Except, wait! I totally did*.
Again. Yes, it’s something I haven’t done a lot of the last few years.
This afternoon I did something I (rather inexplicably) have never done before: stepped out my front door and walked two blocks to Red’s barbershop on North Fourth. It’s in a small storefront in a block of none-too-upscale commercial spaces. (We don’t have a lot of upscale commercial spaces in this part of Albuquerque’s North Valley. That’s part of its charm.)
Red’s is tiny. It’s just a partitioned-off sliver of a different none-too-large business. It doesn’t even have its own discrete entrance. It’s a one-seater operation, with like an old red vinyl sofa and some even older wooden chairs for waiting, and a refrigerator for … not sure what, exactly. Red himself, the barber, is a soft-spoken, slightly gruff but pleasant older Latino gentlemen, who grew up not far from here when this part of the Valley was mostly farmland, and in fact still grows vegetables and fruit trees on his place a ways up north.
And see … this is kinda why I moved here, 25 years ago last month (!). Aside from the proximity to irrigation ditches where I love to walk. And of course the river, and the Rio Grande Nature Center. This part of the North Valley consists largely of weird, clapped-out looking commercial buildings (some of which house pretty good machine shops and auto repair garages, among other things) interspersed with pleasant neighborhoods – and some very rural areas. It’s not sterile. It’s bizarre and disreputable. That’s why I like it.
And Red’s is totally North Valley. It has a stuffed baby alligator on the front window sill and mariachi music softly playing on the radio.
Naturally, I fell in love with the place. I’ll be going back. Didn’t get a bad cut, either.
*But, as you know, I have no power over the desire to link to 1960s-early ’70s rock songs.