I get an Asian haircut

Haircuts are a risky business.

Cosmo (I admit, I’ve read a couple of issues) put it this way: “A haircut is an accessory that you have to wear every day. You’re stuck with it. It’s an investment.”

True. So true. For the longest time I would get haircuts from cheap chains like Great Clips or Supercuts. These were the days I kept my hair short. I would usually end up looking like this:

For seven or eight dollars, what do you expect? And the truth is, Asian hair has a different quality to it. Mine’s rougher. Thicker. Potentially poofier. The voluminous hair some crave I dread.

But a few years back, my problems were solved!

My family was in Toronto Chinatown. I needed a haircut. I saw one for $12.

Best decision ever.

All my previous haircuts looked like this:

But Chinatown? They get Asian customers. They know Asian hair. When I got my hair cut in Toronto that day, it looked like this:

…and afer that, I always got my hair cut in Chinatown. They will attack your hair. Brutalize it. Make sure it lays flat. It’s awesome.

Chinatown haircuts are a gamble, though. Usually the hairdresser’s English is less than perfect.

So more often than not I’ll walk in, sit down, and roll with it, with variable results. I once got a haircut in Boston while wearing neither glasses nor contacts, so I was completely blind. Meaning I couldn’t see the haircut in progress.

The end result:

My strategy? Bring a photo! It makes it a lot easier. Take my most recent haircut, for example…

Still, it’s an big improvement from the bowl cut of my grade school days.

My hair grows quickly anyway. One bad haircut is no big deal, because in a week it’ll go back to this:

I  just stopped by Chinatown to get a haircut, so I had to write this post. By the way, using a photo of a video game character totally worked. I’m quite pleased with the result.

You know you’re in Chinatown when…

Boston is often called the “Walking City,” due to its relatively small size, workable transportation system, and the fact that driving in Boston is a nightmare. Northeastern promotes the idea that students should walk places when possible so that we can see more of the city on the way. And the fact that Boston’s winters are terrible– so we should be outside, I quote, “while we still can.”

I haven’t been to Chinatown Boston since I moved in. I had a few hours in between classes today. I decided to walk to Chinatown.

Chinatown is a two-mile stroll from Northeastern. I don’t have a smartphone with a GPS, and I haven’t walked to Chinatown before, so I was a little afraid of getting lost. I have the worst sense of direction ever.

The whole time, then, as I was walking, I was looking desperately for a sign. Just one sign of Chinatown.

And I finally received it, in the form of this:

Chinatown Boston isn’t all that big. Compared to the likes of New York City or Toronto (two of my favorite Chinatowns) it’s pretty tiny. (Philadelphia’s Chinatown, on the other hand, is just as petite.) Still, I had a… satisfactory time.

Boston Chinatown is pretty standard: some bakeries, some restaurants, a couple of cheap souvenir stores, a smattering of grocery stores. I did note a lack of anime stores, though. Hey. I’m a dork. That would have made my day.

In the end, I spent more time walking to Chinatown than I actually spent in Chinatown. I even managed to get slightly lost on the way back. But I say the trip was entirely worth it. It’s definitely a good place for my Asian dining needs.