Heard a bell outside my apartment window today, and was shocked to see that the mythical grinding truck parked out front. Like the Sasquatch, I’ve heard people talking about this guy but the stories are always third hand and I’ve never actually even seen the truck. Wasting no time, I grabbed all our remarkably dull knives and headed down to the street.For the uninitiated, the deal is this: a grinder is an itinerant tradesman who sharpens all household blades, and in this case the grinder’s name is Dominic and he’s a third generation grinder. The traveling grinder in Brooklyn is a living and working throwback to a different era (like a tinker, or the milk man) and although Dominic the Grinder doesn’t drive a horse and buggy, his red hoopty ’76 GMC truck isn’t all that spiritually far off.
I asked Dominic how his customers locate him when they need sharpening, but there’s no way to find him: in true nomadic fashion, you just have get lucky and be home when he comes around. He wanted to know when my knives were last sharpened. “Never.” He looked a little aggrieved at that response but set to work. He didn’t rush, about 5 minutes per knife. I watched him work from the curb—there’s a generator huffing inside the truck that spins the grindwheels and sparks literally do fly.