Ditmas Park asks: ‘Where is Josh Rubin’?

The Brooklyn Paper
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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 5:27 pm, July 9, 2018: Story was updated and reordered to make it far clearer. There have been an enormous number of comments on this story. The Brooklyn Paper 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 as a newspaper 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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Reasonable discourse

Jessica Dias from Ditmas Park says:
You shouldn't write articles that expose the personal lives of people. Internet articles do not go away and mar lives forever. This article is very insensitive and would cause great anxiety and tension for the person concerned should he happen to read it. Additionally where did you get your facts from? DId you call his landlord, his doctor? This is a typical example of yellow journalism! I hope you understand the kind of damage you have done.
Nov. 3, 2011, 10:17 am
Anonymous from Ditmas Park says:
Please check your facts:
Nov. 3, 2011, 11:04 am
W from Ditmas Park says:
You may want to edit your article. Rubin wasn't behind on rent:

I know this second thing is a typo but it would be good to fix: it's called Whisk, not Whisky (fourth paragraph).
Nov. 3, 2011, 11:15 am
Joe from Greenpoint says:
I am bipolar and I certainly hope that this newspaper recognizes just how irresponsible this article is, even if the intentions are to get this man's attention and even if they are rooted in concern. You are potentially exacerbating someone's condition by suggesting these things in such a public forum. This is potentially very harmful to someone who may simply be trying to find safety elsewhere. Why on earth would you do this?
Nov. 3, 2011, 11:15 am
J from Ditmas Park says:
Rupert Murdoch
Nov. 3, 2011, 11:18 am
Shayna Kulik from West Village says:
I have to agree. This article is an abomination and should be edited and updated immediately.

Very careful consideration and research should taken before publishing such sensitive details about a person's life.

We all hope that he's found safe and sound.
Nov. 3, 2011, 12:11 pm
N from Manhattan says:
This article is awful and full of so many errors.

Eli Rosenberg, you should truly be ashamed of yourself. I have a feeling your journalism "career" may not go so far. Fix the errors!
Nov. 3, 2011, 12:12 pm
J. Hoshino says:
I totally agree with everyone who has written so far. This is such a hack-job of irresponsible and a tabloid-style attempt at writing. The harm you have potentially done is irreparable as Jessica D. pointed out. You should be fired for this.

Your lead sentence:

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

This is a very serious accusation. Where is your supporting evidence? Proof alone you should never attempt at "journalism" ever again.

Finally, did you even stop to think what his parents or Josh himself would think when reading this article? How would your family feel if everything had been exposed about you, without regard to facts or regard to supplying information that might truly help you to be found.
Nov. 3, 2011, 12:16 pm
Outraged from Everywhere says:
I demand that this article be removed immediately.

Truly disgusting "journalism".
Nov. 3, 2011, 12:19 pm
DB from Bushwick says:
I'd really like to see an official response by the paper to this thread. Publications must always take responsibility for their content.

Mr. Rosenberg, can you explain yourself?

And if you fail to, Gersh Kuntzman you certainly should as editor of this publication.

Let's have some responsible journalism!
Nov. 3, 2011, 1:07 pm
anonymous says:
Horrible reporting. The latest I heard is that Josh's credit card was used and two young men (not Josh)were filmed using it.
Nov. 3, 2011, 1:34 pm
Clara says:
I agree with the others. This article is offensive. People who are bipolar are not "victims." Mental illness isn't a crime.
Nov. 3, 2011, 1:45 pm
Katrina from BK says:
Unless Mr. Rubin wore a sign around his neck that read, "I am bipolar," it is not your place to state it publicly like this. Take this article down. It is terribly inappropriate.
Nov. 3, 2011, 1:57 pm
Mike T. from Sl says:
The Brooklyn Paper should be boycotted for this travesty! This is serious matter and you're NOT helping! This is sensationalism at its worst.
Nov. 3, 2011, 2:09 pm
J from Cambridge says:
I find this article extremely disrespectiful and disgusting. You are making assumptions about what may have happened to him based solely on a diagnosis. Not only are you completely violating his privacy you are adding more stigma to those with mental illness. Did you even think to consider how this article would make Josh as well as his loved ones feel during such a difficult time?
Nov. 3, 2011, 2:35 pm
New Boycotter from Brooklyn says:
Way to go Brooklyn Paper: an update to be "a little clearer"? How about admitting that you were dead wrong and taking some responsibility -- for that error and for the error in judgment by publishing a completely irrelevant exposé about a person who appears to have been the victim of a serious crime.
Nov. 3, 2011, 3:09 pm
s from PPW says:
Shame on the Brooklyn Paper, once again. Sensationalism over accuracy.

The Ditmas Park Blog proved you wrong. Fess up, Gersh.
Nov. 3, 2011, 3:35 pm
Hannah from West Village says:
Eli, and editors: this isn't journalism. This is someone's personal life being laid out like the plot of a crimesolver TV show in which the author infers what happened to him based on his alleged medical status.

You have unnecessarily put out for public consumption information that has wounded this man's reputation and surely the feelings of his family and friends.

My heart breaks for them and for you too, because you could have done so much better.
Nov. 3, 2011, 3:51 pm
Dianne from Rhode Island says:
Please focus on the need to help find Josh as quickly as possible. The hypothesis that he "wandered off" is not supported by the facts.
Nov. 3, 2011, 4:32 pm
Doug from Park Slope says:
Eli was trolling in the comments section of the ditmas blog asking for information. Eli's sources were the comment sections of other articles. The modern reporter, I guess?
Nov. 3, 2011, 6:57 pm
Mrs from Internet says:
Mr. Rosenberg, this is horrific.

Your journalism is repulsive and I sincerely hope this is removed.
It turned my stomach to read that you would expose such information, much of it incorrectly.
Nov. 3, 2011, 8:51 pm
antony from ditmas park says:
I agree with every one, Its a shame to write such thing.
Nov. 3, 2011, 9:54 pm
Fred from Ditmas Park says:
Another vote in agreement with all of the very well founded criticisms of this piece. This is really atrocious gossip-mongering.
Nov. 3, 2011, 10:52 pm
batshitcrazy from internet says:
Are you insane??? Discrimination against the mentally ill is higher than any other minority group, you need to take this down as fast as possible. I do feel like the author started to write an article that was focused safely finding this guy BUT man, that train went off the track.

You have no right commenting on this mans business and no right broadcasting this mans illness. I have bipolar disorder and you have no idea what you have done by printing this crap. This disorder has no pity, sympathy, or remorse. Its cruellest trick is returning you to a normal stateafter the high and low. How the hell ate you supposed to interact with your family, coworkers and friends when they have just seen you at your bat-——-craziest? I heard someone say once that BP was the rolls Royce of mental illnesses, I have to agree.

Really, take this piece of garbage down before this guy sues the tar out of you, or worse, before he reads it. If he is in a depressed state and suicidal, realizing that you broadcasted this all over may push him over the edge.
Nov. 3, 2011, 11:14 pm
Janelle from Ditmas Park says:
I also support the call to take down any speculation regarding Josh's state of mind. It has nothing to do with the search for him. For those that would like to help with the search, Missing person posters for distribution can be picked up at 570 Westminster (the building above his cafe).
Nov. 3, 2011, 11:20 pm
Jessica Dias from Ditmas Park says:
I also wanted to add something I didn't before. If you (Rosenberg) had contacted Josh's doctor, you would know from his inability to disclose, that any information regarding Josh's health (be it a common cold) is confidential and privileged and not for public consumption. It is obvious then that you have relied on hearsay to write this article, because no doctor in her/his right mind would break doctor-patient privilege! Not only have you violated someone's right to privacy, you have indulged in highly unethical behavior that often ends up in a suit. Good luck to you in the courts trying to explain how you defamed someone's character!

Just when I thought we had all learned a lesson from the death of Roger Clementi whose personal life was broadcast on the internet...
Nov. 3, 2011, 11:49 pm
anonymous from Ditmas Park says:
Agreed. Take this article down. It deeply offends me and, as is obvious, all those who know him.

Also: The information about the bipolar disorder is not only inappropriate but possibly irrelevant as well. Many people who are bipolar, including myself, are able to lead normal lives if they find the right combination and dosage of medication. The fact that I am bipolar is no longer a presence in my life, and does not affect my decision-making. It is possible that he is the victim of a serious crime, and all this speculation is misleading and downright harmful.
Nov. 4, 2011, 12:42 am
Tina from Bushwick says:
Please send your outrage to the editor in an email. Who knows if anyone from the paper follows these comments.
Nov. 4, 2011, 6:38 am
anon from Kensington says:
Take the article down and issue a public apology. Very harmful and irresponsible "reporting."
Nov. 4, 2011, 10:03 am
Brenda from Flatbush says:
What a piece of irresponsible rubbish. If this is how "local papers" are going to replace "mainstream media" metro coverage, we are freakin' doomed.
Nov. 4, 2011, 11:07 am
Justin from Midwood says:
Hang in there Josh. Looks like your lawsuit for defamation of character by Eli Rosenberg should cover the rent for years to come.

Nov. 4, 2011, 12:18 pm
Allison from Ditmas park says:
I live above the bakery also, and Josh is a great/friendly guy. someone needs to edit this article immediately, it's extremely offensive. We should be concerned w/the fact that he is missing and nothing else!
Nov. 4, 2011, 1:03 pm
Yoon from Ditmas Park says:
Add me to the list of people who were mortified that The Brooklyn Paper violated Josh's privacy in this sensationalistic piece (especially after seeing that I was quoted by the reporter). It makes me sick.
Nov. 4, 2011, 7:29 pm
Reader says:
Do note that this article now begins:
"The well-liked owner of a fledgling Ditmas Park café went missing on Monday under intense financial pressure and mental anguish."

this was originally:
"The well-liked owner of a fledgling Ditmas Park café went missing on Monday under intense financial pressure and mental *illness*."

that's not merely updating and reordering "to make it far clearer"

that's a substantive change, and a recognition of bad judgment

and if he "might have been troubled," that means he might have had "mental anguish." but it also means he might not.
Nov. 4, 2011, 7:38 pm
A friend of Josh's from Parkville says:
To include Josh's medical condition based on what you heard from people not qualified to make a diagnosis is insensitive to Josh and his family and can only make it more difficult for him to come home.

Eli, why didn't you also include Josh's cholesterol levels, his PSA, and his blood pressure? Oh wait, you would then have had to actually speak to someone qualified to answer....
Nov. 4, 2011, 7:57 pm
Tina from Bushwick says:
I sent a letter to the editor who stands behind this outrageous story and writes in the update "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 as a newspaper 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"
Dear Editor and Eli, You are wrong to have done this and no amount of validating will change that. I hope this man is found unharmed and holds you responsible for publicly slandering his name to his community. Possibly affecting his relationships with landlords and customers.
I hope you never have to "help" me in the future.
Nov. 4, 2011, 9:09 pm
concerned friend from ditmas park says:
Hi Everyone,

I agree that this article is rubbish. Yoon and others who were quoted in this article, did you make statements on the record? because otherwise I would pressure the reporter and editor to take them down, they don't have to but it's truly unethical journalism if they don't. And to ELI, because you obviously don't know this let me break it down for you "off the record" means that you can't report the information unless you find it and can attribute it to a different source, it is to help you with you reporting, nothing else. Anonymously, means that you can report it but can't attribute it to a specific, verifiable person, most reputable papers will only a let one person be anonymously quoted in a single article and only if the meat of what that person is saying is backed up by another source or if the information is supplementary. ON THE REOCRD, which you have to make sure the people you are quoting are ok with, is the only thing that you can write, print and attribute to a specific person. Also if someone is in a public forum that too is public so can be used on the record.

Also this article is terrible and obviously values sensationalism over moral ethics, good journalism or the safety and life of Josh.

Thank you so much for pouring salt into a wound, making a difficult time that much harder and for being so arrogant that even in light of an entire community, the one you are supposedly "serving," begging you to take this article down, refusing and putting on airs of a higher purpose.

Also your first paragraph needs a lot of work, it's highly speculative at best, and you need to say and source how you got that information, and You know add the words "apparent" "allegedly" etc, have you really NEVER read any newspaper EVER?
Nov. 5, 2011, 4:11 pm
Cynthia from Clinton Hill says:
@clara, I totally agree with. i hope this guy is found alive and not dead.
Nov. 6, 2011, 1:59 am
Julius and Ethel from Long Island says:
Oy vey Eli!
Nov. 7, 2011, 12:05 am
JB from PS says:
With this article, this "paper" continues to be an embarrassment to the borough and its people.
Nov. 7, 2011, 11:27 am
Shayla from Carroll Gardens says:
How can you stand by this poorly-researched and clearly inflammatory story? Are you trying to turn the Brooklyn Paper into a tabloid? You should be ashamed of yourselves.
Dec. 2, 2011, 10:55 am
At Peace from in the Universe says:
And so it ends.
Dec. 22, 2011, 9:15 am

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