Sunday, May 20, 2012

Links, Memories, Tamara's, New Barber Shop & Sweet Banana Candy

Today's Times has an article on the final days of the New Barber Shop on Ninth Avenue in Chelsea.  The small stores on this strip, between 17th & 18th Streets, will soon be replaced by a bigger business. 

Attractions like the Chelsea Market and the High Line have helped make the neighborhood more upscale, Mr. Castillo said.
“It’s good, and no good,” he said, “because all the smaller stores are gone.”
“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?

This is the next book on my reading list.  It came out in 2004, and is published by Coffee House Press.

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.

1 comment:

Laura Goggin Photography said...

Ugh, this is so sad. I used to live on 9th and liked that strip of stores, including Banana Candy. There were always people gathered out front and it felt like a small, familiar neighborhood. I don't even feel like I belong over there any more.