Seriously, where can I get a shave and hair cut? And the nine barbershops on Upper Monroe Avenue

Seriously, where can I get a shave and hair cut? And the nine barbershops on Upper Monroe Avenue

4/23/20. Except where indicated, photos by David Kramer.

(left) 4/23/20. David Kramer [photo: coronacop]; (right) Seinfeld – The Kramer Portrait, caption: “He is a loathsome, offensive brute, yet I can’t look away” (pinterest). The placard for the mug-shot-like photo — Wanted  Failure to wear mask during bank robbery — is the brainchild of Leslie Kramer. At one point, all members of the Kramer family owned The Kramer Portrait.

As seen in An eerie quiet at Rochester Institute of Technology, when visiting RIT, Professor of Philosophy Timothy Engström took my picture outside Liberal Arts Hall. The sorry state of my coiffure displays the effect of the shuttered doors of the barbers who cut my hair and trim or shave my beard.

4/20/20 [Photo: Timothy Engström] From An eerie quiet at Rochester Institute of Technology

Actually, my bicycle helmet had flattened down the mess, hence — as seen above — not revealing my full hair-abandoned condition.

On Tuesday, Democrat and Chronicle columnist Jim Memmott, “Sheltered in place, hair-cutting issues hit home: try DIY or let nature run wild?”, offered some advice on do it yourself haircuts.

Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, 4/21/20 From An eerie quiet at Rochester Institute of Technology

Having eschewed DIY, I’ve gone total Let Nature Run Wild.

Hence my question. Dear readers, does anyone know someone who can safely cut my hair, at my home or theirs? I can shave. If so, please email David Kramer at [email protected]

Normally, I patronize the barbers of Upper Monroe. The profession of barbering is especially esteemed in minority and immigrant communities; all my barbers have been black, hispanic or middle eastern.

Do be prepared to stay a while. These men take their craft seriously. A haircut with the Barbers of Monroe is not an assembly line in-and-out; it’s an event. Lavishing attention, the barbers wield their razors, clippers, blades, trimmers, combs, brushes, neck dusters, mirrors, oils, creams, lotions and powders with precision. No stray strand is left uncut. One man gives tips on the finer points of hair grooming. Unless absolutely necessary, don’t shave everyday. Shaving is actually a form of micro surgery. A daily — often hurried — scraping causes unsightly skin bumps. If you must shave daily, only use the blade in one direction, either up or down but not both.

As I began my excursion, I met Jacob Covey who was trying out his new camera, taking shots of the Cobbs Hill Building 3. Although he looks great compared to me, Jacob has not shaved in about three weeks. His last top trim was over two months ago. A friend was cutting his hair, but right now they are keeping social distance.

Jacob Covey

Jacob is nurse in the hematology and oncology unit at Rochester General Hospital. His next shift is tomorrow morning at 3 a.m. Taking photos is therapy. Jacob’s unit is relatively calm, but ICU and the Covid-19 dedicated units are stressed. Nonetheless, staff morale is strong. Jacob says the community has been amazingly supportive, donating food, homemade masks and other useful items. Jacob sees reason for optimism. Every day, the staff is learning more about treating the disease, keeping everyone updated through emails and meetings.

While Jacob feels the situation in Rochester is stable and improving, in NYC, it’s unfortunately still grim. Jacob’s cousin, a traveling nurse living in San Diego, volunteered to work in a Manhattan hospital. She describes the situation as unimaginable. Before every shift, the staff gathers for prayer.

I went to eight barbershops, wistfully looking through windows at empty chairs, hoping to soon find myself in one for a hair taming event.

AIRBIZ CUTZ: Barbershop and Beauty Salon, 1122 Monroe Ave.

Los’s Epic Cuts, 983 Monroe Ave.

Unfortunately, Malek’s Major Style’s Barber Shop closed due the fire in the adjoining apartments, 976 Monroe Ave.

The Barber Shop, 768 Monroe Ave.

676 Monroe Ave. Dandedeville Barber and Beauty Shop. Hopefully the sign inside Dandedville will be soon be outside.

Unfortunately, GVIII appears to be out of business. 488 Monroe Ave.

Furat Al Atlace Barber Shop, 465 Monroe Ave.

Happy Man Barber Shop, 376 Meigs Street

Whitmore’s International Barber Shop, 213 Monroe Ave.

Next door to Furat Al Atlace Barber Shop is B.K. HAIR SALON, 463 Monroe Ave. As B.K. is For Women Only! , currently I am not eligible. Perhaps if my hair grows long enough, I can pass.

B.K. HAIR SALON, 463 Monroe Ave

Front Page. The New York Times, 4/25/20. “A barber in Broken Arrow, Okla., on Friday, the first day that some nonessential business could reopen in parts of the country.” [Joseph Rushmore for The New York Times]

UPDATE: 4/25/20. Did the DIY.

4/25/20 [Photo: coronaprobofficer] Pansonic ES8109 WET/DRY electric razor, Salon|Series 1875|watt, Made in China Stainless Steel scissors, unnamed wooden comb and OBSESSION For Men. With the $ from my heist, I bought new clothes and retrieved my Calvin Klein after shave cologne given to me by Laura Hayton for my birthday.

Birthday gift from Laura Hayton, 9/13/09



Monroe shows itself off as the road to Rochester

Flowering Upper Monroe

Porches: from Upper Monroe with Love

About The Author

Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History and a Storyteller in Residence at the SmallMatters Institute. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, the CITY, Lake Affect Magazine and Brighton Connections. My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.


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