The Scrappy Irishman

Sunday, September 23, 2012

this guy is scrappy.  he's ready to defend himself and his stamps.

There is this stamp guy in the East Village. His stamp shop is nothing like the sober rubber stamp aisles in Michaels. This is a raw stamp situation. I saw the store while walking around the east village waiting to meet Matt at Momofuku (a very loud noodle bar) around the corner.  His window display has hundreds of obscure stamps.

casey rubber stamps: they're 'open late' and 'most sundays'.
these guys are serious about their arts and crafts.  

This isn't just any stamp store.  As I'm browsing, two dodgy fellas come down into the small shop. I take notice of these guys straight way for two reasons: the shop is too small not to notice the comings and goings of anyone, and also because they look as if or as though they are packing heat. I hate to stereotype like that, but (at least in this case) it turned out not to be without merit.

The Irish ,Santa Clause-esc proprietor comes up to the front of his shop while remaining seated in his swivel chair.  

Irishman: 'Can I help you guys?'

Drug Dealers: 'Yea, hey, uh you can make customized stamps right?'

Irishman: 'That's right.'

Drug Dealers: 'Can you make some of this?'

Drug Dealers show something to the Irishman.

Irishman: 'No, I don't do that kind of thing.'

Drug Dealers: 'What kind of thing?'

Irishman: 'I don't make stamps for the bags.'

Drug Dealers: 'That's not what this is.'

Irishman: 'Well I don't make those kind of stamps.'

Agitation ensues.

Drug Dealers: 'That's discrimination man!'

Irishman: 'I don't make those.'

At this point I begin to think that the Drug Dealers might pull a gun on the Irishman.  But the Irishman eventually shoos these guys out the door.  

me: 'I thought they were going to shoot you.'

Irishman: 'Did you notice that I kept my scissors in my hand?  I don't want them in here again.'

He then explains to me that Drug Dealers come into the shop sometimes who want him to make stamps to label their drug baggies.  This particular design said 'Don't Worry, Be Happy'.  We both agree that he doesn't have to accept their business.  Then I buy these two stamps from the scrappy Irishman.

This is why I love New York, there's never a dull moment when your walking around the city.  Irish artisans, entrepreneurial drug dealers, just another day-

I started stamping Matt 's business documents in an effort to be more quirky. Maybe I'll buy a record player, a typewriter, and a guide to crocheting as a tribute to Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen and Zoey Deschanel.

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