One Saturday last summer, I was in a rush to get ready for a bachelorette party downtown. You know the nights full of loud DJ music, sparklers and champagne where you wear your highest heels and an extra coat of mascara? I knew we’d all be flipping our hair around, posing for iPhone photos, and I needed a quick blowout. My go-to place was full, so I stumbled into an unassuming salon a couple of blocks from our apartment and met Ricky.
While blow drying my hair that Saturday, Ricky convinced me that he could color and cut my hair better than any snotty, waiting list salon I’d tried in the city, and I went back the following weekend for the works. The rest is history.
RICKY, HAIRDRESSER, 25 YEARS OLD
How did you get your start? I first cut my grandmother’s hair in Israel when I was 15 years old. I was an assistant at a salon, and she came in with an old book that had a photo of a woman with a short, funky haircut. I cut all of her hair off, and she loved it. If I weren’t a hairdresser, I’d be a lawyer, but I can’t really sit still for long.
How did you find your way to NYC? My family moved to NYC from Israel when I was 16 years old. My father gave me a gift card to get hair supplies. I bought everything I needed to cut hair, but nobody would hire me. I decided to go to a nursing home and offered to cut everyone’s hair for free. My first client, Maria, was slumped sideways, you know, kind of sitting crooked, in a wheel chair. I cut her hair like that. When she sat up, her hair was cut at an angle. It looked awful, but she loved it. I continued to cut Maria’s hair once a week, every Thursday, until she passed away. She left me an envelope with a note and a check for $1,000. I eventually made my way into salons in NYC, and I have been working here for about 5 years.
What do you enjoy most about working in NYC? No client is the same. Everyone is willing to do new things and experiment with their hair. Nobody is trying to be anyone else. I like that.
This blog has an etiquette element, so can you share some tips for clients? Please show up on time. If you show up late, it throws off the schedule for the entire day. Have an idea about what you want. We cannot read your mind. Oh, and be honest, please! Tell us the truth – if you don’t like it, we want to know so we can fix it!
Ok, Ricky, anything else? Not all male hairdressers are gay – I’m not gay. And every woman should color their hair. Why doesn’t every woman color their hair? (Good question, Ricky).
If you want to get weird looks from your friends in NYC, tell them you talk to your neighbors. If you want those looks to get really weird, tell them you’re actually friends with your neighbors.
Meet Beverly, one of my neighbors (and friends)…
Oh, and meet her son Jake. He is home from college, so he joined in on the fun. Have you ever seen such fabulous red hair in your life? It’s even better in person.
The night I walked down the hall to chat with Beverly she had a full house already (in her one bedroom apartment). Her son Jake, his girlfriend, his buddy that works down the street and a friend’s dog were sitting together in the living room. I offered to come back another time, and Beverly responded with, “Come in! There is always room for one more person.” She says that’s been her motto since moving into the building [many, many years ago].
BEVERLY, NEIGHBOR (DOWN THE HALL)
What do you enjoy most about living in NYC? I love the electricity of the city. I’m from North Carolina. I moved to New York City for the excitement and adventure. I love the diversity and the energy that’s right outside your doorstep.
What is one thing you always have in your refrigerator? Wild Arugula
What is the one beauty product you cannot live without? Kiehl’s Vitamin C
Do you have any specific memories that stick out about living in this building for so many years? Oh yes, there are so many memories. This building and this neighborhood are like a little small town. We all know the name of the mailman and the UPS man. You see the same faces around the block and at the coffee shop. New York is a very friendly place.
Was it difficult to have a baby and raise a son in the city (and in this apartment)? No, it was great. Jake had a nanny that lived with us for 11 years. She is still our friend and part of our family. I’m the godmother to her grandchild. We just had dinner with her a week or so ago. He would meet a friend on the 4th floor and walk to school with her in the mornings. It was easier than loading everyone up in a station wagon in the suburbs. I’ve never considered moving.
There is an entertaining/events element to this blog, so any fun memories of NY events or parties you can share? Yes, I had a black tie Caribbean themed birthday party one year at a fancy hotel, with a steel drum band and a Caribbean menu; that was neat. And for a few years, the neighbor over there (points) was a makeup artist for Georgette Klinger – he’d do my makeup before events. Now I get my makeup done across the street at Bergdorfs. (Beverly also works at BG selling evening gowns – isn’t that fabulous?).
That’s amazing… Yes, I love New York. You can be at a fancy dinner at a beautiful, new restaurant and then decide it’s time to go downtown to a grungy bar and listen to a friend’s kid play in a band all in one night. It’s great.
Thanks for having us over, Beverly and Jake! We are going to miss being your neighbor!
Finding the right apartment in New York City can be daunting and frustrating. Stephen and I were lucky enough to find a charming (doodle friendly) one bedroom apartment across the street from Central Park with a working fireplace, a doorman and a dishwasher. We moved in after our honeymoon and made a very charming [itsy bitsy] first married apartment together. It was all so perfect until last year when we received a notice that all tenants were being force out of the building in 2015.
Nobody is sure what the plan is for the building, but my plan (before we move in three weeks) is to say goodbye to the neighborhood through a series of blog posts.
That’s Hudson with Kevin (one of his favorite doormen). Ignore the awful/damaged finish on the wall in the lobby. They’re likely renovating or tearing this place down, so they’ve let a few things crumble under our feet (quite literally).
S and I are kind of sad to leave the building, but as you can see, Hudson’s always ready for the next adventure (or maybe he was getting sick of this doorstep photo shoot situation). Happy MLK Day, folks!
When your best friend has a baby in San Francisco and you live in New York, you can’t help but throw a little fit (and then a little party). I took a break from weeping, laughing and cooing at my iPhone to pull together a celebratory dinner for two, but you don’t have to wait for someone to give birth to make charming dinners at home.
For Charlie’s Birthday last night, we had an arugula and tomato salad with lemon and olive oil and a spinach, butternut squash pizza with shaved parmesan cheese. We opened a bottle of Chardonnay from Alpha Omega Winery that we ordered during a trip to Napa last year with Charlie’s parents. We’d been saving our last bottle for a special occasion, and I can’t think of anything more special than this!
We ended our celebration with this big red velvet cupcake (topped with a few sparklers). I can’t wait to tell Charlie that there were people throwing parties for him coast to coast the night of his birth. Happy Birthday, Charlie! We love you and can’t wait to meet you!
You can make dinners at home special by taking care when setting the table (don’t eat in front of the TV) and by serving something colorful and delicious. There is always a reason to celebrate. Happy Weekend!
Since the summer after the 2nd grade, I spent nearly every June at an all girls camp in the Texas Hill Country (picture the parent trap but better). Having a June birthday at camp meant I was able to make one birthday call to my parents from the office phone, and being allowed to use the phone was a very big deal. During each birthday call, my parents would ask me the same question: “What do you want to do when you get home?” Every year, my answer was always the same: “I want to take a bath.” Showering (especially in flip flops) has never been my thing. I love baths; Hudson, on the other hand, hates taking baths (click here for a photo).
So, if you’re like me and a bath lover, there is only one product you must go get now: Fresh – Sugar Lemon Bath Cubes. They are heavenly and will turn your nightly routine into a luxury within seconds. I have been using these for years, and there is truly nothing better.
Another way to enhance your bath experience is to make your own pot of Lemon Ginger Tea. Click here for the fancy way to make this, or just boil water in the microwave and add a few thin slices of ginger root and a squeeze of lemon. It’s the perfect thing to sip before bedtime because it soothes your stomach (and it’s clear so it will not stain your teeth).
If this post and the freezing weather aren’t enough to make you want to take a bath tonight, read this old article from XOJane (I love that Tinsley Mortimer turned her shower into a closet, since she only uses her bathtub – a party girl after my own heart), or watch this famous bathtub scene. Now go start your bath water (and have a great weekend)!