Going "Virile" with The Love of My Life

This is fun: a guest post by the Love of My Life to kick off a new "For Papas" series! I have lots of advice for mamas, but advice for papas is best given by other papas, and I can't be the blog for Jersey City parents without some XY chromosome wisdom. So, he'll chime in now and again with his own discoveries for Papas around Jersey City, and I'm pretty excited about that.First up is Virile Barber & Shop. My Love had a long-awaited appointment there last week for a cut and a hot towel shave. We also had plans for coffee with Marinell and Chadner (of EIGHTY Magazine... did you see their interview yet?) the same afternoon, and I thought an hour for a man treatment should be more than enough. I was oh-so-very-wrong. It took 2+ hours and made us realize that there are quite a few differences between self care for men and for women (or at least the perception thereof), and this awesome guest post was born. 

Virile Barber & Shop also just happened to turn one big year old this week with a celebration and smashing party at LITM. We were planning on going to the celebration and both of us were looking forward to it. We even had childcare -- which is usually the biggest hurdle -- since my mom was visiting for a couple weeks, and generously allowed us some Date Night/Date Day fun. But Saturday was Date Day (in NYC, thus no Date Day post), and after a life-changing massage at the most insane masseuse ever (email me for her contact info) and stuffing ourselves almost literally sick at Sushi Samba in the West Village, our mojo hit a wall. That was at 4 PM. We never recovered, and found ourselves sound asleep at 9 PM Saturday night. We were bummed to miss out on the fun, and the chance meet so many awesome JC folks that we've only connected with virtually (and my Love should be bummed to miss out on those amazing gift boxes Virile gave out!). As I have to say too often, next time!

Hi, I’m Love of Her Life and I’m doing a guest post on BURBS + a BBQ!

Men and women are alike in many ways, but very different when it comes down to grooming. For men, it's built into our brains that taking care of yourself and your looks should be done, but in a manly, brute way. That's perhaps the reason why we have our salons, but they are called "barber shops."

Here's a little Salon vs. Barber Shop chart to illustrate the differences:

Salon: Gossiping with your stylist Barber Shop: Shooting the shit with your barber

Salon: Would you like a green tea? BarberShop: Want another shot of single malt whiskey?

Salon: I want to do highlights, trim my split hairs, thin my layers and add some extensions. BarberShop: I want it shorter. I guess.

Salon: That will be $175 BarberShop: That will be $40

In Jersey City I discovered a new place to pamper my facial follicles. It's called Virile Barber & Shop and its awesome. I used to go to Blind Barber in NYC, which was cool, but I think Virile is actually better. It might not have a speak-easy bar hiding in the back, but it has much better stylists, and isn't that what we're there for?

The place itself is nice and intimate just off Jersey Avenue and Columbus, and from the moment you walk in you know the place is legit. You can opt to get a cut from the Master Barber/Owner of the place, whose name is Andre, or you can also save a few bucks and get one of the barber apprentices to work on you. And by apprentice I mean extremely passionate students of barbering. I got my hair done twice by Emmy and she was absolutely fantastic, very knowledgeable about her craft and eager to do an awesome job.

Hair cuts, however, don't excite me as much as a hot towel shave does. I don't think I had ever one done, though I've sported a beard most of my life. But since I decided to chop it down a bit, I went for this awesome new experience.

Once you lean back, you feel a little sleepiness creep over you. Next thing you know, there are hot towels, creams and razor sharp knives taking turns caressing your face. I really wish most days could start like this. I also wish I didn’t love having a beard so much that I could actually benefit from hot towel shaves more often, but life isn’t perfect. Sometimes you just gotta enjoy it when it comes along.

Prices are great, service is awesome, but the only thing to warn you about is that they are very busy, so plan your appointment ahead of time.

Virile just celebrated its 1st anniversary and I heard it was a great party. Unfortunately I missed it, but I’ll be back for more shaves, cuts and whiskey very soon.