Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Joe Ades, Union Square Potato Peeling Pitchman Dies


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)

2 comments:

  1. Oh no! I loved him!

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  2. I have been searching every article about his passing, but none of them so far say how and why he passed away. I wonder what was the cause. He was always so full of life and spirit. Everyone I know loved seeing him. He was one of the FEW good things left in this city, which is being destroyed with each passing day, by Bloomberg, developers, and all the shallow "Sex and the City" new comers. We Natives loved Mr. Ades SO MUCH.

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