A Daughter Also Rises
It’s pretty common to spot celebrities in New York. Well, common for most people. I usually stare at them blankly, trying to place their face, then realize half way down the block that I didn’t go to high school with them. It’s a little less common to see someone you can hear yourself reminiscing about in your rocking chair years, beginning with “there was a man who…” That’s what it was like seeing Joe Ades, the “peeler guy” in Union Square Market. Listening to his English sing song selling potato peelers on beautiful market Saturdays made you want to jump in a chalk drawing. I still remember the excitement I felt when I saw him set up at the smaller Greenmarket in Brooklyn’s Borough Hall, feeling that out tiny market had finally “arrived”.
Like most New Yorkers, I was sad when I read of his passing this winter and dreaded a quiet Union Square. A few days ago, I made out the familiar pitch from his daughter, Ruth Ades Laurent who’d taken on his remaining stock to sell and his usual route. The peelers, the flying carrots, the miniature billboard, the sing song – it was all there. Of course, I bought one.