Central Barber Shop / 5026 N Central Ave, Phoenix
  1. It is a block from my house.
    When I was a little boy and I visited my grandparents in small-town northern Indiana, my grandpa would always put on his seersucker pants and boater and walk to the barber with my brother and I. We'd all get our hair cut together. My mom even bought us our own "grandpa pants" to wear to this outing once. Now I walk to my barber too!
  2. It's so stereotypically Russian it makes me smile.
    Barbers include Roman, Boris, Ibragim, Oksana, and Sasha. Oksana stands out as a pretty young blond woman working with 4 older men.
  3. I never make an appointment.
    I just wake up and think "time for a cut" and then walk down there early and almost always sit right down.
  4. Each barber has a distinctive style.
    Oksana is fast and intricate with scissors and fingers. Roman is a scissors/comb/fingers guy, slower and calmer. Ibragim uses a comb and a straight razor. And Boris uses an electric razor with guard and finishes with a funny scissors/comb/scissors maneuver Boris also never uses water.
  5. They clean up the edges with a straight razor and hot shaving cream.
    It all feels so precise and perfected when they tidy up your sideburns, around the ears, and the back of the neck with a straight razor. And that piping hot shaving cream is a great touch.
  6. They trim my eyebrows.
    This makes my wife so happy. Also my nose and occasionally my ears. See my previous list about being old now.
  7. Back and shoulder massage.
    After the cut I get tidied up with a steaming hot towel, then wrapped, and then a back and shoulder massage. Best of all they use electric massagers: No scary human contact. Sometimes I get a scalp massage too.
  8. They have great clientele.
    Today a grandpa and a papa were there with this adorable grand daughter. She watched fascinated while they got their hair cut side by side. It was her birthday and she was wearing a cupcake birthday hat with pride. When Roman wrapped grandpa's head with a hot towel he sculpted it to look like a fox which made her laugh and laugh. Then later she said "Grandpa you look like a lovely lady!"