Gabriel Valencia

Twenty years as part of the family at Gregory & Paul's and Paul's Daughter on the Coney Island Boardwalk

Gabriel Valencia has worked on the Coney Island Boardwalk at Gregory & Paul's eatery, now called Paul's Daughter, for 20 years. He came to New York from Puebla, Mexico when he was just 18 to join his brother. Valencia learned English little by little, by talking with the customers at the counter. He has stayed at the job because Paul Georgoulakos and his family are good people who treat him "like family," he says. Today he tends the bar at the renovated restaurant, which is the oldest on the Boardwalk, having been founded at this location in 1962.  Valencia talks about Paul's hand-cut French fries and hand-painted signs, which are popular with regulars,  He not only lives and works in Coney Island, but spends his day off enjoying the beach and amusement rides with his wife and children.

This program is part of the Cultural Immigrant Initiative supported, in part, by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York City Councilman Mark Treyger.