the East Village certainly has changed for the worse, Shadow editor Chris Flash could barely utter a sentence before the 5-0 was on our backs to clear the sidewalk. Fitting, eh?
Meantime, a memorial concert is planned for this Saturday at Tompkins Square Park, 2 – 6 pm.