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The Scanner Man

from The New York Times

Fixated on What He Fixes

Julie Glassberg for The New York Times

HAMS Peter Guggenheim, perhaps New York City’s foremost seller and repairer of radio scanners, which monitor frequencies used by emergency responders like police officers and firefighters, in his shop in Flushing, Queens.

Peter Guggenheim has worked so long at Stuart Electronics that his feet have worn holes through two layers of tile and an inch of plywood, down to the floorboards behind the counter.

“What do you expect? I’ve spent my whole life here,” he said last week at the shop, on Parsons Boulevard in Flushing, Queens, where he has worked since 1953, when he was 13.

The storefront seems frozen in time. Out front, the faded, peeling signs advertise the latest merchandise — VCRs, answering machines, phonograph needles and cordless telephones; inside, the glass cabinets display miscellaneous sale items that get as modern as the Palm Pilot.

But certain services are cutting-edge. For one, Mr. Guggenheim is perhaps the city’s foremost seller and fixer of radio scanners, which monitor frequencies used by emergency responders like police officers and firefighters. This makes it the go-to place for spot-news photographers, tow-truck drivers, insurance adjusters and lawyers, who scan for local precinct chatter about car accidents and other incidents that might generate work.

[ click to continue reading at NYTimes.com ]

Posted on November 26, 2011 by Editor

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