Proust Questionnaire: Brian Hurson
"Check out the dots on her!"(a Braille Playboy is unquestionably "for the articles".)
The Proust Questionnaire is a mini-interview. Its name and modern popularity
(see Vanity Fair) is owed to the responses given by the French writer Marcel Proust.
Today's Proustian Participant, Brian Hurson is a tremendous personality. At very first glance, he might remind you of a mob bruiser from Miller's Crossing or maybe Gangs of New York. Then he starts chatting, and all you can think is... oh man, when can I get this guy out for a beer?
It could be persuasively argued that Brian's "Nite Owl" barbershop in Long Branch completely rewrote—some would say rebooted—what a local barbershop is all about. The place is unabashedly retro, but with purpose. Anything old in there old for a good reason. They literally don't make 'em like that anymore. (The coffee also seems to be circa 1947, but I always have one.)
Brian's place is literally the only barber-shop I've been to in 48 years where I wanted to actually talk to the barbers.
And, if you time your visit, you can also get the best shoe-shine you've ever had for five bucks. Just don't bother with the "shine-box" quotes. They've heard 'em all, tough guy.
What simple advice would you give yourself at age 19?
Follow your gut instincts. Find something you're interested in and passionate about and pursue it, even if the prevailing thinking at the time is that it's not what people do. Don't be afraid to travel to pursue it.
(Possibly related) what article of clothing was your worst choice, in retrospect?
The more distance there is, the more I'm OK with my sartorial choices.
Do you have a motto?
Do what you say. And say what you mean.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Not there yet.
What does “success” mean to you?
Not having to compromise my vision.
What is the most overrated advice?
“Whatever is meant to be…”
What word do you consistently misspell?
What word or phrase do you overuse?
“You know?” It's the Irish in me. Still say it all the time, ya know?
What word is the most overused with others?
“Awesome” (guilty - JS)
What food did you love as a kid that you now hate?
They're all still great.
What food did you hate as a kid that you now love?
Still hate ratatouille.
What is your greatest fear?
As I get older I'm more apathetic about fear itself.
Your guilty pleasure TV/movie?
No guilty pleasure, only pleasure. I'm a sucker for the Dirty Dancing soundtrack.
Who should be the next James bond?
Idris Elba. He's English and I was riveted by his performance in The Wire.
What book do you feel you really should have read by now?
I have many books on the go. I used to be a voracious reader. I'm always trying to get back into it. Right now I'm working on a Japanese roman noir that a college (sp.?) gave me.
First song (or album) that you remember buying?
Pulp Fiction OST. Bootleg copy on tape cassette bought off a street vendor on O'Connell bridge in Dublin in ‘94. It was pissing rain as usual.
Your guilty-pleasure sing-along song?
Pure pleasure, no guilt. “Atlantis” by Donovan. 🎶 All Hail Atlantis 🎶
Free trip to anywhere on earth for 3 weeks... where would you go?
See the iridescent algae in Fiji (“Heat” reference)
What is your most prized tool of the trade right now?
My 1940s Dubl Duck “King Klip” hair clip given to me by my old boss back in the Old Country.
What's your alternate-universe career?
1950s LAPD detective. With blood on my shirt.
What one thing should all men know?
“Shhhhhh…. Nobody cares….”
What about women?
I'm really not qualified.