Tuesday, February 3, 2009
I just saw him last week plying his trade last week. Joe Ades, the Union Square potato peeling pitchman has passed. He was a fixture in Union Square, drawing large crowds with his booming, unmistakable, Aussie-British accent. He sold a peeler that could peel 'virtually anything' for $5 a piece, or 5 for $20. I've gotta say, he sold a ton of those things. His pitch was unabashed and compelling. He was voted New York's most eccentric person by Gawker last year (although I thought the guy who jogs up Second Ave in women's lingerie may have deserved the prize). As it turned out, Joe Ades was fairly well off, perhaps rich. He stashed his product in the maid's room of his Upper East Side apartment. He enjoyed fine dining, and people were stunned when they asked him what he does for a living "I sell potato peelers on the street", he would respond according to the NY Times. A colorful personality that will certainly be missed.
His Stage, The Street; His Rapier, A Peeler (NY Times)