Friday, July 27, 2007

Betty Hart's "With These Hands", an intricate weave of H Street, NE, WDC's History Since 1984

Though none of the images that I have taken over the past few years have yet been uploaded to my flickr account, almost always when I walk pass the With These Hands, at 521 H Street in NE, I make a point to photograph the window display which features hats - as part on my ongoing Black Women In Hats and Windows of the World series.

Which until my 14 July 2007 NE Washington DC Photo Walk I did not realize was a hair salon. Which along with barber shops are also amongst my ongoing series.

Betty Hart first opened With These Hands in 1984, at 526 H St., NE. But, June 1991 fire forced her to relocate her operation to the Magic Fingers Salon, at 515 H Street, NE, while repairs were being made at the 526 H Street location.

Which she would return to in February 1992 and reopen With These Hands.

As the clientele grew, Mrs. Hart concluded that she needed to own not only the business but also the property where it was located. She had had enough of paying rent to absentee landlords. When the 521 H St. site came on the market, she was able to buy it in 1996 and establish With These Hands in its current and permanent location.

To learn more about Betty Hart visit her SPID profile.

Click the above photo to view my ongoing With These Hands Hair Gallery and H Street, NE, Corridor - WDC photosets.

3 comments:

Msational said...

I used to go to With These Hands back in the 80's to early 90's and I tell you, Mrs. Hart, Mrs. Hooks and many other people there styled your hair while giving you sage advice about living. I learned what life was really like for streetwalkers and drug dealers. Many were in that lifestyle b/c they needed to do it not b/c they wanted to. And the Annual Xmas Party was off the chains. I hope this institution stays around...

Perceptions said...

Ms. Hart is the kind of beautician for whom it is very important to have absolute trust from her clients. In practical terms, what this means is that she wants a client to trust and allow her to do what she believes is best for their hair, even if it means giving a client a service contrary to their request or expectation - risky! My experience with Ms. Hart is that she tends not to give a lot of details about the product or product combination she intends to use. You are going to have to trust her. That's her standard and it has apparently worked for her. Just know this before you sit in her chair.

Perceptions said...

Ms. Hart is the kind of beautician for whom it is very important to have absolute trust from her clients. In practical terms, what this means is that she wants a client to trust and allow her to do what she believes is best for their hair, even if it means giving a client a service contrary to their request or expectation - risky! My experience with Ms. Hart is that she tends not to give a lot of details about the product or product combination she intends to use. You are going to have to trust her. That's her standard and it has apparently worked for her. Just know this before you sit in her chair.