Tribeca Barber School is located on 113 Chambers Street in Downtown Manhattan, New York City. It is one of many schools in the area run by the American Barber Institute, where aspiring barbers embark on a 7-week course learn to cut hair and prepare for the licensing exam to become real, official barbers. One of the students, Steve, is a Bukharan Jew from Uzbekistan, part of a sizable Bukharan immigrant community in New York known for producing many barbers. Marshall, the school’s teacher, is an established barber from Brooklyn who has worked in top shots around the city as well as done high-priced private appointment work. He teaches at the shop as a way of leaving his legacy on the barbering world.
Steve [interview]: “Well I have my cousin, Yussi. He has a barber shop 10 blocks away from here. Umm, I have two cousins, Gary and Boris––Lexington? Around there. Another cousin, Roman, in Long Island, exit 46. I have another friend, a close friend of mine, he owns a barbershop in Williamsburg. If you guys go there, just put in a word, Steve. And hopefully I could get one over here, for the right price––rent, you know. Anything else, guys?”
Owner [to Steve]: [inaudible]
Steve [to customer]: “She always tries to, you know, give me that positive attitude. But–“
Customer [to Steve]: “That’s good.”
Steve [to customer]: “You know, I’m a man. We don’t want to depend on a woman. My wife wants to get a car. Right now, we’re leasing, I have my own car, but it’s not that great. That’s another expense. That’s another three hundred, four hundred dollars a month.”
Customer [to Steve]: “Yep.”
Steve [to customer]: “Hopefully I could get to learn as fast as I can