Around New York April 2013

Not only is Tom’s Diner the background for Seinfeld, it inspired the Suzanne Vega song “Tom’s Diner”. More importantly, the remix version of “Tom’s Diner” was called “The Mother of the MP3” because the guy that made the compression format used this song and worked on it over and over to use MP3 to build a faithful version of the sound.

This guy looks like he needs a bigger truck…

Speakers from space! Or being sold by Daft Punk.

This gentleman drives around NYC on weekends and people run out and bring him their knives to sharpen. Per this article he has been doing it for many years in his cool, custom truck.

Here is an entrepreneur in action, pawning his book on how to roll a bl*nt (don’t want the traffic). He was certainly entertaining these (likely) tourists.

Cross posted at LITGM

8 thoughts on “Around New York April 2013”

  1. Tom’s is at 112 & Broadway. We used to live at 107 & B’way. In 5 years there, I never ate at Tom’s. My wife, who had lived on 110 before we were married, always called it Ptomaine Tom’s. She was gobsmacked to see it on TV some years later.

  2. The post reminds me of the knife sharpener who used to push his cart through our neighborhood in Chicago when I was a kid. He had a distinctive set of chimes so we knew who was going by.

    I also applied for a job as a Good Humor man when I was about 16, peddling the cart around.

    I even recall ice wagons during the war which carried ice for people who still had ice boxes. The wagon was pulled by a horse. My aunt had a refrigerator with the condenser on top. They always got non-homogenized milk so they could skim the cream for coffee.

    I even remember mixing oleomargarine with a packet of color powder because the butter lobby had gotten a ban on yellow margarine.

    Thanks for the reminder.

  3. That a little Toyota Scion – certainly not designed to be hauling what it is – look at the rear wheels – but it is holding up

    Interesting about the mp3 files

  4. “That knife sharpening guy is a great idea for urban communities.”

    He sharpened scissors, too. Those were the days when people kept stuff and took care of it. I was in the shoemaker a year pr two ago and he told me there was very little shoe repair business. He had started a key making sideline and some other stuff to keep paying the rent.

  5. I wonder if this would work in rural communities, if you could get the word out and people would expect to see you on a certain day once or twice a month, maybe congregating in the town square dropping off their utensils/tools and picking them up the next time around, or having delivery to a farm or such. Worth pondering.

  6. I was wondering how people know he is coming – article says he rings bells like an ice cream truck. And I am picturing all these New Yorkers bounding down stairs with knives in hand. Don’t know it that would work in the suburbs with he population density – ad I was thinking that Mike has to have a route – you can’t hit the same area too often – but I am sure the system has been perfected since 1941

    I have a couple of knives that could use his service

  7. That poor little car! Why am I reminded of the picture of that small station wagon or sedan, which got loaded down with a HUGE amount of building materials from Home Depot (if memory serves). I think it trashed the car – owner too darned cheap to rent a Home Depot truck to drive it all home. ( )

    Dan’s notion of the traveling knife-sharpener is a throwback to the 19th century – to itinerant shoemakers, pot-menders and such making a regular circuit through the countryside. Does anyone else recall reading in Laura Ingalls Wilders’ “Farmer Boy” about the traveling shoemaker coming to the Wilder farm in upstate NY, to make shoes and boots for the family?

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