After another day sprinting up and down the halls of corporate America from meeting to meeting it was time for a little treat. You may think this would be a nice dinner out or a trip to on of those really trendy bars that usually has a one-word name (like Heat or Silk). You’d think that, but you’d be wrong.
Once I left the office, I was off to the subway to head downtown. The plan was to take the 6 train down to one of my favorite little slices of the city. Because I walk to and from work every day I don’t get to ride the subway that often (darn!). That is probably the exact reason I really don’t mind taking it from time to time. The cast of characters you may encounter on a 40 block ride could put Studio 54’s guest list to shame. So, there I am with mostly commuters, calmly awaiting my stop. The real commuters are as easy to spot as the out-of-towners. There are a few characteristics that make up your typical commuter: a book or some type of reading material, the ability to fall asleep while standing, and an overall blank stare.
What I can’t figure out is the blank stare. I say this because after only two stops I find myself with the same exact look on my mug and I don’t know why. I do, I feel this vague almost catatonic glance on my face that I can’t identify. Although once I notice I’ve succumbed to this transportation trance, I break try and try to break it. After all, why be like everyone else.
The reason behind my trip downtown was one I wish I could make more often. One I for some reason probably enjoy more than most. I was sadly on my way to get a haircut. I know what you’re thinking, a haircut? All this for a damn haircut? This guy’s like Uncle Jesse on “Full House” with his hair isn’t he?
That is not the case, I promise…There is salon (man, that sounds gay) that I found right after I first moved to the city. To this day I’m not actually sure why or how I found the little gem. It’s a ground floor place that has every bit of uniqueness and charm that make you love being downtown. It’s not glitzy or full of marble sinks. The place is all brick walled, none of that “exposed” brick that lures so many of use when we see it in apartment listings. The space is just big enough that every element seems to be in the perfect position. The stylists are all typical, crazy haired, over the top creatives who really seem to enjoy what they do.
The owner, who also happens to be the gentleman that cuts my hair, is a truly genuine guy. A straight Puerto Rican guy who is always full of great stories…they range from great bars and restaurants in the neighborhood that I would never discover on my own to beautiful models at Designer shows.
All of this of comes at price of course. A price a 24 year old ad exec cannot and should not be paying. While waiting to get my hair washed, I happen to pick up a large, heaving, portfolio-looking book off the coffee for a little light reading. I happen to flip to a clipping from a “Time Out” (One of the 545 New York City Magazines) article about well-known top of the line salons. One of the warning signs that you may have entered one of these establishments was if someone offered you a beverage. And at the exact second I finished that very sentence an absolutely stunning younger woman asked if I would like a glass of wine. As if I didn’t already know this place was a bit out of my price range, right? But seeing as I did have a very long and hard day, and the offering came from a woman who had probably never heard the word “no” in her entire life, I decided on a glass of red wine.
That very same beautiful young woman came back just a few moments later to ask if I was ready to have my hair washed. Again, there was no way I could say anything other than YES! My question is, why does getting your hair washed by someone else feel so damn good? I think it’s like the sandwich theory: a sandwich always tastes better when someone else makes it…it’s a fact.
The price of this experience, monetarily speaking, may be a little out of my range but it’s one of New York’s offerings I can never say no to…For those 45 minutes I get to feel like I’m not a starving 24 year old trying to make it in a big city. For those 45 minutes, I feel like I’ve already made it. The haircut maybe be over priced, but as far as I’m concerned, the experience is one hell of a bargain.