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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Joe Ades The Peeler Man, and The King does Paparazzi !

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.

It was then when I got out of my office late so I couldn't get a taxi now and had time to kill before I got my bus home. There is a catering hall righ across the street from where I work that has celebrity functions all the time and in one of my prior posts I got pictures of Brett Favre and The New York Jets who were attending here as well.

There were only a few paparazzi waiting in front of a small red carpet with a banner for the World Wide Orphan foundation. I walked over with my camera in hand and asked this small Chinese paparazzi dude who was coming and he replied" The Weeds" are coming.

I had no clue what he was talking about so I asked the gentleman below who informed me he's just a tourist from France and he was just watching to see who was coming. His name is Eric and he came here to run the NYC marathon which he did successfully, so I congratulated him and as you can see he was wearing the medal that the finishers received for their well done achievement. I told him about my blog and would he mind if I took a pic of the medal and he was more than happy to do it . We give the French a lot of shit, but this guy was real gentleman with a sense of humor too joking with me that we were waiting to see someone we probably didn't know.
Here is a close up of the medal you get for running 26.2 miles in NYC.
As Borat would say...VERY NIIIIICE!!!!
I have no idea who these two women were and the paparazzi standing next to me didn't like me rubbing elbows with them as I snapped away and asked who are these people to which they wouldn't tell me.
Then the lady on the left heard me asking who they were and she asked where was I from and I jokingly replied "Fox News" to which she grunted something about how terrible and unprofessional they are. I told them as I was laughing I was kidding and the paparazzi people didn't find it funny at all. If you know who they are please tell me. I think the Asian woman is a newscaster. Not sure though.
So then my little Chinese paparazzi dude ran up to me and told me "WEEDS" was here, so I saw a tall bald guy in a tuxedo and asked my new friend " Is that the weeds? " He said" No No No ...The WOMAN !!" Oh ok..I recognize her thats Mary Mcdowell I said to a paparazzi next to me, to which she replied " No its not" ...hmmmm...ok waiting for a follow up from her to tell me who it is and she wouldn't tell me !!! Damn poopanazzis!!! I told her I know its Mary something and I'll find out on the internet anyway. And I did ...Mary Louise Parker from the Showtime series "WEEDS" which I've never seen. She is a good actress in the movies I saw her in and as you can see she looks pretty good at age 44.
Here she is looking into The Kings eyes and trying to seduce me....I'm not THAT easy !!

This is Mary Louise Parker and Dr. Jane Aronson who is an advocate and is on the Board of Directors for this foundation that helps orphans around the world.This is her website. Good stuff.

After that nice photo I screamed at the both of them which I was no further than 3 feet away " How about a funny face picture ?!?!?! " I do that all the time with my family, nieces, nephews etc..ITS FUN !!! However the pooparazzi started apologizing and put their cameras down telling Mary and Dr.Jane how unprofessional I am , but the Doctor MADE a funny face and I got the pic of it !!!

One paparazzi told me its people like me who are ruining the business, I told him " Go fuck yourself, this is show business and I got the money shot sucker!! "Even better I told them I have a blog with millions of readers who will get to view my photo which is funny !! And then the president of SBG communications Shanta Bryant Gyan who overheard all this nonsense, and who was running the event gave me a press packet and took my information and was laughing along with me as the poopanazzis were still trying to scold me.

Dr.Jane, you rock for making the funny face...Mary , lighten up, kids like funny faces and that's who you were there to help isn't it. As you can see she is still looking into my eyes trying to seduce The King.
The following is a video of what Dr. Aronson does to help children around the world .

So in closing, Joe Ades is a character that gives New York that special pulse along with actresses like Mary Louise Parker and dedicated professionals like Dr.Jane Aronson who achieve great things unselfishly for other people in need, and then there are pooparazzies who make our pulse a little weaker.....but that's where I come in and bring the pulse back to a proper rhythm and also why I'm The King Of New York Hacks. Peace Out Peeps.


  1. I am so jealous of you. Of course, I would have totally made a spectacle of myself when I ran up and slobbered all over Mary Louise Parker. I love her so.
    Also, you need to watch Weeds. It's all kinds of awesome.
    And I want one of those peelers. I could watch that guy all day.

  2. Oh you are wearing me out. MOre than I can take or absorb in one sitting!( You might need some ADHD medication). I see a zillion stangers here. The Peeler is my fav. Strangetastes at St. Louis DP did a great portrait of him this summer. Try and find it.
    King, you're a trip, that's for sure. I think this will be a wild ride for us!HA
    PS I still have not addressed the "bull". I don't know quite how to do that. We southern belles have our standards you know.....HAAAA!

  3. That was absolutely fantastic! I want MORE!! MORE news from New York!!!

    I saw that fella with the peeler on a news show somewhere- was It Sunday Morning on CBS? Loved that damn post.

  4. Now That we have Obama as our new Prez. I hope this small business man can survive the high taxes he's about to pay. I might have to stock up on those peelers cause that's the only thing I'll be able to afford to eat (potato's) for the next 4 years. GOD BLESS AMERICA AND GOD HELP US ALL !!!

  5. Enough cool stuff in this post to have made three cool posts! I thought I had every kitchen gadget known to man, but I was wrong...

  6. I have to go look for that gadget too, though I'm pretty sure I'd peel my fingers with it.

    Hilarious papparazzi story; I'll keep checking in to see if anyone figures out who the first 2 were.

  7. My husband loves kitchen gadgets and that is one we don't have yet! Maybe with your video, I can convince him to make a trip to NYC just for the peeler...

    I miss it there, and your posts are wonderously refreshing. Thanks King!

  8. the couple you are trying to figure out is none other than Andy Dick and Julie Chen. They were there to adopt an orphan. I saw them later on that night at Eddies sweet shop in Queens sharing an egg cream

  9. I love the potato peeler. :) I watched the video twice, he's a great salesman. :)

    An I love that you got the funny face photo! :)

  10. Holy cow. Once he sees that you've written about him on your blog sales are going to go through the roof.

  11. You know you're good at your job when you're selling potato peelers! And yes...I do want one.

  12. To you I will confide my most passengers number, 13 guys from the SAE house, and they didn't even have the sense to put the pledges on the bottom.

    I had a professional pan handler in the cab Halloween night. Charming fellow. I simply had to pick him up. I'm a shared ride cab and the bozo in the front seat was bitching about me trying to get more rides to fit with his. Nothing like a scruffy black guy with about 1/2 his teeth to fit with a guy who doesn't like to share a ride.

    Question: Why does your blog have a verification in it, and others not have it?

    One more little thing. Recall my dad died in Sept.? My mom died Tues of last week. I knew she would if my sister told her about my dad, my sister was waiting for her to die because she wanted her stuff. It's been one hell of a fall so far, don't you think?

  13. Thanks for your visit and comment. Virginia didn't tell you that I'm an expat New Yorker. In fact, I grew up on the exact block in Sunnyside where Ming the Merciless lives now. My short biography is that I was born in Manhattan, grew up in Queens, went to high school in the Bronx and then St. Louis U. was the college farthest away from home that let me in. Married a Kansas farm girl and here I am.

    I took that pic of Ades last 4th of July weekend when I was doing a photo walk around lower Manhattan with Ming (Ming the M., not the just Ming Ming). Joe is a trip but we've never been able to get that damn peeler to do anything for us. In fact, we threw it out the other day. And he lives on Park Avenue? I wonder if he reports all his sales to the IRS.

    You are a photographer and writer of stunning energy and devotion. I'll stop by often. My wife and I will be in the area the weekend after Christmas so maybe we can say hello.

    PS: I love Pirsig's work, too.

  14. Thanks for visiting NYC-DP.

    Love your blog and your wonderful sense of humor. :-)

    So does the peeler work as well as it was demonstrated by Mr. Ades?

  15. OMG! I've seen the peeler man across the street from my office on sixth ave! I had no idea he was famous!
    Great post!
    :) Robin

  16. Wow--I'm sure there's no shortage of blog fodeer as a NYC cab driver! I could probably write quite a few posts on some of my experiences riding on NYC cabs! Like the tme my cab driver and another guy got into a fist fight--well first a car chase, then a fist fight and my sister and I ran away in a panic. Oh, and we were carryng this giant stuffed Easter rabbit...

    That potato peeler guy is a cool character! I would buy his peeler!

  17. Cool post...thanks for visiting my blog. BTW...all cab drivers seem to be the most interesting best conversations took place in a cab with the driver! Always insightful! I hope you give Obama a chance ...I think he is the real deal!
    Was this one day? I mean make my day look wonder I have great conversations in a cab!

  18. Wow excellent post! Can you ship me one of those peelers!! I'm a culinary utensil junkie and I CAN'T HELP IT... What a cool city you live in!!!

    - Jennifer

  19. Weeds is a must-see show. MLP is probably my favorite actress, and I, like sherendipity, would have make a ridiculous spectacle of myself.

    And maybe on my next trip up to the city i need to keep an eye out for that potato peeler..

  20. What an incredibly fun day you had! Faux paparazzi indeed - you got the only interesting shot. I do enjoy seeing the City through your eyes - never stop blogging :-)

  21. Dude, I've never seen that guy but I sat there and watched the whole video.

    He could sell ocean lots in Arizona.

    And if that girl stared at me, I'm sure I would've done something stupid.

  22. Great now I know what to tell my sister to get for me for xmas. That is if she'll venture downtown...Weeds is a great show and the old ones can be seen via video. You should check it out.
    Ya gotta love those NYC street vendors!

  23. @ sherendipity- I will watch weeds and next time slobber all over Mary for ya.

    @ giggle pixie-of course I can capture cool, you're here aren't you? ;-)

    @ virginia-yeah the peeler rocks, and I'm all out of ADHD medicine so expect more crazy stuff and enjoy the wild ride !

    @ vodka mom- coming to ya as fast as I can get it VM.

    @ schlitze-you can stock up on them but only one man can sell them.Joe Ades the peeler dude.

    @ buffalodick-yeah it was an all over the place post, but thats New York for you.

    @ gnightgirl-fingers, yes lucky o have mine still. I tried it on a stick of pepperoni,not good results.Think I'll stick to the potatoes and carrots.

    @ legal diva-definitely worth the trip to see him live, qhite a character.Glad I can keep you up to date !

    @ hungry mother- Its what I do Hungry Mother..Its what I

    @ schlitze-they don't look smart enough to know about the famous eddies sweet shop!!

    @ lisaschaos-Next time I'll use the peeler to bribe both of them to make a funny face !!

    @ dr zibbs- i heard today he sold one to every cab driver and is now a male prostitute.

    @ ace c- anytime brother, good luck.

    @ queen bee- absolutely selling peeler and drinking good champagne you gotta be good !!

    @ real cab driver- 13? You rock RCD !!Sorry for your troubles, sending you much love from NYC where you will always have a friend in The King.Good times always lay ahead.

    @ strangetastes-great bio, thanks for the compliments and it would be my pleasure to say hello to you one day. You are one of the few people I've ever met who even know Persig. Great stuff. And the peeler? I'll give it a few more chances but I haven't been able to do what Joe did!!

    @ ming the merciless-It works , but not in my hands as well as Joe's !! Maybe I need a lesson?!?!

    @ robin- you saw him and didn't buy the are one of the few.

    @ jennifer-I cant believe that was you in my cab as I chase down and kick peoples asses !! Small World ! ;-)

    @ rondas rants- ditto, I get to meet a great assortmant of people and hear some great stories.

    @ jennifer and sandi- of couse I can send you one...first one's free and you know how that goes lol

    @ recovering actor-just ordered the first two seasons of weeds from my library, and yes its fun to be a spectacle in front of celebrities !

    @ suburbantaxigirl- thanks for agreeing that it WAS the money shot !! and I'll never stop blogging as long as everyone keeps reading !

    @ slick-dude, that actress checked out my blog last night and ran away with the peeler guy today. Damn I should have done something stupid.

    @ lulda casadaga-Got the Weeds on order , and next time I'll try to get a diamond vendor so your sis can really get you a nice gift!!

  24. Years ago, my mother used to tell me I should be an author. That was a problem because I was funcitionally illiterate. I couldn't write a 1 page, 3 paragraph essay. With practice, this has changed of course. So, my goal at this point is to be an author. Perhaps I will dedicate that first book to my mother, and you my fried, for your encouragement.

  25. I'm sold.

    And I was just asking my hubby the other day if I could maybe get a new peeler for Christmas.

    Only in New York, Baby!

  26. Great post!! I love that peeler guy, every time I run into him somewhere he always manages to convince me into buying another one haha! Do you know what kinda books he use to sell?

  27. saw your blog about a month ago and it took me this long to find it again, i am going to save it some place this time. great post. i feel like i was there. great funny face photo! going to NYC next spring, will have to look for the peeler guy! i'll be back.

  28. Great stories. Sounds like no day is ordinary with you, adding spice to everything you stumble upon around town.

  29. Awesome, me and the family were just talking about the peeler. There is clearly an epidemic of certain people who can't take a joke. The pooperazzi are probably just insecure, when in the presence of the king.

  30. I think he could sell ice to an eskimo at 28 below. :)

    Mary Louise cracks me up on Weeds, I wish she'd have made a funny face.

  31. Mary was totally into you. I love the Peeler Man, that was a pretty nice outfit he had on. And Veuve Cliquot? That is damn good stuff.

  32. I F@*ing LOVE YOU. What a great story. I can't believe you got a press packet. LOL. That's amazing. and the story about the peeler guy. I guess it just goes to show you that you just need to believe in what your selling, a peeler, a blog, whatever. Great read, again.

  33. Ha! I just saw that potato peeler man on a Sunday news program. So fun to come and see him here. I do envy all the famous faces you must see.

  34. Aww, I so miss New York. I haven't been north in 18 years. Bummer...


    The peeler man is amazing, I love his accent. I want one of those peelers. Good stuff.

    And I LOVE that the doctor made a funny face for the kids!!! Amazing.

    I grew up in New York---Staten Island, actually. Midland Beach. You should check out my Larrow blog. There are some pictures.

    Thanks for your comment on my Pitfalls blog. You are entertaining AND sweet. Thank you.