I love my new neighborhood. Well, maybe not so new, in September we’ll be signing our second lease; but it still feels new and different.
It’s very green. The other day I was walking to the subway to go to work in a light rain and walked by the Convent garden in the 152nd Street/ St. Nicholas / Covent Avenue triangle. The trees from the garden meet the trees planted along the curb on St. Nick and form a small covered arch over the sidewalk. Nice.
I wrote a blog when we moved up here two years ago about all the hills and churches. There is also a proliferation of hair salons/barbershops.
I’ll get into that in another post, but it’s worth a mention since I’m writing about hair, hairstyles, and grooming.
I work with a bunch of young men who ALL wear some form of facial hair or another. Only one has what would be considered a full beard, I like to think of him as little Rasputin, since he has smoldering eyes as well as a full beard.
Maybe he should be Svengali?
Anyway, I once mentioned to a friend about the varying lengths of beard, ranging from a two-day growth to an almost-there look and I wondered aloud how they did that.
“Oh, you can get an electric razor with a “stubble trimmer,” so you can have a two day to a ten day stubble look.”
Oh is right, I thought.
I wore a mustache for most of my young life, deciding when I was 47 to get rid of it, and I don’t miss it. Made me look like some 70s undercover NYPD cop. I’ve been clean-shaven for some 15 years now, and I like it.
One of the reasons I don’t want facial hair is that I am going grey from the bottom up. So even though my head of hair is still black, from my temples down the hair is mostly grey.
Since no one at work shaves, I’ve taken to shaving every other day, and sometimes I’ll let it go for three days. But by day three I start to look like someone on the verge of developing delirium tremens and shave it off.
It feels good, I am blessed with some pretty smooth and youthful looking skin, and I look younger shaved.
The kids I work with look pretty cool with all their facial hair. Most of them get regular haircuts, no hippies here. The hair is of varying lengths, but nobody wears it down to their shoulders.
The last time I got a haircut I got almost sidewalls with a little hair on the top. It was too extreme for Jack, the most senior of the young men at 33.
“You look like you’re going to war.” He said. He doesn’t know the half of it.
What I am grateful for is that despite the fact that they all live in the latest hipster enclaves, (Red Hook, Bushwick, Crown Heights) none of them has a MAN BUN.
I would have a hard time keeping a straight face talking to a guy with a man bun and beard. If you want to be a Samurai, go to Japan.
I guess it’s appealing to younger women, the whole almost wild look. I may look like a wild man, but I’m actually a commodities trader.
Anyway, to me it’s one of the comical manifestations of youth, right up there with pants falling down past your ass. That was a style born of jailhouse veterans, where you are not allowed a belt and get clothes that don’t fit properly.
But this about hair, not about clothing! I’ll write about weird clothing proclivities some other time.
I actually go to a barber; at least that’s what the proprietor calls it, a barbershop.
I get a hot eucalyptus-infused towel over my face after they cut my hair, and it feels good. One day I will treat myself to a shave with a straight razor.
Every time I go there I think about the barbershop my dad used to hang out in when I was a kid growing up on Atlantic Avenue in Boerum Hill. My dad would take me there to get his weekly trim and chat with the guys who were always there.
I often wondered about that, why were these guys always there? Did they get their haircut every day, like John Gotti? Other reasons, I suspect, one of them being loneliness.
One day one of the men brought a grey wooden shine box with him, and gave it to me.
“Here kid, learn to make some money.”
So I had something to do at the barbershop, I was ten years old or so; I couldn’t shine shoes to save my life. My dad showed me how to do it, but I just couldn’t get the hang of it. Some of the men just gave me a quarter and used the shine box and shined their own shoes.
I had that shine box for years; it sat in the hallway closet of our apartment for years. I used it a bit when I started High School at Brooklyn Tech and wanted to look sharp. That lasted for a year until we had a dungaree strike at Tech and sneakers were the order of the day till I graduated.
Sneakers and hair past my shoulders, and oh yeah, that 70s mustache. But never a man bun.
All pictures were downloaded from the Internet except for the top one, which I took in my neighborhood.