Week 10: Barbershop

Opa-locka is a food desert (a term that is up for debate, but my own experience is that it's truly impossible to get decent, healthy food within a reasonable distance -- certainly more so than in more affluent parts of the city). A large struggle working in the area is what to eat on days that I do not bring a lunch. There is only so much starch filled and fried foods that a person can devour.

When Christian and Jennifer are in town we search for new locations to eat -- in order to discover new parts of Opa-locka and the surrounding neighborhoods. This weekend Christian was in town working on a programming document and we needed to find a location to grab lunch.

As we were waiting for a restaurant to open (it was early on a Sunday morning, the cook's car had broken down) Christian decided to get a haircut. The barbershop is a sacred place in low-income communities. Everything is discussed in the barbershop from talk about the city council elections to who should be traded on the local sports team. There were not a lot of patrons in the shop this afternoon.

As we walked in, someone immediately asked if it were I that was getting a haircut, I smiled and said “Nope, he is” and pointed to Christian. The barber looked a little shocked, then asked Christian to sit on his throne. The barber asked how he would like his hair styled and they both looked lost as to how to accomplish what Christian wanted. Personally, I thought it was hilarious. The barber began cutting off a lot of hair and needless to say I was a bit worried that it was going to be disastrous. However, when he finished the haircut looked pretty damn good. What started as an adventure to find some new places to eat ended with Christian getting a haircut and programmatic thoughts a hair salon or barbershop for Made in Opa-locka.

-- Germane Barnes

 Christian ready for the haircut. Notice the air compressor hoses used to get rid of cut hair -- the same ones you'd use with a nail gun on a construction site!

Christian ready for the haircut. Notice the air compressor hoses used to get rid of cut hair -- the same ones you'd use with a nail gun on a construction site!