Friday, June 12, 2009

Life with those Yelpers: 'This is one store I wouldn't mind if it ever closed and was replaced with a Starbucks'


I recently looked up the number to David's Shoe Repair on Seventh Street. His hours can be a little irregular, so...

Anyway, I get the Yelp listing... and I spotted the two reviews...

The one-star review!

Renee C.
New York, NY
10/27/2008
seriously, what the hell is wrong with this old guy? since this is the closest shoe repair place to my apartment, i head over eagerly with my favorite pair of black boots in tow. i arrive in the store and innocently show him the boots and ask him if they are repairable. the old guy takes one look at my boots (which are admittedly on their last leg, no pun intended) and begins wagging his finger and shouting at me "NO! I SELL BOOTS HERE. $175 DOLLARS. YOU BRING ME JUNK. NOTHING BUT JUNK! GOODBYE!! GET OUT OF HERE!!" completely shocked at this outburst, i reply back "these are expensive boots! i like them," to which he responds "GOODBYE!! GET OUT!! DON'T WASTE MY TIME!" i walked out of the store defeated and teary eyed. really there is no need to yell!

oh and against my advice, my roommate went to this place to see if she could get her shoes repaired and the old guy yelled at her too!!

seriously, i really REALLY hate new yorkers sometimes.


And a two-star review...

margs k.
New York, NY
3/13/2008
I don't like patronizing businesses that treat me poorly or do sloppy work and in this case, both reasons apply for why I won't be returning here with my shoes and bags. I dropped off a purse here with a broken zipper on a Saturday. The guy sort of grunts at me gutterally and tells me to come pick it up on Tuesday. Also, they make you leave a deposit, which isn't typical for this kind of work. I show up on Tuesday and the guy looks confused when I ask him for my bag. He finds it under a pair of boots, obviously not worked on, and tells me to come back the next day. NOT COOL. I don't appreciate having my time wasted. I come back the next day to pick up my bag and not only did I pay $25 for a cheap gold zipper (when the metalwork in my bag was SILVER) but I had to listen to him complain how long it took to do.

This is one store I wouldn't mind if it ever closed and was replaced with a Starbucks.


[Photo via Jeremiah's Vanishing NY]

15 comments:

Jeremiah Moss said...

what's wrong with people? david is a lovely guy--yes, he grunts and he's got his quirks--but he's fair and he does a good job.

people used to come to the city and enjoy the brusque oddities of its people. now, if they're not having their asses kissed up and down Broadway, they end up in a tearful rage.

they respond the same way to Manganaro's. you need a thick skin to be there. but it's worth it. used to be able to say the same thing about this city.

Bowery Boogie said...

those reviewers are definitely not from around here. characters are welcome, hell, encouraged in this neighborhood. i'm with jvny.

Ken Mac said...

Yea, the woman at Manganaros is certifiably off her rocker! But she calms down eventually (while she continues to insult) and Sal is such a gentleman, such a prince, you don't even mind the crazy nut behind the counter. Plus, the joint is the soul of NYC.
Grieve, I look for ATM Skimmers everywhere I go now, thanks to your report.

lvv said...

I don't know, I kind of feel for the first girl (the one who cried, not the one who is indignant about the GOLD not SILVER zipper). I once went to the shoe repair place closest to my house and dropped off a pair of studded sandals because a stud had fallen off (figured I'd resole them as well). I brought the missing stud to the place and showed it to the guy and he interrupted to yell at me "I CAN'T FIX THIS!" He wanted to put his own, non-matching stud in its place (which I can't believe I let him do). Why he could insert that one and not the original is beyond me, when I tried to politely ask, he didn't explain, just yelled some more.

I admit I was hurt by his rudeness (although now I just think it's funny), and I was born in Brooklyn! I didn't cry (or worse, Yelp) about it, though.

Long story short, now I go a little out of my way to the wonderful Steve Express on 14th @ 2nd. The son runs the place now, but back when his father was still alive, whenever he'd return a pair of shoes to me, he'd bellow, "Now you can go out dancing!!"

BaHa said...

Never treated unpleasantly, always received quality work for a fair price. Just another screed fromself-entitled yunnie bitches.

Brooks of Sheffield said...

I've never been there, but I have a feeling that I would kinda like this guy. The first woman sounds like she's kinda new to NYC and will never get used to it.

prodigal son said...

Because of the somewhat democratic nature of Yelp, its something of a mixed bag of a site because you get lots of reviewers who are obviously out to lunch.

There are reviews on the site that sound like they could have been written by Brooks and others that sound like they were written by someone who arrived in town yesterday on a SATC tour. You get basically identical establishments getting two completely different sets of reviews based on who decided to post reviews on that place.

You have to review the review first then decide if the reviewer is reliable. The site is entertaining but I can only take it in small doses.

julie wilson said...

UGH! NY is becoming like LA-the land of entitlement.

Kirby Carnegie said...

Ha! I love David's. I got yelled at and run out his store, too, years ago - and immediately fell in love with him. Some people don't get that these characters give the city its spice. If you want a chirpy welcome greeter at the door, go to Wal-Mart. I'll miss him when he's gone.

Anonymous said...

I'm a native ny'er, and I lived in this neighborhood for close to 10 years. I had work done by this guy, and I was never yelled at or treated unkindly. Having said all that, no matter what any of us think about the current state of our city, and the "yunnie cowards" that inhabit it, there is no excuse for a business owner to treat a customer in this fashion. It never was acceptable in my book. A bit edgey, indifferent, ok fine, but outright rudeness is not a characteristic that I have ever adopted as a favorable characeristic of NYC.

EV Grieve said...

Thanks for all the comments on this post.

I used to work near Union Square. I usually did shoe business with Angelo Fontana...A few times I went to John's on Irving Place between 15th and 16th. Another great place. I had a pair of shoes that I bought at a thrift store. They now needed new soles. The fellow at John's with the raspy voice looked at the chintzy soles and said, "The man who did this was not a cobbler...[dramatic pause] he was a butcher."

Goggla said...

Hmm...David has always been nice with me. For a strange proprietor, check out the Russian Souvenir Shop on 14th St. If that guy isn't sleeping in the doorway, he's viciously guarding all the *precious things*.

Nunze said...

Oh please, this guy sucks, and so does his shoe repair. I lived on 5th St. from 1979 to 2005, and always went to Angelo Fontana. David is mean and petty.

Celest said...

I've lived in this neighborhood for 12 years, only a couple of doors down from David's. His abusive behavior is not charming or "authentic" or the marker of a great EV character, he's just a nightmare. I've tried to take him business on more than one occasion--even after being screamed out of his REPAIR shop for taking in shoes that needed repairing, yelling at me that they were trash, etc., similar to the Yelp reports--because I thought perhaps I'd had an atypical experience. Nope. He was insulting and despicable again and and doesn't receive an ounce of sympathy from me.

Anonymous said...

Being treated like a human-sized cockroach for no good reason is not some sort of holy New York rite that you're supposed to sink to your knees and thank God for.

People like this aren't "characters." They're shitheads, and those who cherish them for their "characterness" aren't much better.