FRIED RICE started out as a fun nickname for the artistic and cultural diversity of our neighborhood in New York City's Lower East Side. In an era recently plagued by xenophobia and fear of the "other", we have always seen this small grid of city blocks as a place of inspiration, diversity, creativity and affinity for the uncommon perspective. It's disparate elements are all mashed-up into something greater than its parts.
Walking up Essex Street near Seward Park on an average day you might come across an old man sitting on the fountain playing a traditional flute, his melody layered over the sounds of hiphop and neighbors battling it out on the basketball courts while speaking in several languages. This is just down the block from the punk rock hall, the deli, the mosque, the taco stand, the mahjong rooms, the storefronts of young entrepreneurs and the uncompromising creativity rising up from each corner. Founder and designer MAYA used to joke with friends that the area was "like fried rice … all mixed up in a good way".
Today we are fortunate to have grown into an international community of friends, artists, customers … all inspired by creative minds.
The "FRIED RICE" idea born on Essex Street has since evolved into an aspiration that means everything: to celebrate and support the diversity of cultural and creative perspectives in urban life here and around the world.