A great shave, haircut and good company abound at family-owned and operated The Midtown Shave on E49th Street — where father-daughter duo Boris and Luda Mirzakandova draw on decades of barber experience that loyal clients call unparalleled. “I’ve been going to Boris and Luda for twenty years, ” said client Steve Elvin, in the chair on a sunny Monday morning for a quick haircut when we stopped by. “I wasn’t grey when I started going to them, but I don’t blame them for that! ” he laughed. “I’ve followed them to every shop and I’m so thrilled Luda’s gotten to open her own place. ”Luda and Boris, who immigrated from Uzbekistan to the US in 1992, told Manhattan Sideways that it “only took us 30 years or so” to found their own storefront. Boris, a lifelong barber who originally learned the craft as an apprentice back in Uzbekistan — “there were no barber schools, ” he explained — taught Luda the ways around a shaving kit before their family moved to New York. Once there, Boris, and eventually Luda both worked at barbershops around town, where their reputations as thoughtful, precise barbers kept loyal customers coming back. One of the first employees hired by the Art of Shaving, Boris was deemed their first-ever Master Barber — something that Luda adds is due to his careful technique. “People come in and say, ‘your father has the lightest touch — like a feather, ” she told us. “Clients are very loyal to him because once they’re found him, they stay — men don’t like change! ” When COVID-19 hit and many barber shops closed, Luda considered leaving the business altogether. “I would come home and call my dad and say, ‘I think it’s time to change my career, ’” added Luda. “He said, ‘No, you can't — you’re too deep in it. You love it too much. Why don’t you start something on your own — I can help you! ’ — and here I am today. ” Boris and Luda brought on one of their fellow barbers, Gabriel, and took over the space at New York Shave in East Midtown, a barbershop where Luda had worked previously before it shut down in the pandemic. “It took us about a year to get everything ready, but we’ve now been open since June 2022, ” she told us, adding that a grateful flock of longtime customers had migrated with them. Gabriel agreed, recounting a recent day where a client wistfully mentioned their favorite barber. “He said to me, ‘You’re so good, and it reminds me of a guy I used to see on 46th Street and Lexington named Boris…’” said Gabriel, “And I said, ‘He’s right behind you! ’” After over 50 years in the game, Boris said he was happy to maintain these kinds of cherished relationships — and perhaps, along the way, change the culture of beard shaving in America. “In my country, everybody went out to get a shave, ” he told us. “When I got here, nobody shaved! ”
Fig & Olive is Mediterranean-inspired dining in its most exquisite form. On my first visit to this location, I was drawn in by the collection of wine and olive oil bottles lining the walls and the chic rustic decor that feels reminiscent of eating in the Italian countryside. Never has there been a time when I have dined at one of the several Fig & Olives in Manhattan, that I did not have an excellent experience. I have feasted on fresh ingredients assembled into delectable creations. I was thrilled to take the Manhattan Sideways team here for lunch one day where they raved over the selection of crostini and devoured the mouthfuls of perfectly paired ingredients – goat cheese and caramelized onion, for example – heaped onto small squares of fresh bread. Another favorite that I introduced them to was the zucchini carpaccio served with lemon and olive oil. We accompanied the meal with a beautifully presented Cucumber Cosmos and Rossellinis, selected from the extensive cocktail menu.
After a lawsuit, renovation, and rebranding, Sesamo has officially taken the place of Crispin’s at W52nd Street and 10th Avenue. Sesamo co-founders Nikita Levitan and Sabrina Gao filed the lawsuit against their previous partner, Crispin Mejia. They accused him of a series of problematic behaviors, including sexual harassment, repeatedly showing up to work drunk, and serving expired food. Taking a sharp turn away from Crispin's, the new Sesamo features an entirely different menu. “The new brand launches with an Asian-influenced Italian menu with many old Crispin’s favorites but with fresh and new Asian twists, " Gao said. She added that Sesamo also offers a unique drinks menu, including a brand new Asian fusion cocktail program with some first in NYC offerings, such as boba tea cocktails. Another beautiful feature of Sesemo is its 80-foot mural created by Selwyn Senatori back in 2018. The Dutch artist created the artwork depicting a champagne celebration with a “Feed Me Love” bubble to celebrate the opening of Decimo Ristobar. Though some of the mural has been painted over, the rest that remains adds an air of festivity to Sesamo's exterior. This story was adapted from the W42ST articles, "Crispin’s Becomes Sesamo as Partners Sue Hell’s Kitchen Chef" and "Hell’s Kitchen has Lost an Outdoor Dining Shed — but Regained a Mural. "
McKinney Welding Supply has been a fixture in Hell’s Kitchen since 1943. This long-running business is family-owned and employs about thirty-five people, ten of them being family members. Allen Dickon, branch manager of the West 52nd Street store, told us "We are the only place in Manhattan where you can find all of your welding and compressed gas products under one roof. ”