To find him, enter the north doors of the ESSEX STREET MARKET, take a left at the fresh fish stand, veer past the papayas and cherries (no tasting), and swing right down the far corridor. The barber shop has 47 clocks hanging on the walls.

His name is Yacha, from Uzbekistan. He doesn't have business cards, does not accept appointments, does not do perms, and does not speak much English. Not big on the small talk either.

"So Yacha," I say, "what's with all the clocks?"

"The clocks, I like."

He has a full moustache, black and sinister, that's fitting for a Russian guard. Or a spy. Hidden in the back of a fruit market, charging $6 for a haircut—the perfect cover! Yes, my barber is a Russian spy.

"You're from Uzbekistan," I say, probing for more information. "Were you a barber there?"

He shoots me a stiff look through the mirror. "Short or trim?"

A warning: Yacha is a styling genius. His tonsorial skills are unrivaled. Which means, of course, he's a bit stubborn. So don't try haggling the cut you want. Grip the chair, and trust him. Every day except Sunday, from 11 to 5.

Location Details

120 Essex St.
New York NY 10002


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