The Chess Hustlers
Lessons on Life, Money, Work & Game from Washington Square Park, NYC
Today we have a special treat: a guest post by Anne Kadet, creator of a very fine newsletter called CAFÉ ANNE!
Now you could probably accuse me of summer laziness and “Gosh, it’d sure be great to have someone else write this week’s profile while I lounge in the sun and sand.” And there may be a sliver of truth in that. But, this is the first, but certainly not the last such feature. One of my ambitions with Work/Craft/Life is to spotlight other writers. This gives you—my readers and community—a greater variety of profiles and perspectives.
I couldn’t be luckier to start with Anne’s interviews of three “chess hustlers” in Washington Square Park. They’re hilarious and bubbling with humanity. This is characteristic of most of Anne’s work, and I urge you give her newsletter a read.
On a personal note, I lived and worked in Greenwich Village for almost two decades. It was the stomping grounds of my twenties and thirties, and frankly, a home that I thought I would never leave. Kids and the unexpected itch to try something different finally saw me go. Still, I recall fondly walking through Washington Square Park every morning on the way from my shabby, 325-square-foot apartment on 11th Street to my even shabbier co-working space. I’d pass these hustlers as they were setting up shop for the day, always curious about their lives. Regretfully, I never stopped to ask. Fortunately, Anne did. Here are her interviews for all to enjoy.
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I learned to play chess back in Baltimore, in 1977. I'm living in New York now maybe 35 years. When I get between jobs, I come out here and make my income. The highest I’ve made in a day was $1700. The lowest I’ve made I think was $125.
Not bad. Why would you get a real job?
Exactly! That’s what I’m saying. Even if I’m just making $600, $700 a week, that’s tax-free money. When I was working as a drug counselor, I'd make the same amount of money but I make more doing this, because of taxes and this and that.
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