Orchard and Delancey St
People in the painting
Louis Rodriquez- 11 year old boy looking out of the window
Louie- Old man with hat sitting near window. He was there everyday and we became friends. A year later when I came back to the neighborhood, I found out that he had died.
Nano- Man with mustache in back of counter. He worked for Martin since he became owner.
Martin Penera- Wearing white- Standing in front of Blimpie
Julius Portnow- Red and white building across from Allen Surgical Supply Store
Second generation Lower East Side Information
L and N Fashion Incorporated
Owners Leon and Fanny Goldstein- Only very fine things sold there.
Hebrew Publishing Company- It moved upstairs shortly after this.
I used to arrive very early so that I could get a parking space, but had to stay in the car until 9:00 A.M. Every day at 8:30 A.M., an old woman would walk up the street toward Allen Street. She always pushed a baby carriage in front of her and a shopping cart in back. The shopping cart was laden with boxes. With these items, she would go to other city areas and sell bagels there. She would walk into the worst traffic and just walk right on- the cars always made way for her. Martin Penera- Blimpie“I was the first Spanish speaking owner of a Blimpie: I bought it from a Jewish owner. It was difficult at first, but now we respect each other and get along. Also, I established firm and friendly relations with the tough people in the area.”Martin arrived here in 1971. Originally from Argentina, he had lived for 6 years in Peru, and then in Miami. He arrived “with one hand in front and one hand in back”, with a borrowed amount of $200 dollars to try his luck in what everyone believed to be the “promised land”.The beginning was hard, but he found that dream. Problems came with language. He arrived in New York City and met a friend who had arrived 20 days before him. He got a job with the friend at Blimpie on Second Avenue and 96th Street- the first Blimpie he came in contact with. His friend lived in the Gramercy Park area and Martin shared a room with him. Someone recommended him to Blimpie at Lafayette and Canal and he worked there with some other South Americans. He did the hard jobs that no one else wanted to do. Three months later he was made manager. His boss, who had three different locations, liked his work. Martin went back and forth to all of them. The owner of Second Avenue and 96th Street offered him a partnership. He had $2000 dollars in savings by then- he worked 14 to 16 hours a day and had no time to spend money. When he had time, he went to the movies and learned English.In September 1971, he used his savings and became a partner. He left because of a personality conflict, and 3 weeks later found a job with Child’s Restaurant Company. He looked for any job and became a dishwasher. The manager saw that this job was not for him, and to fill out an application for manager. He was sent to 43rd and Broadway for trading at one of the chains. He now owns Blimpie on the corner of Orchard and Delancey, bought with a loan of $10,000 dollars from a friend.