Wednesday, December 05, 2007

A Little Extra Warmth

On my walk to the subway this morning, I saw a homeless man shaving with a battery-powered razor outside of the K-mart in Astor Place. He was using the very reflective glass on the east side of the store as his mirror.

This struck me as odd, and not because there was a homeless guy shaving with a battery-powered razor. I’ve seen much stranger things in the city, and besides, the homeless are a wily bunch with clever methods – picking through garbage, a barter system, etc. – of obtaining battery-powered razors with working batteries.

What struck me as odd was that this homeless man was shaving his beard in the middle of the winter just as the temperature has dropped dramatically. I’m inclined to think that this beard would help keep this man’s face warm. If I had seen this man shaving in the summer, I wouldn’t have had any qualms about it. Obviously, the beard would’ve made him sweat too much, and nobody, not even the homeless, likes sweating too much.

This guy had parked his shopping cart full of his life’s belongings next to the curb while he shaved. Best case scenario, let’s say the cart contained a thick blanket, his cardboard shelter and perhaps even his matches to light his nightly barrel fire. If I were him, I still would’ve kept the beard. I’ll take anything that provides even a little extra warmth.


  1. very good point Carlo, you should have done the right thing and told him. Now he'll just freeze tonight.

  2. what does the picture have to do with the shaven homeless guy? This aint him.