Photographer's Note

In the East Village neighborhood of Manhattan, there are few businesses that have survived for several decades and are still going strong. Astor Place Hairstylists is one of them. It came very close to permanently closing during the COVID-19 pandemic, but was saved by donors who couldnít bear to see this iconic spot disappear.

Opened in 1947, this barber shop that was family-owned until just last year, has set some of the hairstyle trends of the recent past. In the late 1970s through the early 1990s, when the neighborhood was the center of punk, Astor Place Hairstylists was especially successful. They offered spiked hair, colorful mohawks, and other edgy cuts to regular New Yorkers and celebrities alike. Robert De Niro, Andy Warhol, and many others, have been customers. At the height of their success they occupied two floors, but in more recent years they have occupied only this iconic basement. Theyíve always kept the prices relatively reasonable, too.

Iíve never been inside, but Iíve seen photos and videos of the interior, the walls covered with photos of celebrity clients, and dozens of stalls crammed into the site. At one time there were 50 hairstylists; currently there are around 30. The staff has always been a mini United Nations, with employees from all over the world, which is why they have that sign about languages over the front door. :-)

Having been a student at New York University in the same neighborhood as this iconic shop, I remember a steady stream of customers descending down those basement stairs. This is one spot that everyone from the neighborhood, and many New Yorkers from other parts of the city, recognize right away. It was nostalgic to walk by the other day and take a few photos.

pajaran, Fis2, holmertz, jemaflor, ikeharel, PaulVDV, adramad, macjake, COSTANTINO has marked this note useful

Photo Information
  • Copyright: Brenda Elaine (worldcitizen) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2006 W: 351 N: 4571] (16236)
  • Genre: Places
  • Medium: Color
  • Date Taken: 2022-03-18
  • Exposure: f/1.8, 1/20 seconds
  • Photo Version: Original Version
  • Date Submitted: 2022-03-20 11:10
Viewed: 0
Points: 32
Additional Photos by Brenda Elaine (worldcitizen) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2006 W: 351 N: 4571] (16236)
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