Alfredo Rovayo, 57
Prince and Thompson Sts.
Mon Nov 1 2010
Photograph by Allison Michael Orenstein
Hold on. I know you. I have a portrait of you somewhere in my apartment. Ah, si, you painted at the Art Students League, then.
I did, and you were the model. Weird. Yes. I did it for seven years. Not anymore.
Do you get recognized like this all the time? Tons of New Yorkers must have paintings of you kicking around. No, no, I'm not famous in any way. I just needed to make money. [Laughs] Now I make movies. I'm an actor. I also sell paintings and jewelry.
You're an art model, actor, painter and jeweler? Yes, yes, yes. And I think I'm going to Sudamerica in one month. Not to leave forever New York, but [for] a few months, I think so. I have a business there.
Jewelry? Art dealing? No, a hotel called Bajo el Volcan in Baos, Ecuador. Under the volcano.
Do you ever worry that the volcano is going to erupt? No, I never worry. For many years it's the same story, same story, and nothing happens. Besides, it's an attraction for the tourists.
Are you from Baos? No, I'm from Quito. I study medicine, I study law...and really, my profession is soccer coach.
Wait, what? So, we've got actor, jeweler... You're a doctor, too?[Laughs] I study medicine two years in Spain. It was a long time ago.
Maybe you should tell me what you don't do. Do you play basketball? No, no. I no like basketball.
More from Alfredo
"I have a few different shows I act in. The last show I had in Sweden for four years. The people there think I am Indian."
"My family from Ecuador [has] come visit me right now. I have my sister, my niece and her kids. Today I was shopping for the kids."
"I came to New York because I was married with an opera singer from Sweden and she wanted to come here. I had my life over there in Sweden—I was soccer coach. But she wanted to sing in New York. So it was an accident that I come to America. I never had the idea of coming to New York. But I like it; I decide to stay, you know?"