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The Hat And A One Dollar Hot Dog

The other week when I went to Economy Candy and passed the Essex Street Market and stopped in to see if there was any possible story ideas for future episodes of TWM. As I walked around, I spied a "Barber" sign, but it had a closed sign and said it would reopen in an hour. I made a mental note to check into this place and found out that the place is called, Aminova's Barber Shop. Jeremiah Moss wrote about it back in 2007, worried that it might be vanishing. It's a one chair, one barber shop, which is a rarity, so I thought it would be fun to go there, get a haircut and meet the man behind the barber shop!

Okay, here we are at the subway stop at Delancey street.

And now we're up and on Essex street, the market is just about a block away.

Here it is, The Essex Street Market. It's a big place inside with separate markets, specialty meats, bakeries and fish mongers and that's why I find it's curious that there's a barber in here.

Let's go inside and see what his story is.

Here's the barber shop, it's in the back of the market. Well, this turned out to be a big disappointment. I went in and there's the barber (I assume his last name is Aminova, but I couldn't find it anywhere online) sitting in a chair reading a newspaper. He's an older fellow with gray hair and a big moustache. I walked in and told him I wanted a hair cut and he just grunted at me. Then I asked if I could take some picturs afterwards and talk to him about the barber shop and he didn't like that at all. He half-yelled at me that he didn't like cameras and told me to leave. Well, there's not much you can do in a situation like that except...

Leave. I'm really bummed out, I was hoping he'd be a real character and his shop is cool and he has all kinds of clocks in there. Oh well, time to improvise.

I wandered around the neighborhood and found myself on Ludlow street and remembered that one of my favorite restaurants is just a couple blocks away...

Some call it, El Sombrero...

But I've always called it, the Hat.

And today I'm also calling it a sanctuary to lick my wounds after the disappointment of getting yelled at by the barber of Essex street!

The place just opened up and I'm the only one in here...oh, Gumby's here too!

I decided to have a margarita to dull the sting of the day's disappointment and the lovely Josephine was quick on the draw, love her smile. I feel better already!


Here's the dining room behind the bar. Some of you may remember I came here on the 365 Bar Crawl.

The decor in here is simple and comforting, two sombreros flank a piece of Spanish art on the wall.

As you can see, the place really lives up to its name.

Ketchup alert! I wonder if that's Heinz in those bottles...probably not! (See the "Questionable Link" at the bottom of this post for more ketchup fun!)

I'm still the only customer in here and Josephine and her co-workers seem to be having a meeting at the end of the bar. I'm not sure what it's about because they're speaking Spanish. Maybe they're discussing the crazy man who wandered in with a Gumby bag and is taking pictures everywhere.

And behind the bar, the Virgin Mary gazes lovingly at a bottle of Ashby's Gin. All is well again and the grumpy Barber of Essex street is just a dim memory.

I thanked Josephine and her crew and head out the door.

On my way home, I saw this deli advertising one dollar hot dogs. We had one buck pizza slices the other day, so let's go see what a one dollar hot dog tastes like.

I'm waiting at the counter while this gentleman assembles the hot dog.

Hmm...three words: "Rotate the stock!"

Oh my, it doesn't look very good and it appears to have exploded at either end.

I took one bite and about threw up. I decided to leave the other 75 cents worth of the hot dog here, maybe somebody else will want it. See you all tomorrow!

El Sombrero/The Hat
108 Stanton St. (@Ludlow St.)

Further Reading: Grub Street, Too Much Glass and Lost City (Third photo down.)

Hats off to Larry,
He broke your heart,
Just like you broke mine when you,
Said we must part.

Surprise link, click on it, I dare you!

This Week's Questionable Link!
It's time for another round of questions between DJ Gidget and myself over at her blog, check it out here! If you liked last week's ketchup post, I think you'll get a kick out of it! And don't forget to tune in to the "Secret Weapon" on Woody Radio, where "Boris" picks the tunes and DJ Gidget spins them, go listen, it's on the air now!

Bonus CBBM Mutation Sighting by Ragin' RR!
Ever wonder what happened to commenter and quote giver, ragin' rr? Well, he's still here, behind the scenes, his home computer blew up and he can't comment till he puts it back together again. But he's still reading and he sent in this scary CBBM sight of how they breed. CBBM porn. It never ends!

An International CBBM Sighting by Lex!
My friend and guest star on both the 365 Bars and MAD blogs (she's rumored to maybe making an appearance here on TWM in June, stay tuned!) was recently on vacation in the Galapagos Islands and saw this frightening sight when she was out to eat! The world is not safe anymore, I'd say run and hide, but it's apparent that's just not an option anymore. Lay down and accept your doom quietly. Aaahhh!


Bonus Cartoon By Jaws!

Jaws the Cabbie sent in this cartoon to cheer me up after my bad barber experience, thanks Jaws!

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Reader Comments (34)

Grumpy old barber,,,,free publicity and he turns it down. Oh well,,,,move on. That squirt of mustard on the hot dog kinda looks like Gumby's cousin turning his head,,,,lol.

April 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAl

the hat sure beats a mean old barber! plus there's booze there! lol! looks like a cool place, how long has it been there? love those cbbm sightings! run and hide!! lol!!

April 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBobby D

Looks like you got two strikes going against you on this post, Marty Thought a crazy barber cartoon might cheer you up. Check your e-mail...

April 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJaws the Cabbie

Del Shannon and Mittens Romney, separated at birth?

April 18, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterrandall

@Al: It does look like Gumby's cousin! Nice call!

@Bobby D: The Hat's been on the block a long time. I'm not sure how long, but I've been going since about 1994.

@Jaws: Thanks, I'll go check it out soon!

@Randall: Ha ha ha! Good observation! Hat's off to you!

April 18, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

I can't believe you made it out of the Hat with just one margarita. I usually find myself crawling out of there...

Too bad about the barber. Maybe he'd had too many $1 hot dogs himself!

April 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGoggla

So was it skin or skinless? I'm guessing that for $1 it was skinless.

In my lifetime, America has moved from hot dogs with skin to skinless hot dogs. Talk about a wrong turn!

April 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTom

@Goggla: I almost ordered a second one, then I knew that would lead to a third and then maybe this blog post never would've gotten up today!

@Tom: I think it was skinless, but it was hard to tell. It was way overcooked and it tasted like it had been sitting there for over a week. My skin is crawling just thinking about it!

April 18, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty


You might have been better off with the stale Valentine's day candy.. bahah!! Bad hot dogs are so disappointing.

April 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLindsay

Thanks for the warning on that $1 hot dog.

Shame about Hat. I worry about that place. I need to go in there more and give them a few $. Love Hat Restaurant!

That electrical outlet had me laughing out loud... oh!

April 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterShawn Chittle

...and sorry you got the cold shoulder from the barber. Just like the Chillmaster. Maybe he'll come around. Then again, even when they do, it ain't always pretty.

April 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterShawn Chittle

Sombrero used to let ya take margaritas to go. My guess is they don't do that anymore, but I haven't tried in years.

April 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSpike

Shave and a haircut-two bits

April 18, 2012 | Unregistered Commentertehennessey

Also, Essex Market is great. I get all my mexican ingredients there when it's time to make enchiladas. Also, Saxelby's cheese is awesome, but it ain't no $1, that's for sure. The future of that market is up in the air right now. They are considering tearing the space down and eventually moving it across Delancey where all the parking lots as part of a large rennovation of the area, but there a bazillion issues to figure out, most of them to do with $$ and who will get to be rich off the deal. Could be rough on the vendors there. Maybe someone with more info will chime in,

April 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSpike

I would kill for a margarita right about now. And that hot dog = GAGS!

April 18, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermeleah rebeccah

@Lindsay: The Hat is the perfect place for a margarita, especially in the afternoon, a great old relaxing place. And I wasn't expecting much from that hot dog and it was worse than my lowest expectations!

@Shawn: As you know, The Hat rules,we had dinner there last summer! And I don't think I'm going to give the Barber of Essex a second shot, besides I've got a better hair cut post lined up for next week, stay tuned!

@Spike: No more to-go margaritas at The Hat, click on the Grub Street link. I remember when they used to do that and it was always great to get "one for the road!" And I wish they would leave Essex Market where it is, if they move it, I guarantee it would put a lot of vendors out of business.

@tehennessey: Two bits of what? Honey?

@meleah: I think The Hat definitely has one of the best margaritas in town!

April 18, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Here's to Margaritas and your newly growing Afro.

April 18, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercsp

As many a person forced to look at Dwight Yoakam has said, "Thank goodness for the hat!" Were those little bottles of blue and gold tequila in front of the ketchup? And when did facebook commission lighters? The answers to these questions and more when we return.

P.S. Del Shannon's got a little of the Gary Busey thing goin on. Wear a helmet, kids.

April 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBiff

Yuck that hot dog just spoiled my appetite.

I think I might like that retail market (aside from the grumpy barber who will be receiving bad karma very soon now).

April 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTiki Bar Susie

You should go to Shopsin's at Essex & see how he compares to the barber (he's notoriously grumpy too). I really like the Essex St. Market - we have tons of covered markets like this in England. The Hat is great, but I have notoriously (twice in one comment) poor tolerance for margaritas, which is bad because I am extremely fond of them.

April 18, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteronemorefoldedsunset

Hey Marty, next time you're at the Essex Street Market, go to the bar across the street - "Boss Tweed". Rob, the guy who used to run Cheapshots in the EV is the manager there. Tell him UW sent you and I guarantee you he'll make you a killer cocktail.

April 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterUncle Waltie

@csp: Cheers to those and to my haircut next week!

@Biff: I don't think that was tequila, but in the Hat, you never know! "Wear a helmet, kids." Ha ha ha! You still gots it Bifferoonie!

@Tiki Bar Susie: Sorry to have ruined your appetite, it's all in the line of duty! You'd like the Essex Street Market, lots of stuff going on in there.

@onemorefoldedsunset: I'll have to check out Shopsin's, have you ever seen, this documentary on Shopsin’s? If not you should check it out, it’s a great NYC documentary.

@Uncle Waltie: Thanks for the tip, I may go tomorrow, I'll email you if I decide to and let you know the time. It'd be great to see you and have you back on the blog! Sip Ahoy!

April 18, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Great picture by raginrr ... I miss him ... hope he comes back soon !

April 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGENE

Sometimes, when one person is missing, the whole world seems depopulated.


April 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGENE

Marty, sorry you had a bummer of a day. I somehow knew the dollar hot dog was going to be a bad idea from the get-go. At least you got a jumbo sized margarita out of it.

April 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDaveW

Quel dommage. Well, not everyday is sunny day, even though yesterday was a sunny day. Who needs a haircut if one can get a hat, I mean a margarita at the Hat Restaurant. He's definitely ain't no ...

onemorefoldedsunset beat me to it, yeah, go try Shopshin's, and the others stores, such as Pain D'Avignon. at Essex Street Market. And I also I agree with her with the covered markets, love 'em. Montreal also has them; they're great. Have always wondered why it's not as popular here in NYC.

Next time you're in that area of LES, go to Pok Pok wings. You'd love it. I'll join you.

April 18, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteresquared

@GENE: I'm anxious for rr to return as well! Great quote supplied in true rr style!

@DaveW: The day actually wasn't too bad, any day that you can have a margarita at the Hat, can't be all bad!

@esquared: I will have to check out the Essex Street Market a little closer. Is there a good bar near Pok Pok? Maybe next Thursday I'll hit a happy hour and then we could go there and try out the wings! I'll email you.

April 18, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Hey, the link didn't go thru. I meant to say "He surely ain't no Bugs Barber of Seville".

I believe Pok Pok serves beer. Nonetheless, there's Motor City Bar on Ludlow near Delancey, where Bowery Boogie celebrated his blog's birthday last year. But did you not hear, LES is the new trendy nabe for bars and nightlife now. So I'm sure there are plenty there, such as Spitzer's, Schiller's, Bondi Road...Wooooooo!

April 18, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteresquared

Marty, I remember the Hat, I used to go there with my friends Graham & Piki in the 90's. I didn't know it was still around. Nice to see the L.E.S. Yuppie landlords haven't tried to evict them.
Marty check out Paul Mole Barber Shop uptown, you can even get a close shave, that would look cool on camera.

April 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDanny the Freelancer

@esquared: Ha ha ha! Love that Bugs Bunny clip, thanks for sending it! Just sent you an email about next week!

@Danny the Freelancer: I started going to the Hat in the mid '90s too and I wonder if they own the building. As I sat in there yesterday I thought it was a miracle that it has survived all the changes. A great place for sure! It's funny I have Paul Mole on my list of places to go, but something else came up and I'm doing a different barber post next week, stay tuned!

April 18, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

I miss Ragin RR
thats an awesome pic.. hope his puter gets well soon..
im late on my game today..
just that kinda day. I feel if i read here late I miss the party:(
anyway fuck the barber..
I hate when people spoil the parties..
i was digging the idea.. we had a market called pikes place in seattle.. but no barber in there..
and none in fishermans wharf either..
so fuck him.. he could have been a novelty..

April 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGidget

Hay you should go to spring street barber shop called Hair Box , it wasn't always called that, & I still call it spring st Barber Shop. When I lived in NYC I been going there since I was 18 years old & The Barber Rocco always cut My Hair, I wouldn't let anyone else, but unfortunately I think Rocco retired & I just went on the web & found a review http://newyork.citysearch.com/profile/33073980/new_york_ny/hair_box.html & it seems John retired to. If Rocco wasn't there I would come back another day, or I would let Elaina ( Not sure if name is right ) or John cut it, never the Russian Guy. You should go there because when they renovated it & changed name to Hair Box, they have some odd Artistic things to See, don't want to spoil it & you should really go check it out!
If you go mention Me, they should remember & if they don't say the Asian Puerto Rican guy that look really young that moved to France.

How come you didn't where a Sombrero & take Your infamous Mirror Photo?
& I think by the jester of the guy in the shot of the workers talking, he saying " Ese hombre blanco está muy loco. "!
I guess The 1 Dollar Hotdog didn't rotate there Hotdogs !!!!

April 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJHwang

AC/DC current! I knew if someone drew it for me then I would understand electricity better.

April 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarco

@Gidget: Better late than never! It's too bad he was camera shy and grumpy, but I have a better hair cut post coming up next week! And I'm hoping ragin' rr returns soon!

@JHwang: Thanks for the tip about the Hair Box, I'll check them out in a month or so, I have a place scheduled next week for the hair cut post. And I think you're right about the hot dog rotation in that place!

@Marco: Glad rr's picture helped you in understanding electricity! You can always learn something new here at TWM!

April 19, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

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