NYC's eccentric vegetable peeler salesman  SEP 05 2008

If you've spent any time at all walking around Manhattan, you've likely run across Joe Ades, the English gent hawking vegetable peelers at the top of his lungs on a bit of sidewalk. An occasional part of his current routine is a laminated copy of a profile of him that Vanity Fair published in May 2006. No surprise: Ades is a character.

Mayhew and the patterers might have been surprised at just how far Joe has taken this gent thing. At the end of each day he returns with his gear to a commodious three-bedroom apartment on Park Avenue, the home that he shares with his present wife, Estelle. (In spite of the polished ways of the patterers, their typical abode was the "vagrant hovel.") Then it's out again for an early dinner in a style unheard of in London Labour. Six nights a week, accompanied by Estelle, he hits some of the biggest-name restaurants in town-Elio's, Jean Georges, Milos, Centolire. He never has trouble getting a table. In the soft light his hands glow pink from the half-hour hot-water-and-nailbrush treatment he performs as part of his evening toilette.

Update: Watch Ades in action on YouTube.

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