New York Daily Photo Analytics

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Joe Ades - Gentleman Peeler


I have observed this vegetable peeler salesman for years at Union Square - he is nearly always surrounded by a crowd - see more photos here. Joe Ades, 72, is a remarkable pitchman; people watch just to see his impassioned sales style, selling his peelers at $5 a clip (which he claims are from Switzerland and unavailable elsewhere - click here for photo). A terrific in depth article was done by Vanity Fair in the May 2006 issue titled The Gentleman Grafter. You can read the story here. I learned that Joe, impeccably dressed, dines in fine restaurants with his fourth wife, drinks Veuve Clicquot at Cafe Pierre and retires to a three bedroom apartment on Park Avenue - however it was not clear how much of his posh lifestyle is a product of his own accumulated money versus his wife's. In this photo, you see Joe displaying a 1994 newspaper article and an image from the Vanity Fair cover. Although the magazine exposé uncovers tidbits I'm sure Joe would rather not make public, he knows what good promoters know - all news is good news. His notoriety will just bring more people to watch the artist at his work ...

Note: Joe Ades died Sunday, February 1.

17 comments:

Olivier said...

Superbe reportage, vraiment surprenant ce personnage...

kris said...

may be i should check for franchise details....

dutchie said...

We have some sales men like that on our markets. They either peel something or clean cars or clothes which have stains that go out ever so easily as long as you use their fabulous product.
And as for Joe's wealth; maybe he's running another gig by selling his potatoes and peeled carrots to fancy restaurants.

karine said...

This is the kind of stuff only NY can give and that I like to read about. Fascinating story :)

Nathalie said...

Fascinating picture... and story !
Nathalie

Sally said...

Thanks for bringing us that story..compelling.

Jing said...

i like this photo and this old guy, Joe Ades.
:)
thats his life he choose...

Sadia said...

I love that I know this story through the daily photo site. Your site is amazing and I admire your quality photos day after day. Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

Can hardly believe that we have "found" Joe Ades! It's been at least 30years since he was a "legend" here in Sydney Australia, selling from the back of a truck. Part of his spiel was "hold your money" while he "bunged" on another item to the sale.
Will be in N.Y. Sept. 08, so hope he is well know to the cabbies.
Pink Elephant.

Anonymous said...

Joe's motto was he could wake up pennyless and drink champagne that night.

Anonymous said...

Here's a link to photos of the Gentleman Peeler http://www.flickr.com/groups/948791@N22/pool/

Jingjing said...

HI,every one! I come from China, in my end, I searched his invigorative sale romaunt occasional,but after I read his whole story,I am sure I like to read it and share it with all my friends!

Wish you can have free time to buy a true peeler from him,because you all have chance to buy!Good luck.

Anonymous said...

I just read in teh New York Times that Mr. Ades passed away this weekend. This was announced by his family.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/03/nyregion/03ades.html

Such a sad day at the Farmer's Market.

Anonymous said...

The Vanity Fair article is available here:

http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/features/2006/05/grafter200605?currentPage=all

(I didn't see any risque tidbits uncovered. He seems to be a very interesting, self-aware 'grafter' )

Anonymous said...

rest in peace, joe. the news of your passing has made me unexplainably sad. you'll be missed.

blank said...

When you discovered him for the first time he became your own strange and unique treasure -because he didn't seem to belong to anything else. Then at a party you met a hundred other people who did the same. There is now no way to "make chips this thin."

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