Last night, friends of Bob Arihood gathered outside Ray’s Candy Store at 7th Street and Avenue A to pay their respects. Bob passed away last week, and about 60 people met at his old hangout to say goodbye to the man who had left such a mark on them and the neighborhood itself.
The vigil started at 8 p.m. and lasted for over an hour. A police officer came to ask the crowd, which had swelled to take over the entire sidewalk, to make a path. “Not now, not now,” said a woman who had come to remember Bob. The officer returned to his squad car, but its presence remained until the vigil ended.
Friends took turns sharing memories of the photographer, blogger, and citizen journalist. A neighbor spoke about Bob nursing a squirrel back to health after it ate rat poison; a young man wept as he recalled Bob taking the time to explain to him all the functions of his new camera; Ray Alvarez, owner of Ray’s Candy Store and the subject of many of Bob’s photographs and writing, simply said, “Bob was my best friend.”
After the vigil, we walked through Tompkins Square Park and noticed it had never looked so empty. Everyone was across the street at the Avenue A bar Lucy’s, celebrating their friend Bob.
Here’s a collection of other accounts and photos from last night: