Joseph Ades, the man who could sell anything -- but especially vegetable peelers -- died Sunday at the age of 75.
Born in England but with a voice that recalled Australia, Joseph Ades was a legend in New York City. He was featured in the Daily News, Vanity Fair and other publications which he displayed next to the little table where he sold vegetable peelers. The peelers flew out of his hands like magic.
The New York Times wrote a fitting obituary of this man who appeared to be many things to many people -- "The white-haired man with the British accent, the expensive European suits and shirts — the man selling the $5 peeler. For carrots. Or potatoes."
According to the Times, he was a regular at expensive East Side restaurants, where no one believed his answer to the “So what do you do?” question: “I sell potato peelers on the street.”
Gawker picked him as one of the grand eccentrics of New York; The New York Press said, "No finer peddler exists in New York."
Joseph Ades was a regular on Court Street in Downtown Brooklyn, and in front of the fountain at Brooklyn Borough Hall during the farmer's market.
McBrooklyn shot the above video of this amazing salesman at work on Court Street in July of 2007.
Now we wish we had one of the peelers. We just thought he'd always be there.
- Joseph Ades -- NYC's Most Successful Street Vendor -- In Brooklyn Now
Video Copyright 2007, 2008, 2009 MK Metz
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