Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Haircut on Capitol Hill

If you can’t find it on Google, post on Craig’s List. Mine said this:

Where’s a Military Barber Shop? – Guy in town for a few months from San Diego. Used to paying $8 for my buzz cut at barber shop right outside MCRD. Can't see paying $25 for a high-n-tite ... any advice? Thanks.

I posted it in the gay listings, figuring some gay service member would point me in the right direction. Good call! I got about ten responses. One instructed me to go to the shop next to the visitor’s center in the Pentagon. Another suggested Fort Myers. All the rest had the same answer: Sneed’s Barber Shop, across the street from the Marine Barracks on Capitol Hill.

(I mentioned this on the phone to my partner, who works on a USMC base near San Diego. “Oh yeah, I’ve heard about that. I Street, I think.” I get the address, and indeed, it’s at the corner of 8th and I Streets, SE. The man is scary, but we knew that.)

So on a Saturday morning, I took the metro to Eastern Market, and walked the few blocks to Sneed’s. On the way, I discovered that Capitol Hill is a great neighborhood, and made a mental note that there is definitely more to DC than Dupont Circle and Georgetown. Ethnically diverse, cool restaurants, galleries, gay bars, specialty markets … I’ll be back, for sure. After a few blocks, I came to Sneed’s.

The place is open 5am to 4pm on weekdays, and 7am to noon on Saturdays. At 9 on a Saturday morning, I expected the place to be packed, but to my surprise I got a chair immediately. Only four chairs in the place – one had a Marine, another a gay guy getting his head shaved, the third a little boy with his dad proudly watching – and me. The barber made me nervous, he mumbled to himself in a Tourette’s kind of way, but he gave me a good haircut, using a straight razor, which is rare. On the wall across from my chair was a signed picture of President Bush, and the price list:

Civilians … $15
Marines … $7
Military Police … $12
Mustache/Beard … $10
Bush … $20

Dirty joke, or put-down of Fearless Leader? I didn’t have the cojones to ask. The barber rang up $7, but I owned up to being a civilian, paid my $15, and walked home.


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