Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Old fashioned barbershops are the best

I go to the little barbershop in the area of Westover in Arlington, VA (Pete's). I first went there when I lived up the road back in 2003, and have gone back ever since (it's also across the street from Lost Dog, a fantastic local sandwich shop, so I used to get sandwiches with ever haircut).

What does a real barbershop have to have?
  • Random assortment of magazines; usually golf, something with ladies on it, and maybe a GQ to class the joint up
  • Minimum of one old timey barber, an accent is an added bonus. The owner of this shop is the old timer, he's Greek, and hilarious. He and another old timer discussing how you have to look at women yesterday was a trip
  • Old timey patrons. Gotta have a few guys who have been going there for 3 decades or more. Bonus points if they have very very little hair. Triple bonus points if they get a scalp massage, or ask for exotic looking oils.
  • Random oils and rubs that no one uses. I guess people used to like these, but I'm not asking for any mint oil to be put in my hair.
  • The old foam dispensing machine. They still use it to do the 8 second shave of your neck and sideburns. This is a holdover from when they used to do a lot of shaves.
  • A near never ending stream of conversation, preferably with some arguments. Politics, lots of sports, and any local issues that may come up. The barbershop is always good for catching up on the local flavor of things. If your lucky, you'll hear some honest to goodness gossip.
Bonus points if they still have the old timey massage/vibrating machine. The other barbershop I used to go to in College Park, MD (it burned down and never reopened) had one of these. I remember the original owner giving a scalp massage to an old timer patron. It was great.
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