New York is a place where, if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere. And this past week a part of not just New York history but – hell, I’ll say it – old world history died along with him. Joe Ades did one thing and he did one thing really well. He sold carrot peelers on the street. And he was a self made millionaire.
But it was more the way he sold the carrot peelers. For about 50 years he sold things on the street – something that even in the 1950′s was on its way out. He took cues from the matchstick women and real turn-of-the-century London buskers who helped him develop his trademark style. If you watch one of the many video of him up on Youtube his often almost hypnotic old-style way of selling will have you reaching for your wallet at the end. The pitch lasts about 4 minutes and is
The best part is that the man did what he wanted for a living and became a millionaire, enjoying the New York upper-crust social life by dining at fancy restaurants five nights a week and living in his own town house on Park Avenue. All through selling carrot peelers for $5 a pop.
He was profiled in Vanity Fair and News Of The World. The man was somewhat of a legend; it’s sad to see him go.