Dissapointment: No Denny’s and the Death of a Legend

Joseph Ades: Gentleman Vegetable Peeler Salesman. Union Square, NYC

 

Despite all the Denny’s hoopla, I didn’t get a free Grand Slam today.  No sir, not me.  No freebee for the master freeloader himself.  It’s my own damn fault really.  We got out of the house way too late.  

Luckily, when my girlfriend and I were heading down to Denny’s she had the foresight to call ahead.  The answer from the other end of the phone was grim: at least an hour wait.  Given that we both had to go to work after breakfast, we had to opt out of beautiful, greasy freeness and hit up the food court at the mall instead.  It wasn’t half bad, but it sure wasn’t free either.

The real reason for today’s disappointment though was that I found out about the death of Joe Ades, New York’s gentleman street peddler.  For those of you who’ve read through my NYC book you’ll remember him from my description of Union Square where I said:

 

“Then there’s Joseph Ades, a 70 something year old British man, in a tweed coat, who Vanity Fair called ‘The Gentleman Grafter’.  Known to most of us as ‘that old British guy who sells the vegetable peelers’, Ades is possibly the best salesman in New York; he makes enough money selling $5 veggie peelers from Switzerland, that he lives in the Upper East Side and drinks expensive champagne every night.  Although he does his spiel and demonstration all over the city, you can often find him in the north west corner of Union Square. Considering that I started off selling $5 zines from a backpack, this guy is my fucking hero.”

 

Joseph Ades is an inspiration to all of us who hustle our asses off for the shit that we believe in, whether that thing be travel books or $5 vegetable peelers.  Peep the great obituary the NY Times did on him here.  If you ask me they should erect a statue of him near where he used to do his thing in Union Square.  Anyone know how to make that happen?

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About the author

Broke-Ass Stuart - Editor In Cheap

I've been called "an Underground legend": SF Chronicle , "an SF cult hero": SF Bay Guardian, and "the chief of cheap": Time Out New York, but to those familiar with my work, I'm just "that douchebag who writes books about cheap stuff and drinks a lot".