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Need a Goat's Head? How About a Free Blow-Dry?

The Best Italian Food in New York City
By Jack Robertiello
Invisible Cities Press
($14.95, paperback)

Biancardi Meats
2350 Arthur Avenue (between Crescent Avenue and 187th Street), the Bronx
Subway Stop: 4, D at Fordham Road; M.T.A. at Fordham Plaza
Telephone: (718) 733-4058
Open: Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m–6 p.m.
Cards accepted: none

Butcher shops have mostly faded from the American scene, disappearing day by day in New York neighborhoods, too, the victims of a phalanx of factors (competition from low-priced, poor-quality supermarkets, diminished consumption of meat at home, creeping vegetarianism, and contemporary demographics only the most significant). But those sorts of problems certainly don't seem to have harmed Biancardi's.

This may be the butcher shop that died and went to heaven, or perhaps it's the butcher shop around which heaven was built. To an outsider, it certainly seems to be the locus of the shops in Belmont.
Biancardi's is enormous for a butchery, its shiny cases filled with perfectly trimmed cuts of lamb and beef and veal and pork, cubed for stew or rolled and stuffed and dusted with bread crumbs, and rabbits and sausages and quail stacked in neat rows and arranged with care.

And of course, as a butcher shop with southern Italian roots, Biancardi's proudly displays yards of glittering white honeycombs of tripe, the occasional glaring goat's head, and other variety cuts, as well as house-cured pancetta.

Affording Manolos, Martinis and Manicures on a Working Girl's Salary
By Juliette Fairley
John Wiley & Sons
($14.95, paperback)

Among the salons that offer free or discounted hair services in big cities, such as Manhattan, are Frederic Fekkai and Louis Licari. Louis Licari of Manhattan offers free blow-dries on class nights, which are Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m., but only if a beginning assistant hasn't mastered blow-dries.
''It's not like every single week whoever wants a complimentary blow-dry can come in, but when we have a new assistant start in the cutting department we look for people who want a nice little blow-dry,'' says Kimberly Brown, salon manager at Louis Licari.

During class nights, the salon charges $40 for single hair color process, $60 for highlights, $75 for single plus highlight, and $30 for haircuts. Services at these prices are a steal. Any woman who colors her hair knows that single process highlights can cost $175 and more at pricey city salons.

The Ultimate Insider's Guide to Home Services in New York City
Algood Press
($22.50, paperback)

Al & Dave Reglazing
16 Shenandoah Avenue
Staten Island, NY 10314
(718) 761-5800

Bathroom tub and tile refinishing and reglazing

Clients adore the staff at Al & Dave Reglazing, calling Dave the ''teddy bear'' of the company. Many report that in addition to great service, this firm offers an affordable alternative to renovating an entire kitchen or bath. The firm specializes in spraying and refinishing tubs, tiles, appliances and wood panels with both synthetic and enamel finishes.

This family firm has spent the past 35 years servicing clients in Manhattan, the outer boroughs and lower Westchester county. We hear that their work crew is not only neat and tidy, but also offers friendly and competent service throughout the duration of the project. Some reports say this firm can be expensive, but admit it is a lot less money than replacement.

New York Times, March 31, 2002