Monday, August 13, 2012

Mei Dick Barber Shop


What happened to Mei Dick?


Back in April, a couple of commenters noted that the notorious (and much photographed) sign was gone, but we just got down to Chinatown to check it out.

It's gone.

Yelper A.F.B. tells the tale:

"Friday, April 20, 2012 will be a day that I recall with melancholic humor. I walked out of Aji Ichiban on Mott Street, turned left, looked over and exclaimed loudly with appropriate horror, 'OH, NO!!! MY DICK IS GONE!' Then laughed.

The sign is scrubbed away, the mailbox is stuffed with un-picked up mail, and one of my Chinatown Cultural References seems to have disappeared. Mei Dick was one of the places in Chinatown where I'd get my haircut... They did a good job at a good price and, with the constant clacking noise of Mah Jongg tiles in the background, somewhat like an adventure. So, one more 'I remember when' to add to my walks through the City of Ghosts."

Yelper Isaac C realls, "The same guy (the only guy) always cuts my hair. He is really nice and SUPER old-school. Everything about this place is old-school. It's essentially like getting a haircut in your grandpa's basement. He even uses the same plastic scrubber to wash my hair that we used as kids. My only beef is that he always wants to paste down my hair and part it, so that I walk out with a 50s do looking like an Asian character from Mad Men. I think it's $6 for a cut and wash. I don't know how these C-town barbershops exist."

Does anyone know the history of Mei Dick and why it disappeared?


Streets of Stamford said...

Let's play "NYC Hyper-Gentrification Mad Libs"!

This old, beloved [diner/barber shop/hardware store/bodega] closed due to [quadrupled rent/scumbag landlords/corporate greed] and will soon be replaced by [glitzy condos filled with douchebags/a Middle America chain store/Starbucks].

JAZ said...

Sadly, one day in the not so distant future, "Nolita" will finally consume and excrete what's left of what was once Little Italy and Chinatown - since by then the name will have luxury cache that will resonate with the wealthy and beautiful people, the city will see no need to change it for accuracy, and will probably even promote it.

I'd rather look at Mei Dick than Nolita any day.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know the history of Mei Dick and why it disappeared?

Is this a serious question? answer is white transplants.

TyN said...

It will probably become another barber shop, massage parlor or tea cafe. A lot of the businesses in Chinatown (except for main streets like Canal, Bowery and Lafayette) stay Chinese. The shop below me has been a barber shop, a restaurant, a bakery, and now a different bakery.

laura said...

dont jump to conclusions. maybe he died, maybe he moved or retired. these comments make no sense & they are negative. coinidence, i just made a comment abiut chinatown yesterday while reading a post from 2008. "J" we are so much alike! i have had my hair washed & blowdried in chinatown for years, it used to be $7, then it went up to $10. i dont know if a trim was included. mine was a more fancy place than mei dick, im sure there were even better prices around. they exist on volume. there are many customers & they work fast. follow up on that space, talk to the other stores & see why he closed.

laura said...

to add to my comment: "J" i see it was not you who had the chinese haircut. but for value chinatown was always the best. shoe repair/shine, furniture, decor, nails, hair, eye glasses, silk clothes, etc. i would wait in the temple while the lab would do my glasses. ("canal optical" see tony mui). there are also 200,000 illegal asians in manhattans chinatown, plus the legal people. it would take may payoffs (from bloombergs developers) to move these people to brooklyn & queens. then when that happens, YOU can move there too!

Anonymous said...

"maybe he died" is a far more negative and harrowing comment. And "these people"? I guess that commenter puts herself in a higher category. Talk about condescending and offensive.

As for Mei Dick, the constant,clacking noise of Mah Jong tiles in the background will be replaced by the sound of champagne glasses clacking. Maybe that commenter can move there too.

S.S. said...

Mei Dick may be gone, but Big Wong survives on Mott Street.

Marty Wombacher said...

I've heard about this place and always meant to visit it and document it on my blog. I need to learn you can't procrastinate these days in NYC.

laura said...

anon 4:23, people get old & die. thats a fact of life, not negative. many of my friends are dead. so what? your a typical american, death is off limits. &, how would YOU phrase "those people"? "these" people sound better? say it your way. tell us. is it less offesive? your making a victim when there is none. what do you do? teach # a robotic college? love to make them folks victims.....right. feel better?

Anonymous said...

However, Big Wong restaurant a few doors down is still doing well.