16 January 2009

Brooklyn Vegetable Peddler Passes

City Room reports the sad news that Vincent Cincotta, also known as Jimmy, the "Jim" of Jim & Andy's green grocer in Cobble Hill, passed away last Thursday. He was 82.

In a world of cookie cutter vendors, Jim & Andy's had a real family feeling. A narrow place with vegetables and fruits piled up in boxes on either side of a narrow aisle, it was worked by Andy and his son Carmine. Frank Sinatra seemed to be on the radio at all times. Sometimes the produce was a little worse for wear, but you never questioned whether it was overprocessed.

Jimmy used be be an old horse-and-cart peddler, like his father before him. As such, he was a living link to Brooklyn's humbler past. Buying at Jim & Andy's, which he opened in 1970, you could sense his background. He'd briefly weigh your choices, make up a generalized price, put the stuff in a brown paper bag and give you back something close to correct change. It was a very human experience, visiting that shop. I hope Carmine plans on keeping it going.


Anonymous said...

Wow what a piece of New York history.Good of you to do a post on this.I love the old school way of buying groceries.

Regards from Ireland

Melanie said...

I remember the market and the wonderful men who worked there--I used to buy huge quantities of fresh tomatos there for a very reasonable price to make my own sauce. RIP