In the interview, Gerardo Perez discusses his family's business in Cuba as well as in the States. He details in depth how he started his present restaurant, El Viejo Yayo. As Perez tells his story, he provides some insight into the effects of the Communist Revolution on his family and, to some extent, on the country as a whole. In addition, the dilemma of national dislocation, sponsorship and immigration is highlighted. He talks about his journey through Spain and Costa Rica before arriving in Brooklyn. Perez recalls his difficulty with learning English as a second language. Throughout the interview, he also mentions some cultural customs that his family has brought over from Cuba, and still practice today. Perez sees other problems that are affecting quality of life in New York City, and particularly Brooklyn. Crime is his main concern. He elaborates on how drugs and the number of robberies have escalated in the past few years, and what the police force is doing about it. However, Perez provides some insight into how the various restoration projects, in the past as well as in the late 1980s, have helped make Brooklyn a livable, growing borough. Interview conducted by Lucia Rodriguez.
Gerardo Perez, alias ''El Viejo Yayo," is originally from Guanabacoa, Cuba. When this 1989 interview occurred, he had lived in Brooklyn for twenty-four years with his wife, daughter, son-in-law and grandson. A restaurant entrepreneur by nature, Perez had spent most of his life working in restaurants.