Walking into Phil Soccorso's barbershop is like finding yourself in the middle of a Norman Rockwell painting. Though the winter cold creeps up at you from the pock-marked paint-spattered cement floor, the conversation is always warm at Fast Phil's.
Soccorso opened the Massachusetts Avenue shop over two years ago.
Surrounded by a vast array of Boston sports memorabilia, he snips and clips as he chatters with customers at a mile-a-minute pace. His customers are loyal and local.
"90 percent of my work is in Cambridge," he said.
Soccorso said he has a passion for tennis, but inside the barber shop he sticks to bowling pins. Alewife Photo by Neil W. McCabe
Paul Corriveau, who owns a mechanic shop
right next to Fast Phil's, stopped in just before closing recently for a quick cut.
"You hippy," Soccorso said to his friend, customer, and next-door neighbor as Corriveau settled into the chair.
"If he takes longer than five minutes, he pays people," Corriveau joked later.
Another customer, James J. Walsh, said Soccorso has been cutting his hair for more than 10 years, dating back to when the barber was working in Somerville.
Walsh said although he moved out of the area, he drives down from Lowell to Fast Phil’s to get his brush cut he adopted five years ago.
Soccorso said Walsh has had different styles over the years, including the mullet.
To that Walsh just shook he head in sheepish acknowledgement.