Written by Elissa Romines
A few weeks ago, we held our fourth Street-Side Salon. It was my favorite to date. Not because it went smoothly-- it didn't (I wouldn't call searching for an outdoor electrical outlet behind a dumpster for an hour "smooth"). But because out of all the community events, it felt the least like an actual event.
An article I read recently in The New York Times explains it much better:
"There’s simply no real substitute for physical presence.
We delude ourselves when we say otherwise, when we invoke and venerate “quality time,” a shopworn phrase with a debatable promise: that we can plan instances of extraordinary candor, plot episodes of exquisite tenderness, engineer intimacy in an appointed hour.
...But people tend not to operate on cue. At least our moods and emotions don’t. We reach out for help at odd points; we bloom at unpredictable ones. The surest way to see the brightest colors, or the darkest ones, is to be watching and waiting and ready for them."
--Ben Wiseman, "The Myth of Quality Time"
The magic of Street-Side Salon is in its simplicity. What happens on that abandoned lot is rare and unusual in such a transient community: people slow down and talk with one another.
Here, the lines dividing homeless and non-homeless are blurred. Two fundamental human needs are met: one is physical, a hair cut; the other — intangible, but equally important — is friendship.
People doing less, being more:
CLEAN CUTS & CLEAN SHAVES:
Being with our people:
We see you, Kendall & R. We see you doin' the twist. (Or was it the "mashed potato?")
A few heartfelt "Thank you's":
- Kendall Stone (& the Stone family!) of Jay Stone Sales & their suppliers
- Brian Romines for setting up, taking down, & impromptu barber shoppin'
- Our incredible barbers: Doreen Miller, Hallie Alford (& the Alford family!), "Blue Eyes"
- Johnny Flores for bringing coffee & giving so much time