Attention, industrious hipsters! Here is a sweet gig that will net you over $100,000 a year and make you the toughest bastard (or bastardette!) in the Parks Department: The city is hiring a new blacksmith. IS IT YOU?
This job will invariably go to one of two people: Art school grad who has put in hard time in the now-deceased Third Ward's metal shop, or a hardened mofo like the one who just quit. Larry Hagberg hung up his...anvil...in July after 30 years as the city's resident blacksmith badass. Exhibit A:
But the Parks Department is not prepared to hire some tottering neophyte—the minimum qualifications are many, because we really can't afford to have a blacksmith with delicate fop hands mucking up the bridle irons. The posting, first reported by DNAinfo, asks for five years of full-time experience or a good, long stretch of time as a blacksmith's helper, which is similar to a Santa's helper but with a denser concentration of knuckle tattoos.
The blacksmith must also have excellent communication skills and proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel and Access.
All of that being said, there appears to be no replacing Hagberg, who, according to his website, loves to spend his free time "reading books on blacksmithing and enjoying forge work, thereby honing his artistic side." Here's a sample of Hagberg's artistic endeavors, which range in content from intricately crafted wreaths to, um, boobs. He probably once wrestled a hammerhead shark. He probably saved a litter of piglets from a burning van. He probably makes a mean chicken salad.
Hagberg was also the subject of a short documentary that appeared on PBS. "You can take a piece of steel that doesn't want to be moved, and you can heat it up in the forge, put it on the anvil under the hammer, and it's gonna move the way you want," he drawled in his thick New York brogue. Is this just about metal, or is it a meta(l)phor for life? "You can form immovable objects. That's why I like it, I guess."
Put it on repeat and let his dulcet pronunciation of the word "forge" lull you to sleep at night. We also learn from the video that Hagberg spends a lot of time fixing playground equipment, and there's only one set of monkey bars left in the city.
New York on the Clock: Larry Hagberg, Blacksmith from Thirteen.org on Vimeo.
Hagberg may have retired from his official role as the city's blacksmith, but as he puts it: "I'm a blacksmith 24/7. It's not a job you go to. You're a blacksmith or you're not....I'm a blacksmith. That's what I am. That's what I do."