For my latest essay in Metro NY, a haircut at the Fiumefreddo brothers' barber shop in Park Slope.
On a weekday morning, the Fiumefreddo brothers’ Park Slope Barber shop is quiet and easy. Ella Fitzgerald sings from the speakers, followed by Sarah Vaughan. “Hey,” says the barber, “this one could give Ella a run for her money. Her voice has a lot of, what do you call ‘em? Octabels. Is that the word?” Octaves, decibels, the word doesn’t matter. What matters is the sound—and the feeling. The place provides a honeyed sense of calm and connectedness, of being rooted through time, past to present.
At this time of day, in high summer, with the door open to Seventh Avenue and a sweet breeze lilting in, the shop is a gentle country of old men. Their silver heads, with fringes of hair, are lovingly palmed and petted by the barber before his scissors start.
“How short do you want it today?”
“Same as always.”
“Sarah Vaughan. What a voice.”
“I remember when she died,” says the customer, holding still...
Read the rest at Metro NY