The obituary of the New York neighborhood barbershop has been written time and again, but this nostalgic breed still thrives on quiet residential side streets. With a group of barber chairs for a largely walk-in clientele, Alex’s Barber Shop in Yorkville is an archetypal example of the barber-poled storefront. Its door is kept open even on brisker days, and its décor consists of a white linoleum floor and haphazardly hung Yankees and Mets caps. The barbers keep frugal local gents and school kids well trimmed. Coifs tend toward the quick and short with some layering on the crown and a high neck shorn with clippers. For most styles, a twenty will cover the cut plus the tip. Clients can avail themselves of beard and mustache trims, straight-edge shaves with a steamy “hot towel,” pore-cleansing facials, and mini-massages for the neck and shoulder. The blue Barbicide comb disinfectant and Clubman talc are not for sale, but patrons can stock up on American Crew and Paul Mitchell styling balms.
Indoor surfing, spinning lovefests, a luxurious pig-placenta facial, and more.