Just a few years ago, my friend Sizzy Rocket was hired for one of the most interesting “on-campus” jobs we’ve ever heard of— this position was no work study, not found using Wasserman and definitely is not recognized by the university.
When Sizzy was starting her first year in the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music, she was approached by a fellow student who asked if she’d like an easy job that paid in cash. She said yes. This started a period of her life involving payphones, late-night trudges across Houston pushing carts carrying over a hundred pounds of books, and bone-chilling days outside of Bobst peddling pages upon pages of print to the masses.
If you go to NYU, you’ve probably seen Everett. He stands at a series of tables outside of Bobst daily, usually dressed in a hat and shorts (no matter the weather), with a beard that would make Merlin jealous. This dude is a serious businessman, but you’d never know it. All his student employees are hired through word of mouth and paid every day in cash.
Everett doesn’t conduct his business via cell phones; he prefers arranging meetings and interviews using payphones and the phones of his employees. Sizzy met Everett for the first time on Minetta Lane (by the famous Minetta Tavern and Café Reggio) in the dirty heart of the Village. They sat on a stoop for an hour talking about life. By the end of the conversation, she was a professional bookseller; sounds weird, but that’s NYU for you.
Everett is admittedly strange (but awesome). He is a man who has an apartment full of his books in SoHo. He chooses not to sleep in this apartment, and refuses to pander to the modern-day need for immediacy. Instead he purposefully and thoughtfully determines when and how he will contact the people in his life.
When asked about Everett, two years after working with him, Sizzy remarked, “I would say Everett is the most misunderstood man of all time.” During their days on the sidewalk they would speak about topics ranging from existentialism to family life; more often than not, these deep discussion would end with Everett gifting a book to his employee.
While he kept watch over his table full of merchandise, we asked Everett if he’d want to talk about NYU or being a part of the community, he said smiled and said yes, but he didn’t want anything officially in print. We talked about William Carlos Williams instead. So next time you’re walking by those tables you should stop, say hey to Everett, and maybe pick up something new to read for less than five dollars.