The Build: Who's Job Is It Anyway?
The Build takes a deep dive into the process of building up a new restaurant, from signing the lease to opening day. In this episode, not only do you get more glimpses at the fun aesthetic bits, but you’ll also hear about the processes and systems behind making sure customers feel taken care of in the space that Eric and Team Ursula are in the middle of creating. Between architects pointing fingers at plumbers, and deciding on plate ware, you’ll hear about the nitty-gritty required to build up (and out) your brick and mortar world.
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It's been about three weeks since we've caught up with Eric. I don't know what's happening in the world. I feel like we've been very busy and the head has been underwater and swamped with meetings, so we're going to skip that part for today and dive right into what's happening. And new in your world. Eric?
God has it been three weeks?
Well we saw you.
I saw you right at the Lani's event at the James Beard house.
We saw you at James Beard. So we feel like we it's not bad and we text. So it's not it's not like we haven't spoken in three weeks.
That's well, that's also terrifying to me to know that that's how quickly time has passed at this point.
I can give you a quick recap to what we talked about last time, so you can use that as your starting point. But yeah.
Yeah, tell me where I'm at.
You were meeting with Clover about payment processing. You're getting your fingerprint sent for the SLA. You were a little delayed with the architects for permits and general construction. The bar was working tabletops. Excuse me. Furniture was on the way. Glassware, the bench. The website was looking great. So far. You're painting the walls and. And your designer was working remotely to help you out. You applied for a grant from DoorDash and a grant from Hello, Alice as well. Yes, well, a lot too much. [
That felt like a lot for that. All right. So catch us up.
Well, yeah, it feels like that was a long time ago because the Clover software and, like, equipment is here in house already. Well, so that went fast. I'm here. I'm here today. I just received a bunch of tile that we had shipped from Morocco the front of the bar. I got my first liquor shipment today. Websites are almost done. We're finishing it up with Bento. That'll launch when we relaunch. All the furniture is here. We have to now sand and stain all of it. And trying to. I'm trying to retort to each of those that you brought up. I know that. The what? The halo. Alice Grant. I got a notification that I did not get. I think we still got a couple more months before finding out about the grant for DoorDash. I also got selected to be one of the one of 15 chefs from around the country to go to the James Beard policymaking boot camp and which is actually taking place in my hometown in Albuquerque this year.
Tell us about the designer, because I know last time we checked in in person. You were you know, you weren't.. You weren't having as much support or it is hard to get answers a little bit. So how's that going?
Well, we haven't had anything really new to run by him yet. He checks them and like, weighs in on things that I send them or decisions I make. He texted me this week to ask if I knew a ceramicist cause wanted to get like some candle holders or some other things, which I forgot to get back to him, but. So he's he's still there in spirit. He's working on what he thinks is important. I'm like, I need your help on lighting. I'm like, not a candle holder or like, the textiles like I don't have access to...to where to get textiles and to like in a good upholsterer. Those kinds of things. Like those are the things I need you for right now. Uh, but he's, he's still thinking about the for the full picture just in a different from a different angle or and than I am. Uh.
Have you told him, like, I. These are the actual things that I need support on.
I told him when he checked in last, I was like I had to order furniture. I'm doing this already. Like, I'm doing all these things of the timeline. Um, and I was like, But I am going to need you for lighting when I get the electrics from it, and I'm going to need you to do the drawings for the DOB. Those are very like, those would be very, very helpful to me. He was like, Yeah, absolutely. When you get the drawings, let me know.
I mean, the lighting piece. I also feel like it's so important in restaurants these days, especially with how your food looks, but it's photographed and all of those things. Is there something specific you're envisioning there?
No, because I don't know how to think about lighting in that way. I mean, I've planned out the walls, which is something that him and I talked about early on because we also can't hang lighting from the ceiling. So we're going to do like plug in sconces along the wall. Uh, so buying these little plug in light bulbs. Uh, and then I'm also ordering these Mexican ten sconces from New Mexico, putting out the back and like, putting them over to create a. A plug in version of what might normally be a hard wired or have a candle in it. So that like more ambient lighting I've worked with him verbally through. But I'm just going to work on that. My own. On my own. But some of the lighting. That's maybe a little more functional for cleaning or for service that would sit in the center of the room. I'm definitely going to need his help on. Cause you saw, though, there's these string lights that just go back and forth across the whole restaurant.
Outside of that, we're still being hung up by DOB Permitting. Lani... Lani, let our architects team have it yesterday.
Uh Oh. Tell us more.
Have you seen that meme with like the three Spider-Man's all pointing at each other?
That's what it's been like. And we're like, in the middle of them. So I think I've expressed this before how disappointing the whole process has been because the architects team, like they were very, very responsive when we were doing walkthroughs when I went to walk through other spaces. Each of those is like a $500 fee, $450, I think for them to come walk through and just check out the conditions of the space to tell me if it's a good or bad idea. But then once the contract was signed with the proposal and the line of work that they would be engaging in and a 50% deposit on a $12,000 fee.
All of a sudden everything slowed down and it took them like almost two weeks to get in here to do a pre existing conditions inspection and then like another two weeks for them to get us the preliminary floor plan of that, which then my designer has to go in and put everything on top of. And when we were asking about all of that, we had a zoom with them because we're like, we, me and Lani are we're not architects, we're not interior designers. We've never gone through this process. And we're also not certified to be able to do any of this. So you have to talk to us and tell us exactly what we need to do to keep this process moving along.
Do we need to have a plumber come in and draw on this? Do we need to have the electrician draw on top of these floor plans? And both times they were like, No, no, no, no, you don't need any of that. You can put it in there if you want for your general contractor so that they have that information. But it's not required for this. They they'll file their own thing. So we're like, okay, great. So we just need to have the designer put in where the counter is going to go and any new equipment. But we're not doing a lot of we're not doing any new hard wiring of electric electric working here.
And the plumbing needs is very minuscule. So our plumber only has to do like an LLC. It's like a limited work application because we're just putting in one new drain and one water inlet. But then our designer Wynn, Winn the plan sent him over, I did ask him. I was like, Hey, if you guys are able to, can you just drop a little pin on the map where this drain will be just so that we have it, so that I don't have to go back and forth. And he was like, well, I don't we don't normally do the plumbing stuff. And I was like, okay.
And then this is what the designer says, just to be just to be clear.
Yeah. And to be fair, if that's not what they do, that's not what they do. But I was like, if you guys are already drawing on it and we're just doing this one drain, can you just note that? But then our architect gets it back their team. It took like another week for them to be responsive. They love to send us everything at end of day on Friday. And he was like, Well, what are you doing? Any electrical work? Where's all the lighting? I don't see any of that denoted. What about, like, any new water fixtures or those things? And we're like, you told us, we don't have to do that.
And you said, Yeah, but we have to mark it on here and use that as like, you literally told us that we don't have to do this and that our plumber is responsible for that on their own. You're slowing us down because now we're going back and forth. We could have had this already done. And he's like, Yeah, you should put it on there. Like, are you should we or do we have to? Because those are two completely different things. And it was just like, Well, we don't do that. Your designer does that.
But designers like, well, I don't do that. The plumber does that. The plumber is like, we don't normally do that. The architect does that. And it's just been going around and around. And yesterday Lani was like, I have to start like, we have to stop this merry go round and we just we need you to communicate with us. We need you to be expedient. We are paying you a lot of money. And even though it might not be a lot to you, it's a lot to our business. And you've been very unclear through your communication in this whole process.
And it's like we keep asking you to be clear about what we need to do to keep this process moving, because then we just get held out for another week and another week. And he told Lani yesterday that. Once we complete this part and she had a phone call with him last week about the lighting in here and that we actually are not even allowed to go into the ceiling to hang lights. So everything is coming off of a preexisting outlet and switch. And he had sent us an update and was like, whoa, we need to know if you're doing electrical work. I don't see any of the lighting on here. And we're like, we had a phone call, six days ago and you said that that was fine. And then I, I said that in the email. I was like, we're using the preexisting outlets.
We already had a conversation with you about that. And he's like, Oh, yeah, then that's fine. You don't have to. And we go like a whole five or six days without correspondence just to confirm what we had already confirmed. And yesterday he told Lani that it would be like 10 to 15 days before they can finish the plan, their pre filing, whatever that means, to get ready to file, and that'll be 10 to 15 days. And Lani was like, no, that's not acceptable. You guys need to sit down and figure out a way to make this faster because you've slowed it down. You've you've been ineffectively communicating with us and holding us up and that we're paying you too much money to do this.
And so just so I'm understanding the pre file the so essentially they were quoting you like 20 to 30 days because it would be 10 to 15 days and then another 10 to 15 days to get any permits.
I have to be honest, I can't even keep track of it anymore because he also jumps back and forth and timelines when he's communicating with us. So be like, well, so this will take three weeks, but then two weeks before that we have to do this. And then on the fourth week this will happen and then this in that sentence, it's hard to keep up.
But when I was first talking to the architect back in December and was planning the whole scope of work and the process of this application, he had affirmed to me that the process would only take a week after. Well, he was like, I been getting permits within a week and in New York and Brooklyn, and we're like, Oh, okay, so we've got plenty of time if we get ahead of this.
And we started this in the first week in January, and here we are, six weeks in at least seven, and we haven't even started filing. So it's been an incredibly frustrating process with and I saw Nico from Oxalis this week and I was talking to him about it was like, Oh my God, my partner wanted to kill our architect when we were opening Oxalis. It's like it's the most infuriating process. And I was like, okay, so this is par for course.
At least you have somebody to commiserate with. Although that sounds extremely frustrating.
It is. It's an insane amount of money that you have to pay for this work. And it's like, but they're not actually doing any of the work with you.
They're supposed to be having a meeting today as a group to go over like whatever current clients are working with. And Lani said, I need you at this meeting to discuss with everybody how you're going to be able to prioritize this for us and make this work a little faster, and then we'll hear back from you afterwards. So we'll see.
Oh, I was just going to say and just to confirm, Simon's doing all the electrical and all of the plumbing for you. Or do you have to have separate contractors there?
No. Simon is going to be doing both of those.
And my brother has been doing all the other work like woodworking.
But we only got. I forgot. Let's see. Oh, and Simon has to, like, smooth out a wall in the bathroom. But because there's a brick wall in the bathroom and we're going to cover it so that I can put tiled mirrors. On. On the walls.
Yeah, that's kind of it for this scope of work.
And then it's just like being able to transfer, uh, transfer everything over here from the old spot. Get the staff over here to train.
So sounds like progress is being made in a lot of places. There's frustration with the architects, but it sounds like you're working around it.
Um, we have to figure out the menu and the full flow of service and get a sign painter in. Um, yeah, it's a lot of cosmetic stuff. That's what I wouldn't say about the lighting. Uh, I was looking at these really pretty clay pendants online. They were like, $200 each, and they were going to have to be shipped from India, but they were also like 6 pounds each, which is. Might put the like the load bearing of the ceiling at risk. So my brother sent a picture of them to his friend, who does a lot of 3D printing, and he was like, Oh yeah, I can make those and I can make them by next week and for like $35 each.
Oh my God, look at that.
You just saved yourselves like hundreds of dollars.
Yeah, and a lot of time and stress. And he, he, we gave him one of the pendants that's in now. So he even printed it to fit exactly on the preexisting, like, wiring and structure, which is really cool. It's kind of incredible what you can do with 3D printing.
What's the material that it's going to be made out of? I'm like that. My mind is blown a little bit.
I guess it's plastic, so we have to put a LED bulb in there because it can't hold up to heat. But it looks exactly the pictures you sent me look exactly like the photos online of the other ones.
I know last time we talked, like where the Clover Terminal is going to go and you just mentioned love service. You're still figuring out. So where did you guys did you re able to land on something or does it not matter until you're really ready to open.
Amazing. So sounds like progress is being made in a lot of places. There's frustration with the architects, but it sounds like you're working around it. I know last time we talked, like where the Clover Terminal is going to go and you just mentioned love service. You're still figuring out. So where did you guys did you re able to land on something or does it not matter until you're really ready to open.
In terms of flow of service.
In terms of like because the clover. Yeah, like the clover terminal. You were worried about where that was going to go. If people are going to self service or, or if that, you know, or if you were going to have like a separate space for that for delivery drivers and all that kind of thing.
Yeah, I think we're going to have to be a little bit fluid with all of that and see how it works in the beginning. I'm I think I'm gonna move away from the self-service idea for now just to maintain a certain level of hospitality and organization. So we'll have like a takeout terminal at the front of the bar, but then at the back end, more people down that are going to sit inside will have a second terminal. And so there'll be somebody running, take out somebody doing the in-house ordering. And it'll I think we're looking at a hybrid model, which I think I've mentioned before, of counter and table service order at the counter. We bring you your food, but then also refill the water check in. There will be I think we're going to work with something that would give you an individual QR code for your for your table once you've ordered so that if you want to add anything to it, you just do it from your table. So if you decide you want to another drink, you don't have to go up and order it. You can just do it from your table and then we'll bring it right out I think we're looking at at that.
Have you guys thought about what your average return time needs to look like in order to make numbers work and how to manage that efficiently?
And that part we haven't. Lani’s been working on a projections and like budgeting sheet so that we can figure some of that out. I think we've looked at what it would do, what the average check with two and a half terms in a night would would do for the projections in budget. And I feel like, um, and then like playing with different variations of what the the labor costs would be or percentage because right now currently at Ursula I think her labor is near 40%, which is insanely high. But I was talking to somebody yesterday at this lunch and they were saying that they've heard of some restaurants right now at like 60%, which I don't know how that's impossible.
For labor costs. Wow.
And then a 30% food cost. How do you pay the rent?
Right. We will be increasing the prices not significantly, but we'll have some other, like value added stuff for us to be able to make money off of us. Obviously the alcohol, but bringing that preexisting team over here will also be giving them a raise to try to coincide with the rate of inflation that we've seen since we all started two years, two and a half years ago. It's like one of my staff members. If they started at 18 and 22, that should be like $20.40 or something right now.
Eric, as you get closer to your target for opening, how are you thinking about? The initial press planning and getting people essentially letting people know what you're doing, where you are now that you're up.
It's funny because I was thinking about this this week, like, I'm just like, do I even want. Do we just want to open quietly and softly or like, just on Instagram? I'm just I'm afraid of it being too busy that first week and us just being hammered. So I haven't thought about that. Just yet. I feel like I need to I need to get all the equipment in here. I need the kitchen to be arranged in the manner in which we anticipate using it. I need to see where all the chairs are and actually get a feel for the flow. The look how ready we feel before I decide if we want to do any kind of. Push for press at all because there's people that I could I'm sure that they would cover it the next day that we're opening. But I also feel like there'll be enough buzz locally and in the community that we would be fine that first week. So that's I'm still considering how that's going to work out.
I just I don't want to put too much pressure on the team and myself and then disappoint people that first week. If if the word got out and too many people showed up.
That makes sense.
In the I know the furniture, you had been worried because you had ordered stuff from was it Morocco or.
The bar stools Those came from Morocco. They came on the chairs and benches came from Colorado.
And everything's there and just some manual labor to get it done.
I'm sitting in one of those chairs right now.
Yeah. Is it a 45 minute chair or a two hour chair?
Well, I've actually been sitting in this chair for 3 hours, but that's. I think that's by necessity. I'm a I'm a bad indicator of that. I have herniation all over my spine, so no chair is comfortable for me to sit in for a long time.
Chef life. So you recently had a trip home to New Mexico to see some family? I did. Was that a little bit of a break or was that. Did you feel more stressed?
Oh, it was not a break because it was a family kind of a family emergency. I went home to see my godmother who had been in the hospital for 11 days. She was doing much better. She was back at home when I got to see her. But it was just important for me to make time for my family back home. She helped raise me. She's a big part of my my childhood and my life and hopefully the future. Just wanted to check in on my sister. She's been going through some stuff, too.
And then I did go see Ursula. I was only there for a little over 24 hours, so it definitely was not a break. But Ursula is super excited and is planning her trip out here or the opening. Waiting on bated breath.
Remind us how old Ursula is.
And she's ready to fly over for opening weekend.
Oh, she's ready to fly here every week if she could. But she's got to I'm sure she's already got her outfit picked out to come out here and hang out. She loves getting all dressed up and taking all the customers and telling everyone who she is. I don't know if you've been to we've been referring it to 1.0 and 2.0 now. Me and Loni. So at one point I was on Sterling. I don't know if you've been there recently, but there I took a big portrait of my grandma from her home when I was there last year, and I brought it back in. So there's this really big picture of Ursula above the espresso machine, just like looking down at all the customers and all of us.
Her. We talked about it. I love it. That's going to wear it to the new shop, too, right?
Yeah. We're figuring out where exactly, But she'll definitely be here. So I can only imagine the way that she's going to feel to see her face on the wall.
I mean, maybe there's is like airbrushed murals of her. I don't know.
That would be funny. She would. She would love that. She's a Leo, so she'll take all the attention she can get.
So Alex and I started TILIT about ten years ago. I can't even believe it's been that long that we've been working together. Feels like an eternity. But also yesterday. And since then, we've outfitted hundreds of thousands of chefs. We're so thankful for this community, as well as 6000 restaurants across the country and globe, even Alex. Can you tell our listeners about it? What makes it so special and why we got started?
Sure. Um, we got started with TILIT basically out of necessity. I needed clothes. Um, I had been a chef for a long time, and I went from a professional kitchen into a private home, and I just didn't feel, you know, prideful in what I was wearing, I felt like the clothes were outdated. Um, they weren't that comfortable or functional. And so I essentially turned to street clothes. And then that's sort of the point where we realized that, hey, maybe we should do something about this. Um, we started small with, you know, a few pieces. And, you know, I think that we the biggest advantage of TILIT is, is that we started with a commitment to, um, to modernizing our uniforms and working with the people actually wearing the clothes. Um, so everything is super functional. Um, we think about utility first, then we think about aesthetics, comfortability, ease of washing. Um, so it's really workwear that you can wear in the kitchen and then also continue to wear when you're out on the street.
Welcome back to the build. Previously we talked about how we had retrofitted our Spartan trailer for our restaurant goods. So, Alex, do you remember what the process was like for equipping the trailer with the POS and all the other little technology products for technology?
I feel like it was it was relatively standard. The. Technology was relatively standard, I think, in comparison to other restaurants. Within the truck itself, I mean, the walls were a little different because they weren't sheetrock, they were metal, they were stainless, and there wasn't a lot of room to run wiring and that kind of thing. But the space was tiny, right? It was Goods was probably a fraction of the size of air space. So it was relatively simple and there wasn't there were not a lot of terminals. There was only one post system where everything was rung up. So yeah, I think it was an easy process.
Do you remember how it was with like sales reps and stuff like that? I don't really remember that I had that much contact with them.
No, but I do remember, like, you signing up for, like, new accounts. That was kind of exciting, actually. Like who are we sourcing the beef from? Who are we doing this from where we got to what? We have our wine and beer license. You can finally get, like, a wine rep. I do remember the wine tasting for the part, obviously. Me.
And what about those pieces that we brought to it?
I mean, for TILIT. You know, I think one of the things that we've learned is that your vendors are really your partners. And I think we try to. Communicate that to our hospitality partners and our business because you want to rely on them. You want people to be reliable, you know, So I think that they can make and break your business. You don't have a reliable supply chain or something breaks down. So I think we've really something we've learned along the way is to treat everybody like a partner.
Some things. It sounds like a lot has happened. Why? How are we feeling? So. You mentioned at the top the call. You didn't get the. Hello? Alice grant, still waiting to hear from DoorDash. How does that put you in? Like a cash balance position?
I'm still doing okay right now. I was doing my projected expenses that have not been paid out like the second half of the architects fee. There's the rest of my SLA layer fee versus what I've spent already. So anticipated expense and what has been spent. I'm now at my initial projected budget with all of that, which means that I will go over a little bit. But right now it doesn't feel like I'm going to go over much. So that's really exciting because you always you always have this hope that you're going to be like, I'm only going to spend $50,000. And then by the end of it, it was like 175 and you're like, Oh.
So knowing that we've gotten so much done and knowing what's outstanding and that we're pretty in line with what I had projected, it makes me feel good. I'll still take all the grants I can get. I'll take all the money. There has been a lot of things that have helped help us align with our budget. We got all our dishes from Made in this week. Made-in is sponsoring our our dinner wear, and that saved us a huge chunk of money.
And they're the dishes that you wanted, the sort of more diner style. Tell us about them.
Yeah. So I had been exploring what direction to go, like to wear or like an earthenware ceramic style or a diner-style plate. Partly because that's what you would see in a mexican restaurant in a more low-key in a mexican restaurant. But also a lot of those plates get put under broilers or salamanders. And so I need to make sure that the dishware can hold up to that high heat and hold up to my staff and being thrown into a sink. And Made-in has these really beautiful I think that they're porcelain. They're made in they're made in England. But the these plates that have this black rim on them and they've got a really nice weight to them. They seem super sturdy. They're capable of being heated up to 500 degrees, which means they'd be great for the Salamander. They feel like they would handle a little bit of roughing around by staffs and bathtubs. And yeah, they look. They look good on the tables. And so they just kind of they really fit the bill for what we're trying to do here. They're they're classy and elevated, but they're also not too precious.
That's exciting. Pieces are coming together. The cosmetic stuff is happening.
We also we also started meeting with liquor and wine reps, which has been very exciting. We had a really, really fun meeting with Zev Rovine Jahday at Zev Selections came and met with me and Peter and Lani a couple of weeks ago, tasted us through a bunch of spirits and some of her selected wines. She got here at six and we left almost at midnight.
Oh my God.
It was a it was a it was a fun time. It was one of those things where she came in with the stuff that we were hoping to see. But then when we got to really connecting and talking and having really great conversation, she was like, Hold on, I got more stuff in my cart. You need to try this, you know, try this. And then her friends showed up to that runs this other organization called Black Girls Drink. And so she came to drink with us and then we were all just hanging out for hours. And it was really fun.
Are these people that you're getting connected to through John deBary, or you sort of like knew the distributors you wanted to work with?
I knew some of the spirits that I wanted to carry. So it was a that it was kind of a matter of that. So. Jahday and Zev Rovine They stock son Cliff Gen and it's a Tucson-based gin but it's queer owned that they actually are here in Brooklyn too. But they use high-desert herbs that they go and forage themselves in southern Arizona. So it was very fitting to the theme here. Plus it was queer-owned, I think I mentioned this before, that we're putting a very strong emphasis on working with distillers, winemakers, brewers or companies owned by women, black folks, LGBTQ plus, POC, people that are from marginalized communities and typically have less access to the market. So the majority of our spirits will check those boxes. They actually introduced us to some other really interesting spirits that are like worker cooperative-owned, too. So that's a really interesting social sustainability model that we're looking at exploring with some of our choices too. And that she, Jahday specifically, has this really incredible catalog, catalog and portfolio where she. It's like her own hand selects and it's all spirits and wines and ciders and performance. That are affiliated with any of those categorizations. So she was like the perfect person to bring in and start talking to about all of that.
So at least some of the fun stuff is happening, too.
So the last time you heard from us, we had brought you along to Ursula 1.0 where we talked to some of the team there who had been with them for a long time. And before that, we had gone also to Ursula 2.0 on Nostrand Avenue where Eric and Lani let us know what they were envisioning for that space. And that was the beginning of February when it was still very raw.
We're time traveling yet again. So we're headed back over to Nostrand, which is Ursula 2.0, to get an update on how the renovations are going and to see what kind of fun new design elements have been put in. Will there be tiles? Will there be paint? What are we going to see?
It's all a Blur. Every day is the same. Last time we were here, there was. We just walked in the front door. And last time we were here, there was, like, framing for the bar, but no actual bar.
Oh, you didn't see this? Yeah.
No, not the table top. Just the framing for it. So now, see the.
Yeah. So now we're here, and.
Fun part is beginning there.
The tiles on the front of the bar.
Beautiful, like. Like turquoise tiles. Have you ever seen those?
Yes, They call it. They call the colored Tulum. But I. I say turquoise. Yeah, well, if you add this one agean, we're going to throw a couple of these every once in a while.
Beautiful. So there's a lot of stuff in the space now. So now when we walk out, instead of the white board being on our left, there's tables and chairs.
And it's just. It's just a mess in here right now. There's tables everywhere.
The whole thing will be wrapped in tile or just the front.
The whole thing will be wrapped in tile.
We're talking about the bar.
The bar, the countertop. And then these are the other tiles for the bathroom.
They're mirror tiles.
You see, the mirror tile.
The subway, mirror tile. I'll show you. I started playing with them on the wall, going to look like. But as we make our way back there. Yeah, we've got the shelves behind the bar that were stained to match the wood on the tabletops and the countertops. We're going to do some antique mirror behind it. And if we can get it finished in time, we might have like a little Easter egg behind one of the mirrors etched into the back of the mirror. I'm really obsessed with my La Llorona.
Oh, yeah. I don't even know what that is, can you tell us?
Well, there's a lot of history behind it, but the my my connection to it was in New Mexico. There was a public service ad called "Ditches are Deadly, Stay Away". And we had these arroyos in New Mexico where all the whenever we had flash floods, you would channel the water out of more dangerous areas, but kids like to skateboard in them. So there was all these posters and signs everywhere to stay away from ditches. And the mascot for the whole campaign was like, La Llorona, who is a indigenous and Mexican fairy tale urban legend of this woman who drowned her kids in the river and then spent the rest of eternity walking up and down the river banks, crying, looking for them. (Alex: oh my god, laughs) But it's like you were always taught to like.
It was a cartoon version of her, but it was also that was just like one of those scary stories that I always liked when I was a kid. And you were just told to stay away from ditches or stay away from river banks or La Llorona what gets you so.
I'm Personally terrified at this moment.
There are stories that she the story of like you don't it goes back to like pre-colonial Mesoamerica also but then there's also some storylines that attach it to La Malinche. I don't know if you know that figure is, she's kind of thought of to be is like the birth of the first Mexican because she had a baby with, I think Guanate one of the Spanish conquistadors. Yeah. And also known as like the great betrayer of the indigenous people in Mexico, because she was going back and forth between, uh, the indigenous communities and the colonial settlers and kind of giving away all their secrets. So there's a lot of there's a lot of history behind the story of La Llorona.
So tell me how is the egg etched in the back of the mirror?
That it just that it's going to my brother is going to try to etch her face into the back of the mirror so that if you're like walking by and you'll catch it in the mirror, like looking at you.
And it'll be like behind the bottles, too. So yeah, I like those little things that when you're sitting down at the table, like waiting for food or is that where you are like on a really bad date and you're just like looking around and then you find weird little things in the... In the design. There's... the hell is the name of it...There's a mexican restaurant over in Gowanus that has really weird stuff hidden in the shelves. Yeah, Yeah. And their artwork, the murals on the wall I really love. But they have all kinds of weird, like little dolls and things hidden in the shelves of the liquor cabinet.
I love it.