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Classic Barbershop

1031 Lexington Ave.

The high-end male-beauty services of our metrosexual era—glossy spas like Nickel, self-consciously macho clubs like John Allan’s—can be a little too, well, fussy. This Upper East Side barbershop, which has occupied the same slightly dingy two floors for 90 years, is a reminder of a time when a superb shave was a taken-for-granted necessity, rather than a froufrou luxury treatment. The key is in the prelude: a series of hot compresses, conditioners, and creams that alternately soothe and stimulate your skin before the sharp, pleasant application of the steel. It’s almost as good as any massage.

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