I dropped by the barber shop this past weekend with a sketchbook under my arm. Barber shops are always populated with a cross section of ages and personalities that make for an interesting time. The regulars carry on conversations and offer unsolicited opinions on just about any topic. The newer guys sit and listen participating only with facial expressions. You never know how long you will have to wait on a Saturday morning, so why not capture these moments with a pencil?
I go to Arenas’ Barber Shop on Victory Boulevard in good ol’ Burbank, CA. The shop is run by second generation barber siblings Denise and Steve Arenas whose pop got them going down the path of hair manipulation many years before. They used to work in the hair salon on the Disney Studio lot for years until current management starting eliminating some of the family atmosphere of the employment experience there, and forced out the Arenas along with other follicle folks.
Ten years ago Denise took over an old time barber shop run by an old timer named Chuck (I used to go to him, too), fixed up the joint and created a fun atmosphere for parting parts and taming tresses.
So, the next time you get your hair cut, look around and take it all in. There are few experiences in life where complete strangers can all be the best of friends for an hour while waiting their turn for a trim before walking out the door into harsh, cold anonymity once again.