Courier Life’s

Ditmas Park asks: ‘Where is Josh Rubin’?

Brooklyn Daily
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The well-liked owner of a fledgling Ditmas Park café went missing on Monday under intense financial pressure and mental anguish.

Josh Rubin, the owner of Whisk on Newkirk Avenue, was last seen on Monday night by his roommate before he left the Ditmas Park apartment without saying where he was going.

The roommate, Justin DeCarlo, became concerned when Rubin failed to show up to open the café on Tuesday. And Tony Roma, the doorman of the building next door, also was concerned when Rubin failed to pick up the bagels for the cafe that are delivered to Roma’s building every morning.

Beyond that, little is known about Rubin’s movements after leaving his apartment.

Police are investigating reports that Rubin suffered from bipolar disorder — a mental illness that has a high suicide rate. Sources also said that Rubin might have been troubled by the prospect of falling behind on the rent on his two-month-old establishment, whose first payment was supposed to be delivered on Tuesday.

An employee at Whisk confirmed that Rubin had been trying to sell the café in recent days.

“We take missing person cases very seriously,” said Deputy Inspector Eric Rodriguez of the 70th Precinct. “He seems to have been in a depressed state — it’s something that concerns us.”

Police searched the area for Rubin and checked his apartment and local hospitals, but turned up nothing.

Rubin has skipped town before, spending time on and off with his family Rhode Island — but he had made sure to get someone to cover the cafe, said an employee.

Whisk was open briefly on Wednesday morning, before Paige Lipari — an employee who opens the shop on Wednesdays — found out from a customer that Rubin was missing, and decided to close down for the day.

“I had texted him the night before, and didn’t hear back,” said Lipari. “But I was sort of used to that, so I decided to come in and open the shop up.”

A reporter’s calls to Rubin’s cellphone were not answered — and his voice mail-box was full.

Whisk opened in September and quickly became a comfortable neighborhood café that engaged with the community, residents said.

“He had a wonderful vision for the café and a strong sense of neighborho­od,” said Yoon Choi, who leads a children’s sing-along at Whisk on Fridays and lives above the café.

Choi said she asked Rubin last weekend whether he was going to be around the upcoming week — and he said he would.

“I know in the past Josh has gone out of town, so who knows,” she added.

Anyone with information regarding Rubin’s whereabouts should call the 70th Precinct at (718) 851-5557.

Reach reporter Eli Rosenberg at or by calling (718) 260-2531.

Updated 5:03 pm, November 4, 2011: Story was updated and reordered to make it far clearer. There have been an enormous number of comments on this story. Brooklyn Daily stands by the accuracy of this story. More important, the references to Rubin's mental condition are included in the story for the same reason that we would include references to other medical conditions, such as heart disease, or other elements of Rubin's past: so that the public would have a full picture of the reasons for his disappearance and his possible whereabouts. Our goal is not to deprive the public of information, but to give the fullest, broadest, most complete, and most accurate information so that the public can make its own informed judgments.
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Reader Feedback

W from Ditmas Park says:
As a frequent customer of Whisk and sister of someone who struggles with bipolar disorder, I ask you to revise your article about Josh Rubin.

At no point when I have interacted with Josh was it apparent that he was anything but a normal, caring business owner and neighbor. He would chat with my fiancé and me whenever we came into his store and was accommodating to all of his customers as well as those that would just drop in for a cup of water or to use the restroom. He would talk with the elderly building residents of 570 Westminster and was doing just that when I last saw him on Monday morning.

A person's mental health is a very private thing and writing an article calling someone a "victim" of their own mind only shows ignorance and seems insensitive and out of touch. I appreciate that you wrote an article bringing awareness to the fact that Josh has gone missing, but I wish that his mental state and the financial state of the store had been left out. The tone and focus seem sensationalist and misleading.

I look forward to reading any further retractions or revisions of this article.
Nov. 4, 2011, 10:30 am
local from Ditmas Park says:
This continues to be the worst "journalism" I have ever seen.

First, it's clearly not fact checked:

Second, no one is a victim of bi-polar any more than they are a victim of needing glasses or a victim of high blood pressure.

Eli Rosenberg, you have distinguished yourself as a poor member of humanity and someone with no journalistic integrity or personal morals. shame on you.
Nov. 4, 2011, 11:04 am
kind of appalled from far away says:
A real journalist would know that "suffered from bipolar disorder" isn't the best phrase in a news story, because it's a subjective phrase.

I suggest you change your verbiage to "Police are investigating reports that Rubin had a history of bipolar disorder."

Your paper does have editors, right?
Nov. 4, 2011, 6:37 pm
A Friend Of Josh from Parkville says:
Last night when I posted a comment there was a list of comments...almost all, if not all, critical of the paper publishing information about Josh's alleged mental state. This morning only three comments are showing? Hmmmm....the others all got lost overnight?

Nov. 5, 2011, 8:31 am
Friend from Rhode Island says:
It is absolutely outrageous that you published that Josh Rubin has a history of bipolar disorder. Regardless of whether or not he is missing, he is a private citizen and this is his private medical history. The article is speculative, and it is journalism at its worst.
Nov. 5, 2011, 9:58 am
Neighbor from Ditmas Park says:
It doesn't sound like he "skipped" town in the past if he always had someone cover the cafe for him. It sounds more like he went out of town to visit family, which most people do occasionally. The phrase seems unnecessarily accusatory of his character.

My thoughts are with his friends and family.
Nov. 5, 2011, 11:44 am
N says:
you are a truly horrible journalist....and clearly an awful human as well.
Nov. 5, 2011, 11:46 pm
M from West Coast says:
The author's reasons for including references to mental condition are not believable. If you were truly interested in providing a "full picture" in the same way you would include "references to other medical conditions, such as heart disease" you would have also mentioned that Josh Rubin had diabetes and left home without his medication. Shame on you, Eli Rosenberg, for such callous reporting and despicable excuses. Get it right or don't write at all.
Nov. 6, 2011, 12:54 am
Andrew from East Side Providence says:
Your pathetic attempt at furthering your "journalism" career at the expense of my dear friend and his family is despicable. You clearly lack humanity and basic human decency.
Nov. 6, 2011, 1:18 pm
lydia from brooklyn says:
As a person whom went to school with Josh and someone who has memories of a genuine, extremely well-liked, sensitive, and uber-intelligent person; this article continues to baffle me as it continues to even exist in the viral world. I am embarrassed, frankly, to live in brooklyn, at this point. this article, oddly titled “Ditmas Park asks where is Josh?” does nothing to address the situation at large, which is really one more conducive to a write up akin to “There are people everywhere, near and far, that are urgently concerned for a person who means so much.” Short of writing an irrelevant, not-contending-to-any-facts article; the fact that you, Mr. Rosenberg, have opted to play the pathetic tabloid card of throwing in this "potential mental illness" nonsense is not just irresponsible “journalism,” it’s down right cruel to those that want to find someone beloved to them. I suggest this article be removed, or at least RE EDITED, so people can use the internet to search for someone they love and are desperately concerned for, and not be slapped with a stab like this “writing.”

Going forward, I would suggest that BrooklynDaily addresses these very painful, sensitive situations more responsibly. and of course, that Mr. Rosenberg not be responsible for these topics.
Nov. 6, 2011, 8:43 pm
Shayna K from West Village says:
I couldn't agree more with Lydia. It's pretty outrageous that this is still up and being redistributed online as authoritative news.

In all honesty, it looks like you, Eli, are looking to fill your portfolio with samples for a job interview at TMZ rather than do a responsible reporting job.

In my humble opinion, it also appears that you oddly have a personal issue or vendetta against Josh that you would write such an inflammatory story and let it exist online without accurate fact checking or sensitivity to the issue at hand.

Anyone that runs a small business (or lives in new york for that matter) rides an emotional roller coaster- its life and not an illness or sign of mental anguish.

Please do the community a service and amend this piece.
Nov. 9, 2011, 4:05 pm
J from Woodstock says:
I have never in my life read anything written in such poor taste as this article. How about focusing on how Josh has that not more important than a possible mental disorder or finances?

It is obvious to everyone that being bi bipolar and behind on rent(neither of which are true) do not help FIND Josh or provide information that is productive at all.

I am surprised you have a job, sir.
Nov. 9, 2011, 4:07 pm
Jeff G from Ditmas Park says:
I don't understand the vitriol in the above comments, which look a lot like piling on. I also note they're all anonymous: very gutsy. In fact, Rosenberg says many positive things about Rubin and how the community took to him and his cafe. Moreover, the reference to bipolar disorder is only that "Police are investigating reports that Rubin suffered from [it]..." Regarding rent, it is only stated that he "might have been troubled by the prospect of falling behind on the rent on his two-month-old establishment." "Might have been" - that's pretty tentative. Perhaps people should pay more attention to tone and nuance before they throw verbal stink bombs under cover of pseudonyms.
Nov. 14, 2011, 12:52 am
prls from dp says:
have we dredged the rivers yet?
Nov. 29, 2011, 5:27 pm
OK from BK says:
I agree with Jeff. I think the article was helpful and not slanted or aimed to sensationalize.

The nasty reactions seen here and elsewhere just perpetuate the stigma against invisible disability; if he's bipolar, it's considered highly treatable. If making it public helps get him home, it makes more sense than getting all HIPAA about it; no one's upset that his diabetes has being discussed online.

He's vanished--THAT'S what's abnormal. Do what it takes to get him home.
Dec. 5, 2011, 2:05 pm
greg from mr rodgers says:
dead, shot and burned....
Dec. 21, 2011, 5:11 pm
Brian from Boston says:
The article seems reasonable to me. Is there shame in bipolar disease? Or depression. I think these comments stigmatize rather than ease suffering.
Dec. 22, 2011, 5:51 am
niles from out of area says:
Sounds like he somehow got mixed up with the wrong people. Who could have done such a thing and in such a horrible manner, and why are his family and acquaintances so tight-lipped about the matter? Very strange indeed.
Dec. 22, 2011, 7:54 am
outrageous from lalaland says:
Could be a shakedown? Such a sad story. Condolences to his family and friends. Shame to the journalist who seemingly doesn't have a clue on how not to offend people or think outside the box.
Dec. 22, 2011, 2:15 pm
cricket from gatorland says:
Would, of course, be looking at those 'folks' he owed the rent to. Looks very bad; by appearances; as if the mafia MO is alive and well - in Brooklyn. What a tragic end and pathetic how disposeable 'life' is; to many who share not only our streets; but supposedly share our culture and humanity. No question; there are impostors amongst us. . .
Dec. 23, 2011, 9:02 am
Janey from Brooklyn says:
Everytime I spoke to Josh, I never got the sense that he was mentally unstable. So the picture this jornalust is trying to draw for his audience is far from the picture we saw when we looked at josh. We are all entitled to a private life, and if we choose to open the back doors fine, however if we are a good person who is trying to better himself/herself such as josh, then our private lives should be just that. josh was a kind xaring human being, who should not be gossipied about because he is not here to defend himself. Get a new a new job my journalist because obviously writing is not your forte.
Dec. 27, 2011, 5:24 pm

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