Comedy and coffee on the Erie Canal

Pictured above is 133 East Water Street in Hanover Square. Constructed in 1834, it’s one of the last remaining intact grouping of pre-1850 canal-oriented buildings in our city. The building was originally built as a three-story high warehouse with steeply pitched gable roofs, by 1855 a fourth-floor was added.

The north side of the building originally faced the Erie Canal. The large openings on the upper floors were used to unload goods directly from boats docked below. The goods were then displayed and sold in the showrooms on the first floor and stored on the upper levels.

The north side of East Water Street, showing the boats passing on the Erie Canal

Since the 1900’s, the building has been home to a variety of businesses including a cigar store, a grocery and market company and a drug store.

In 2002, the Coffee Pavilion moved into the first floor of the building. It housed a small coffee shop that provided live entertainment at night. One of those live entertainers was comedian, Jessimae Peluso.

Jessimae had graduated from Henninger High School in 2000 and moved to Boston to begin her career in stand-up comedy. Though she said she would often come home to find a place where she could perform longer than five minutes at a time, an opportunity the Coffee Pavilion, at 133 East Water Street, provided. Jessimae says the owners would let her use the space after hours to perform, which was vital to her growth because was able to do long sets without any restrictions.

Jessimae Peluso performing in New York City, photo by Juli Oliver

Jessimae now lives in Los Angeles and has made appearances on TBS’ “Deal With It”, NBC’s “Last Call with Carson Daly Spotlight”, “Comedy Central’s “@Midnight”, and E!’s “Chelsea Lately, to name a few. She was also a cast member of MTV’s “Girl Code”. Currently she is traveling all over the country performing stand-up as well as developing a couple different shows, writing a book and posting weekly episodes on her Sharp Tongue Podcast.

Born and raised on the Northside of the city, Jessimae returns home often to visit her family and performs locally each year at this time. She says she still stays in her childhood bedroom when she visits, “The only difference being there aren’t 100 posters of John Stamos on the wall, only 56.”

You can catch Jessimae this week at the Funny Bone in Destiny USA on Nov. 23rd, 25th, 26th and 27th.

When asked to describe her comedy, Jessimae says her mom stated she’s the “Female George Carlin”. Jessimae says “I’m not confident enough to say that about myself but I’m also not dumb enough to not accept it when someone else offers up a compliment like that. Especially when it’s my own mother.”