Lucky Phan, a 15-year-old who came from Jersey City to open mic night to support his friend Jeremy Freiere.
Aleena Gonzalez: "I chose to sing 'Breathe in the Heights' because I've always been into musical theater. I love doing plays -- it fits me a lot."
Jeremy Freire: "I chose this song called 'Moon on the Water' by the artist Beat Crusaders because it reminds me of this girl. She's far away, but I really, really love her. It's just a feeling I had to express."
Anthony Ellison: "The song I sung was 'Journey Through The Decade.' It was originally sung by jpop singer Gackt, but was remodeled for this generation by the Kamen Rider Girls. It's pretty much telling people that no matter what happens you have to push through your journey to the decade."
Maira Sanchez: "Tonight I sang a lullaby, from the videogame Clockwork Knight. The game was released in 1996 on the Sega Saturn. It's based on a knight who has to save a princess, it's more, like, related to Mario games. It's one of my favorite games so that's why I chose it."
Ivan Yeung: "I have a lot of friends that come here. It's more of a chill spot for me. Most of the people who come here like anime and japanese culture -- and yeah, the menu is all, like, Japanese food, so that's what brings people here. My favorite part is how the maids are dressed, all pink and white-ish. It's cute."
Mizuki, one of the maids not on the clock this evening.
Tell me about having two separate names, one for work, one for private.
We like to keep things private. Work is work, private matters are private matters. It's always been like that, even in cafes in Japan.
What is day to day like working at the cafe?
I think it's just like normal waitressing, except we have to dress differently and we have to greet our guests differently. For the greeting, it's always the same thing for everybody, but it depends on your gender. It's always in Japanese, for females it translates to "my princess" and for males it translates to "my master."
Meghan Woods: "I actually work in a mobile maid cafe, Tenshi No Ai. Their motto is cuteness comes in all forms. They took the idea that this cafe is trying to promote here from Japan, but they're saying you don't have to fit a certain stereotype to still be considered cute. You can be anything and you can still promote yourself, and yourself is just as cute and attractive. Right now we move around to different conventions."
Marina: "Me and my sister are kind of obsessed with all things Asian. I'm part Japanese and we just love anime and stuff like that. I like Naruto and Soul Eater, they're my favorites. My sister convinced me to come in and try it -- so far it's cool. A lot of people think maid cafes are weird but we just love it."
Satoshi Yoshimura, owner: "This generation is changing really fast because of the Internet. All the information is there. All the information from other parts of the world -- we share that similar information together. Whether you are from Japan, Korea, or China, people have very a similar idea of what this life is all about. This is a chance for me as a Japanese man to introduce what you're missing physically in New York. Many people already have information about what this culture is about, but they don't have the physical access. The timing felt right to open up the Maid Cafe."
Sorry, guys, New York still doesn’t have a cat cafe, but at least there’s this: Tuesday, the city’s first Tokyo-style maid cafe launched an open-mic night. Which seemed like a great time to head to Chinatown to see what Maid Cafe NY was all about.
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