Park Street Cultural Tour

Home on Park Street
Four Days in the Corridor
Experiencing Community
What the Kids Said

Day One
Chadbourne College
Sadie Pearson & Richard Davis
Trinity Church
Ideal Body Shop
Park Street Shoe Repair
Yee's Laundry
La Movida
Mercado Marimar
Bram's Addition

Day Two
Early Childhood Center
Yue-Wah Oriental Foods
Boys & Girls Club
Style & Grace Salon
St. Mark's Lutheran Church
Romnes Apartments
Yasmin's Halal Meat Market
Miracle's Home
Neighborhood House
Italian Workmen's Club
Family Potluck

Day Three
Meriter Hospital
Bayview Mural
Bocce Ball
Beth Israel Synagogue
Wisconsin Union Hoofers
Mexico Lindo
Fishing Along Wingra Creek

Day Four
AFL-CIO (Labor Temple)
Eugene Parks
Quality Ace Hardware
Oriental Shop
Lakeside Fibers
Chicken Underground
Family Daycare
Tropical Fish World
Quann Community Gardens
Multicultural Center

Street Scenes 1
Street Scenes 2
Park Street Delights 1
Park Street Delights 2

Dane County Cultural Tour
Hmong Cultural Tour

After St. Mark’s
We went to a place
And it was called
Style & Grace
We met a person
Who was very witty
He went by the name of Smitty
The shop had been there
For almost 50 years
None of the people
Had any beards.

Style & Grace Salon

1610 Gilson Street

The Style and Grace Hair Salon is a place down a little bit of Park Street. It is, in a way, a kind of neighborhood gathering place, just to hang out and listen to stories or just talk. The stories are usually pretty humorous, and sometimes very short like the one one of the barbers told us.

“When I was a kid,” he said, suppressing a laugh, “I was so fast that I could turn off my light, and be in bed and asleep before the light was out.” And then he began laughing with one of the other barbers there, who is . . . the oldest barber in Madison.

Now the people who work there all have specialties that they do for the customers. For instance, one of the people who works there does all of the fancy braids when she is there.

Some of the time the store is rapidly changing what styles they do, so that people will keep coming. The store has 2 sides, one where women go to get their styles done, and another side for men. If you’re looking to get your hair done, I would recommend this store to you.

I was amazed to see how much culture could be in a barber shop/salon. After we sat down and got settled, we met Marique, a barber. He told us about how they make hairstyles, and which ones were most common. Also, we met another person named Smitty. Smitty is the oldest barber in Madison. At age eighty, he looks like he is fifty. He said the most common hair cut is the bald side (not actual name). The bald side is like a flat top with no hair one-half to two inches above the ears. After about ten or fifteen minutes, we went over to the salon side of the shop. The most common hairstyle there is tight braids or “corn rows.” The woman there had them herself. She said you can braid designs in to your hair, and if you want an elaborate design, it can take up to six hours! (You do get a break).

Coming in
What do they want
They want
A hair-do to stay
For about 2-3 weeks
So they can come again
And chat while they get their
Hair done

Barbers, Hair Stylists
Shape your hair
Do corn rows
And afros
And bald cuts
And waves
Rosy and Mali and Smitty
The workers
Shape your hair
All day
–Sara K.


Link back to the Center for the Study of Upper Midwestern Cultures

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Page Last Updated: January 12, 2005