There is one lesson I still have yet to learn: When I see a place that tingles my J-Reaper senses and I know it will soon vanish, I need to get in there and partake of their services fast. Instead, I add it to the ever-growing VNY Deathlist and hope for the best. Again and again, I am left bereft.
Today, it was Nick's Hair Stylists on Horatio. It's gone. Vanished. The windows are papered and the inside is being gutted. No more sparkly gold chairs. No more beehived ladies. Soon, Nick's wonderful old signage will also go, along with the tagline: "Always at the right wave length."
The Villager wrote about Nick Soccodato when he retired back in 2003 after 46 years. He started out styling the hair of doo-wop groups like The Regents and the Belmonts. He did Pacino's hair.
Irene Naumova was one of the star stylists at Nick's. A Yelp commenter and fan wrote:
"She's a little old Russian lady that reminds me of my grandmother. She remembers the details of my life, usually gives me a good haircut, and then brings out the hot-lather and straight-razor for the finishing touches. She still wants to use mousse on me. Sometimes she's tired, and the haircut isn't flawless, but it doesn't matter. It is always the best haircut I've ever had, every time. Her clients love her. Some of have been seeing her for over 20 years. They bring her flowers and candy. There is an unspoken cult of Irene. And that's because she's a bit of NYC that's fading away, as is Nick's."
You are now free to commence weeping.