Classic Cuts: NYC Barbershops
by Jeremy Lehrer, 01/30/2013
Photo: Alexander Thompson
The Stepping Razor
952 Flushing Ave., 917-586-7710, Bushwick, Brooklyn
Once located in the back of a bike shop, The Stepping Razor moved into this new location in November, where three barber's chairs are unpretentiously situated in an aqua blue room. Owner Danny Baptista and fellow barbers Derek Hake and Richie Bresson aim to ensure that clients experience the three essentials of "free beer, a great haircut and one unforgettable conversation," as Hake describes them. All are on offer here, with the staff crafting haircuts suited for Wall Street types in nearby new loft conversions, longtime locals and Williamsburg artists alike. The service here is designed to satisfy grooming needs as much as metaphysical ones. Hake emphasizes that part of his job when cutting hair is to hold space for clients to feel comfortable and express themselves—in conversation and hairstyle. An equally important goal, he says, is "helping people to slow down and be present." The decor here blends kitsch with counterculture: the large-scale parakeet totem, vintage B-movie posters and images of Marilyn Monroe are juxtaposed with skateboards and cholo illustrations. The level of trust here is evident when one customer sits down and merely says to Hake, "Just do your thing."