Monday, April 15, 2019


One immediate thing I noticed about Florence is that it is almost oppressively stylish. It may be a defense mechanism by the Florentines to differentiate themselves from the tourists, who are as usual dressed in garish, low-maintenance garments that pack and travel well.

As someone who doesn’t want to stand out as a tourist, I’ve tried to dress as stylishly as possible. I packed some expensive tailored jackets, Hugo Boss polos, and my brown brogues with hard soles that tap smartly across marble floors in galleries or piazzas – nothing quite announces your quality on a hard surface like good shoes with a crisp tap.

However by this stage in my holiday I was beginning to need a haircut, and nothing ruins a smart shoe tap like lax hair. So my job for today was to go out and get a hipster haircut. This I did at Machete, a barber shop on the Piazza Carlo Goldoni owned, apparently, by Nicki Minaj. At least that’s who the woman who greeted me at the door appeared to be. I don’t know why Nicki Minaj would own a barber shop in Florence, but then it’d hardly be the most surprising thing that Nicki Minaj might do, and frankly it’s a lot less unsavoury than most of the alternatives.

Nicki’s staff of heavily tattooed hipster barbers (never trust a hipster barber who hasn’t committed to lots of ink) made me an espresso, then cut my hair, trimmed my beard, shaved my neck, massaged my scalp, moisturised my face, and doused me heavily in unspecified but manly Italian cologne. I emerged significantly poorer but looking schmick as heck.

At least from the neck up.


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