A Journey Through NYC Religions is a website that covers religion throughout the five boroughs. Perhaps a bit “cleaner” than we ruffians here at Not New York, the site seemingly has no trouble slipping into cracks and alleyways in order to get the haps on religious life in our always warm and always sunny city. (A little New Thought never hurts now and again).
I’ve been particularly into A Journey’s “faith-based business” project, which highlights a different establishment in the city that proclaims some sort of religious alliance. So far A Journey has covered Dios Restaura or “God Restores” Laundry, The God Bless Barbershop & Hair Salon, Buddha’s Barbershop, The King’s Chamber Barbershop, and the Blessed Barbershop.
That’s quite a few barbershops! But, apparently this should not surprise us. To quote the world of wiki:
In early tribes, a barber was one of the most important members, as it was believed that certain evil spirits were able to enter a person’s body through their hair, and that cutting it was a way to drive them out. Due to their spiritual and religious beliefs, barbers even performed religious ceremonies, such as marriages and baptizing children. During these ceremonies, they would leave the person/people’s hair hanging down until after dancing; they would then cut the hair and tie it back tightly so that no evil spirits could enter and no good spirits could escape.
Yes! That’s exactly what I wanted to hear about barbershops. You see, all things normal and whatever today were once normal and whatever yesterday, with the caveat that they served the function of driving away evil spirits. Nice.
So, if you’ve got a “Jesus Saves Mani-Pedi” or “Ka’aba Koffee House” near you, please don’t hesitate to let me know as I would be very interested in a little release.