Rays Pizza, 1986-2005
New York City is full of pizza joints claiming to be the 'Original' Ray's, but this one in Prince Street is reckoned to be the real deal - and it comes with an interesting history!
According to pizza folklore, Ray's Pizza was named after Ralph Cuomo who opened it in 1959.
Unfortunately, Cuomo decided to supplement his income by making heroin deals in the restaurant's basement on behalf of the Luchese crime family, and was sent to prison in 1998.
Happily, I knew nothing of this when I stayed with my then-girlfriend Sue in the tiny, shared apartment, reached through the door in the middle of the restaurant back in 1986.
The apartment was so hot we had to sleep with a floor standing fan on full blast.
Nearly twenty years later, I grabbed this comparison picture. Note the new building to the left.
[Rays Pizza, October 2004]
[Rays Pizza, October 1986]
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