Friday, October 21, 2016

Brite Lite Barber Shop in Harlem

Brite Lite Barber Shop in Harlem is a favorite of ours because we not only love its #handpainted #signage but also love its #vintage poles outside. The #barber pole's colors are from a time when people went to barbers not only for just a #haircut or #shave but also for bloodletting and other medical procedures. The look of the pole is linked to bloodletting with the color red representing blood and white representing the bandages used to stem the bleeding. The pole itself was used to symbolize the stick that a patient squeezed to make the veins on his arm stand out more prominently for the bloodletting. In the USA the poles are red, white and blue while in Europe they are traditionally red and white. We also love the kid sitting on the bench outside waiting for his father to get his haircut.

Photo from 2004 appears in our book "Store Front: The Disappearing Face of New York".

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