In memory of La Caridad

In memory of La Caridad

mike skliar's picture



Liner Notes: 

I just heard yesterday that a classic restaurant here on the UWS of Manhattan, La Caridad, is closing after over 50 years. It was one of what used to be a number of "Chino-Latino" (Chinese/Cuban) restaurants, and was one of the last of its kind. This pandemic has really done a number on so much of society, and this is just one victim. (And yes, its just a few blocks from the Beacon Theatre- used to go there before or after whatever we were seeing there, that or Nick's (which closed a few years ago). Oh and yes, that is one of those 'classic rock' chord progressions- I used it without even thinking, tho in fairness, the song everyone knows this progression from was not the first rock song to use it (hint- it was used by a certain British flute-playing band first, I guess between those two songs the progression stuck in my head)

Recorded kind of 'on the fly'- using a latin rhythm from my old Casio keyboard (cheap speaker and all), recorded on the iPhone live with guitar and vocal and that rhythm blasting, with additional rhythm provided by this 'music memo' app on my phone. then a quick fly-in to audacity on my PC to clean it all up a bit, add a little bit echo and compression, cut the low frequencies, etc.


In Cuba, a Chinese man named Rafael Lee
Mixing those cultures, then arriving in this country
Opens La Caridad at 78th and Broadway
Down the street from Nick’s, Zabars and Fairway

Ropa vieja, rice and beans, plantains and lo mein
Nothing anywhere else was quite the same
Cuban-Chinese cuisine, an essential late-night hang
After a show at the Beacon theater, I’d be there with my gang

Now there’s no shows at the Beacon, no gatherings this year
La Caridad and Nick’s both gone now, and more will be gone I fear
I’m starting to dream of dishes from restaurants long gone
The dream crumbles daily while reality drags on

(c) M. Skliar 2020

Please keep your comments respectful, honest, and constructive. Please focus on the song and not the demo.


coolparadiso's picture

Interesting real story well done. Great opening beat and Lovely guitar as it moves on!

metalfoot's picture

Lovely tribute to the restaurant and its role in your life. Nice beat and guitar to propel the lyric forward!

billwhite51's picture

i like the sound you have on this one. It sounds like you are playing in the subway really late at night. One of my favorite eateries in Seattle just closed for good. I used to have an apartment on their second floor. We did Seattles first punk show there. a band called Chinas Comidas with New york poet Cynthia Genser on vocals.We told the manager on duty we were hired to play for an hour and we finished before he had time to find out from the owner that no such agreement existed. I cant imagine New York without its hangs..

ductapeguy's picture

That is a great groove and a great story. It comes off like beat poetry meets a Cuban dance band. Yes, the progression and groove are familiar but they might lead to a repeated outro of "What will survive?" to the Gloria Gaynor melody.

Technicolor Gramophone's picture

I know the place from Seinfeld! ("I don't think more flan is the answer.") Great grooving drum track and acoustic guitar ... kind of like an updated "Me and Julio Down at the Schoolyard.") Rocking!