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Thursday, February 12, 2009

The King, Year of the Ox, Chinatown New Year , Gung Hay Fat Choy !!!!! Shortened it up a bit.

The Ox is thought to be the sign of prosperity through fortitude and hard work. The Ox is a power sign, like the Rat, Snake, Dragon, Tiger, and Monkey. The King Of New York Hacks is year of the Monkey. They're quite dependable and possess an innate ability to achieve great things. As one might guess, such people are dependable, calm, and modest. Like their animal namesake, the Ox is unswervingly patient, tireless in their work, and capable of enduring any amount of hardship without complaint. Sounds a lot like a New York City taxi driver called the King Of New York Hacks.....hmmmmmm don't you agree ??

If ever lost in Chinatown, this gazebo has all the info you need in Chatham Square, great place to get a pic of yourself as if you were in China.

I love the hidden treasures that we take for granted as we walk by some of the most unique items that exist in this city such as this dragon handrail post. ONLY in Chinatown.

Awesome....I have to get one of these....that breathe fire of course.

Red Lanterns under the Manhattan Bridge. Since ancient times. The red lantern of China is not merely a kind of illuminations, it symbolizes the happiness even more, happy and beautiful yearning for the future.

Even the Chinese want the Bull to have some luck and get us back to working and living a more quality life.

Strange foods you will see everywhere in Chinatown , such as this dried out squid.

Another kind of squid.

Baby spearings.

Dried out Jellyfish...yuck.

While celebrating Chinese New Year all over China, each place has their own characteristics.But there is only a common Chinese symbol, every place is the same,this is a red lantern of China.

A very nice row of inspiring lanterns for the upcoming year.

Walking by the windows of Chinatown is great because you NEVER know what you will see. I saw these fish , and if I wanted to eat one , all I need to do is go in to the restaurant point at the fish, they cook it and give it to me. No words spoken. That's what I love about Chinatown.

They have shops with elegant and quite elaborate designs which are stunning. I think I'll get my girlfriend one. They look too good , I wonder how much they are? I'll find out.

Ahhhhhhhh....more live food just taunting me to start eating. Crabs...mmmmmmmmmm.

What am I lookinat ?!??!? What the F*** are you looking at you damn dungeoness crab. Geez, New Yorker crabs got attitude !!!

This wasn't a live fish , but it was cool to see a spiny blowfish from China albeit a taxidermy one.

And so we see our first dancing lion.

Here comes the crowd, and all the clanging and drums beating...very exciting.

A beautiful tapestry with some sort of warrior on it.

My nephews who are identical twins and were the one's who were so enthused about me bringing them to Chinatown. One of them will have a kidney transplant next month so please say a prayer for him.They both have the same kidney problems however one got worse quicker. Great kids, and they LOVE Chinese food, AND Chinese women !!!!

My friend explained in the restaurant we ate at a Phoenix on the left and the Dragon on the right. Very significant creatures in their culture.

The Phoenix.

The Dragon.

The ritual is the owner will hand the group of dancers a red envelope with money in it , and the dancing lion will come in and bring good luck and keep bad spirits away. I caught this lion bowing just as he spun and danced back out into the street. Fun stuff.

We then witnessed many dancing lions and one went into the Chase bank where I'm sure he got a BIG RED ENVELOPE !!!

Another Lion , this golden lion exits a place with a glowing sun making him shine.

Red Lion head mask.Each color represent different meanings. You can read about it here if you like. Very interesting backgrounds.

The Lions usually consist of two people and the Dragons at least ten to operate efficiently. All are usually martial artists.

Even this guy was so scared he turned white !!!

Those tubes are confetti shooters that blast confetti about 30 feet high and they cost five bucks a pop. Fireworks are banned in the city now, but plenty of people were blasting these tubes of celebration.That beautiful girl in the middle is Miss. Fujianese !!! The King don't mess around !!

They must have made a bundle selling these confetti tubes , people loved them and every one was having fun playing with it as it snowed confetti on us !!

This was my favorite dragon and it did the best dance of the day I thought.

Click on the pic to watch this hypnotic Dragon dance !!

Two young Chinese children in traditional garb snapping those little fircrackers that pop when they hit the ground.

They were having a ball !!! Yet so was I !!!!!

The Cops !!!! Run !!!! No worries, this time he's leading the next group of dancers.

These tapestries are exquisite and some have been used for many years !

Keeping the rhythm of the day going strong !! Bang that drum brother !!!

Great place to view it all from.

In Chinese this sign says "WE Love You King Of New York Hacks !!! "

And when they saw me they let the confetti rain on me !! So thoughtful of the community !!

This is one of the largest red lantern displays I have ever seen. These are VERY expensive and it really did add some great scenery to Chinatown that day .

Now inside this store , I have never ,EVER seen this for to guess???????
Go to next pic an I'll tell you.

A genuine crocodile claw, which I wouldn't even know how to cook or eat.

You can buy the whole arm if you prefer.

Or a good old fashioned Boars Head.

And as we rounded out the day we stopped in front of one of the biggest buddhist temples for a quick pic. Don't forget, that little nephew on the left is getting a kidney transplant and his identical brother will as well one day , so please say one prayer for both of them and the donor.

The King and his posse were lucky enough to be in an herbal store when one of the lions came to give luck, and we filmed it first hand. Hpefully year of the ox will be good for all of us.

To see more videos go to you tube

In closing I wish you all a Happy New Year again and hope I have been able to show you just a glimpse of what Chinatown is, and if you are born year of the Ox, hopefully you have a fantastic year !!! Me , I'm just a monkey, however I still am The King Of New York Hacks. Peace out Chinese food eaters.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Death of a Salesman, one of New York's best. Joe Ades.

Click to read obituary.
Joe Ades Obituary NY TIMES

I wrote the following article in November of this past year when I was fortunate to find Joe Ades preparing his craft of selling peelers outside my day job. I talked with him, learned a bit about him and am really happy I photographed and videotaped his entire pitch. He was a sales icon of the city streets for many years and he will be missed. I found out he passed on from an email that The New York Times sent me requesting a picture from my sight , however I didn't get the email until late last night and there were plenty of other photos on the net. This is a repost of my article in tribute to Mr. Ades who was what New York is all about. If you have not read it before, you will enjoy it, and if you have, enjoy it again. I'm glad I have a peeler from Joe, I will think of him often, just as I did the day before I found out he passed on while I peeled carrots with it. Life. Always playing tricks on us. My condolences to the Ades family.

From November 2008:

Joe Ades is an infamous moving landmark who traverses the city streets pitching his one product, a potato peeler. Yes, you heard me, a potato peeler. He refers to himself as a "grafter" and not a salesman, he pointed out to me that he learned his trade in impromptu markets over in England where people would be hawking their own items like shoelaces to cough medicine. There is a reason he sits down which is how all the grafters did it in England he says because you can have a crowd around you and by passers can't see what's going on and therefore will be so curious that they will join the audience and watch Joe's brilliant performance.

He is 74 years old and this is him set up on Wall St Monday morning when I got to my day job. I spoke to him briefly as he ate his early lunch preparing for a busy day he told me. I then saw him later on my own lunch break and video taped this New York legend. He is supercool and does what he does better than anyone I've ever seen pitch a product on the streets of New York. Joe lives on Park Avenue and frequents The Hotel Pierre bar where he is known to polish off bottles of Veuve Cliquot champagne along with the regulars who know him very well there as I learned later. Read on, check out his work and enjoy the videos I took of him on my lunch break.

As you can see he decided to turn around and face Trinity Church when I returned on my lunch.

This is the bucketful of the product he sells, Star peeler.

He also shows off on his cart all the notoriety he has gotten in the past from Vanity Fair, The Daily News and the New York Post and others. Surely my article will be on there as well if Joe wants to make even more money.
Definitely a slice of the action, he just sits there and creates a buzz. Wherever he goes.
Joe on the Post.
More media publicity.
The Perfect Pitch man begins his routine, no one around, he just starts talking and showing how the peeler works and slowly people stop and listen. Cool stuff.
Now he's getting them hooked.
Showing off his Iron Chef skills.
I wonder if he is a Guinness book candidate for most carrots peeled ever?
Hook....Line....and BUYER !!!! She looks quite happy with her purchase !!

In the following videos you can hear a guy trying to ask him about the books he sold ten years ago to which he ignores, stays professional and continues on, also in the second video which shows his full show. The bells of Trinity Church are ringing but Joe can drown them out with his passion for the peeler.

And yes indeed......The King had to buy a few too, thats my hand holding this AMAZING product that you know you want to have now.

So in closing, Joe Ades was a character that gave New York that special pulse and New York has certainly lost its pulse for a moment, but that's where new people like Mike Alaska The Drummer, Otis Houston The Black Cherokee, ALL my fellow NYC taxi bloggers, ALL my blog readers, New Yorkers, and I come in to bring the pulse back to a proper rhythm. Thanks for being a vein in the heart of the city pumping for so long Joe. It's the people who make up the arteries of this city to make it the great city it is, not greedy executives, unscrupulous politicians, billionaire socialites whose husband was pardoned by Clinton, lying brokers,crooked cops who shake down bars in Staten Island or the Mayor who pays them so little that they are driven to these acts of desperation and crime. Damn shame that it is.

Its us ....The People.

Joe worked hard, kept it simple and REAL.

Today Joe Ades, you are The King of New York, and one day I will help you peel some potatoes where you are in peace, as I will be one day too. Thanks for the memories Joe. Peace out peelers.