“I can live without work, but I’m sorry for my customers,” Mr. Castillo said on Tuesday as he shouted, “Arriba” to the next customer and motioned for him to sit in his barber chair.
I was right on that block just a couple of weeks ago, coming back from the I Remember Joe Brainard documentary screening at the Kitchen. The poet Ron Padgett, a long-time friend of the late Brainard, & the film's narrator, was right across the aisle from me, and I was pretty excited to see him & (apologies) eavesdrop a little. I walked into the city night in a buzz of Remembering , thinking about the poem, the film, the collected works of Brainard I'd just read, how nice a guy Padgett seemed, and the schoolkids around the city I'd done I Remember writing sessions with. Did I still have their memory poems somewhere?
Update: Right after I put this up, I realised that the fate of the block (and particularly, the New Barber Shop),was the the subject of extensive & beautifully written coverage by Jeremiah Moss at Jeremiah's Vanishing New York. You can read about it here, and follow the links to earlier posts.