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Thread: Greetings from Hamburg!!!

  1. #1
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    Default Greetings from Hamburg!!!

    I know, I know, not really quite Nordic enough, but pretty damn close! Matter of fact, there is a part of town in Hamburg called Altona... the story is that the moniker was formed from the lower German words AL - TO - NA (engl. ALL - TOO - CLOSE), and referred to popular sentiment regarding the Danish presence in and sometime rule of Schleswig-Holstein, the state bordering Hamburg to the North.

    Be that as it may (I wasn't there at the time), the Nordic influence is quite apparent in Hamburg. Local culinary specialties include a wide variety of fish in all shapes, sizes and manners of preparation, but most notably smoked, salted and pickled. Love the stuff!

    Apart from the fact that this part of Germany can suffer from chronically gray, damp, and dismal weather, Hamburg has always been a vibrant, wealthy, visually appealing and fairly expensive city that offers the best of everything to those who can afford it, with a lot still left for those who can't. To me, one sign of true civilization (besides the bidet), has always been the possibility for a man to get a decent shave when he lands in a strange city, and Hamburg does not disappoint in that regard. Although the barbers of my youth here have vanished, the tradition of the gentleman's salon has firmly and successfully endured.

    I have had straight razor shaves from barbers in Denver, New York, San Diego, Mumbai and Bangkok, also some in Costa Rica and Colombia. They've generally been quite alright, and fairly smooth, though at times I have developed a slight rash afterwards. However, until two days ago, I have never felt that a barber could achieve a better, closer and cleaner shave than the one I can give myself.

    Eric Der Barbier (website German only) is situated in the heart of Hamburg, on the Alster riverfront between the beautiful old town hall and the ugly new central station. You saunter up a few stairs and walk straight into a long room with about half a dozen leather barber's chairs lined up facing mirrors on the left. The storefront window behind you is filled with a vast collection of Dovo and other straight razors, and various accessories, all available for purchase. The wall to your right is stacked with mysterious lotions and unguents, i.e. a fine and extensive selection of T&H, Taylor's and PILS products. The smell in the air is of fine shaving soap, discreet, woodsy aftershaves, leather and coffee. Ten years ago, cigar smoke might have filled the room at times, but thankfully, no more (it is a small space). In other words, one immediately feels right at home in a very happy and contented way.

    I asked for a facial and cranial shave and was quoted 25 EUR for each, which seemed reasonable. Without further ado, I was invited to sit in one of the comfortable leather chairs, and the obviously trained young barber put a cloth around my neck and got down to business. He immediately soaped up my still dry face, which threw me off. As it turned out, this was just a preparatory lather, on which he then proceeded to put the hot towel. While the towel was working its magic, he quickly and efficiently trimmed my eyebrows with a comb and scissors (I couldn't believe that someone still knows how to do that!). Then, removing the towel and the lather underneath, he re-lathered the face using T&H sensitive (which I had asked for), and adding generous drops of oil directly into the brush. The lather was not particularly thick, but just right and very smooth. The shave itself was performed with disposable razor of very good quality, and his technique was very efficient. He immediately identified which way hair was growing in various areas, and used the appropriate stroke(s) for each one, something it took me weeks to figure out! The end result was a BBS shave all around, on face and head. My own shaves have become pretty damn good, but they take me longer, and this was a class above. Money well spent and a few new tricks learned. And of course, some new stuff purchased ... An excellent aftershave balm for sensitive skin by Taylor's (I still love my Dominica Bay Rum w. Lime, but it has been a bit harsh of late), and the T&H sandalwood cologne. I was barely able to keep myself from a 6/8 Dovo with a beautifully beveled spine - but I'll still be here for a while!

    If any of you Nordic types ever come through town and have an hour or so to spare, make sure to visit Eric, you will not regret it!

    All the best, -o
    lz6 likes this.

  2. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to HamburgO For This Useful Post:

    lindyhop66 (11-16-2012), lz6 (11-16-2012), Ullmencott (11-16-2012)

  3. #2
    lz6 is offline
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    Welcome to the forum. Thank you for sharing your experience at the shop. I imagine that Dovo you admired will probably
    belong to you sooner if not later. Please ask any questions you may have. You will find a lot of friendly members here who
    will be glad to assist you with questions you may have.
    Hamburg is the home of my favorite Cuban cigar shop the La Casa Del Habano owned by Christoph Wolters, the manager in Frankfurt, and Mitchell Orchant from London.
    Again welcome to SRP.

    "God is a Havana smoker. I have seen his gray clouds" Gainsburg

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