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Procter and Gamble to sell off more Gillette land for development

The Fort Point Boston Blog reports World Shaving Headquarters' land will shrink by another 2.5 acres that P&G plans to put up for sale between Fort Point Channel and A Street across from Binford Street. The move does not affect the actual manufacturing plant.

Earlier:
Developer proposes three-building complex on Fort Point Channel.

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Comments

Magoo left Gillette for Harry’s some time ago. Magoo really likes the razors and shampoo. The little harry (get it?) wooly mammoth logo is cute too. Magoo.

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as an Xmas gift a few years back. I decided the Gillette blades last longer enough to justify the premium, no Boston Strong pride involved, nor the fact that I've got a Gillette-lifer pal. Plus that Harry's handle feels a bit chintzy.

To be fair, any blade will last a *lot* longer if you shave in the shower at the end of your shower: get a fog-free mirror for it. It's the difference between scraping excess butter off of toast and hacking through teensy copper wires, which your beard hair literally has the texture of before it soaks up ten minutes of steam. Easily three times as many shaves from one cartridge vs. pre-shower shaving. The next best thing is to shave right after the shower.

I also extol the joys of old-school shaving soap and a silver-tip badger shaving brush, which feels like mink on the skin. They make a daily chore feel opulent and old-timey, yield a beautifully close shave, and save a small fortune vs. canned shaving cream. Admittedly, it took years to recoup the roughly C-note cost of a brush with that top-of-the-line, rose-petal-soft bristle. But I'm still glad to have made that outlay, wish I'd learned earlier the common sense of investing in tools of ancient craft and will-outlive-you quality. (Aside: ditto shoes and tailored clothing.) One hangs the brush to dry bristles-down: counterintuitive, but that's the wisdom of the elderly gent who sold it to me out of the tiny, overstuffed shop he'd operated in Brooklyn for fifty years.

He also carried straight razors, had garnered many new customers for them from the heavily-inked craft bartender set, what with their Peaky Blinders undercuts, meticulously curled and waxed mustaches, high-buttoning lapel vests and shirtsleeve gaiters. While I admire the vintage style, I'll take superior safety and closeness in a shave over arty Jazz Age cool. With a pre-softened beard, I haven't nicked myself with a multi-blade cartridge razor in decades. Meanwhile, straight-razor self-shaving is like trying to denude a craggy peach of its fuzz with an iffy paring knife from its reflection in a mirror. If you're gonna do it, *do not* have a glass of wine first. (Aside: same for wielding a kitchen mandoline without a cut glove, a hard-won lesson. No one wants to eat hash browns bloodied by a deep gash in your thumb.)

A straight-razor shave from a professional -- complete with hot-towel face wrap and shoulder massage, a la fancy retro barbershops like Tweed in the South End -- is worth doing once for the experience. I did it when I needed a perfectly trimmed pencil-thin mustache for a 40s-themed costume benefit some years ago, trying to channel Errol Flynn. (My wife was much more convincing as Ersatz Rita Hayworth.)

I like Geo. F. Trumper's brush shaving soap. Buy it once in the everlasting wooden covered bowl, get the plain refills after that. Nice subtle scents (mmm, coconut), only $15 (the 145-year-old brand slays the new pretenders on value), easy on a trouble-prone complexion, and one albino puck lasts for six months of daily shaves.

I've always cultivated modest luxuries like this -- I beamed like an idiot over a recent 2am sandwich of extraordinary sopressatta on a great French roll with good butter and mustard -- but I'm a little more grateful for them these days.

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JB, totally down with your tonsorial habituals. Mug and brush has saved me many 100's of cans of Edge over the last 25+ years ($$$). I recently rediscovered the safety razor, spend a little extra for good blades (German) and you will be surprised. you get 4 sides per blade (flip it over) blade lasts for a month (of course my beard is the texture of finely cropped velvet). Abandon the can! Eschew the cartridge or disposable!

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Merkur safety razor, 100 pack of German blades, badger hair brush, bowl or tube of Proraso shave cream and after shave balm and my face is very happy. Gives me a year of superior shaves for the cost of about 2 months of Gillette. And my wallet even happier. Like Homer said, "I am no longer a slave to the Gillette corporation."

The blades aren't actually 4 sided and "flippable," though. The numbering 1-4 is meant for the manufacturer in case there is a defect that they need to identify. Yeah you can flip them but it doesn't really extend the life of that side of the blade because you're still using the same edge. I just spin the razor so I use both edges equally during a shave, then change out the blade after 4 or 5 shaves or whenever it starts to tug. They are so inexpensive I don't even think about it, unlike those insanely expensive cartridges from Gillette.

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Hmmmm. Magoo has a well kept beard and only shaves Magoo’s neck. But Magoo is going to look into these recommendos. Cheerio. Magoo.

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switched to Trac IIs when they came on the market. He also had a little appliance that heated his pressurized cans of shave cream, which even before I'd studied high-school physics made me nervous. I see they still exist, but I'm long past aerosol cans. (Okay, my dopp kit has a baby can of Foamy, a veteran traveler's trade-off of luxury for lower weight/volume.) Hot shave cream by itself seems like a weak way to apply heat and moisture; hot-shower ambient heat, water and water vapor have gotta be much more efficient beard-softeners.

A cheap-enough experiment: I think I'm going to try that. Quick search shows $20-$70 for the handle. Wide range for the blades, $10-$50 per hundred count: what brand do you use? A dime vs. four bits could be a poor economizing choice if the fancier brand is sharper and/or more durable.

Does that single blade ever nick you? I don't long for the days of ouchy styptic pencils, tiny toilet-paper bandages, and bloodstains on a shirt collar.

Proraso tube cream and brush soap, an Italian make: I like the sound of that! (I revere the Italians: even the schlubbiest mook owns one good, well-cut sport coat that fits. Don't get me started on cheese, salumi and wine.) Is the soap strongly-scented? I don't like any grooming-product scent that lingers. Will using it make me want to call my mom twice a day?

This also reminds me that in several older apartments I've lived in over the years, there was a slot in the back wall of the medicine cabinet for disposing of two-edge blades. I can imagine many a rehab effort busting up the drywall or plaster/horsehair -- my City Point house had the latter, plus some scary knob-and-tube wiring -- to find a rusty pile of a few hundred old blades moldering between the studs.

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I rarely nick myself anymore, I did at first but once I got used to the razor and learned to pay attention to how my facial hair grows in, what angles work and what angles don't, it's become second nature. I do have a stiptic pen and an alum block just in case. The alum really does make your mouth do the thing like in the old Bugs Bunny commercials if you get any on your tongue! It's so sour, your mouth will want to implode. Kinda cool, actually.

My dad had that hot shave lotion dispenser, too. I remember playing with it a lot as a kid. I remember those slots in the medicine cabinet too! I don't think I ever knew what they were for. It's a little alarming when you think about it.

If you're interested in trying it out, this is my setup. It may seem like a lot but really it's more economical in the long run. Plus you might even enjoy shaving. I find it a nice meditative ritual in the mornings now.

Merkur 34C short handle. It's nice and solid and hefty and well balanced.

For blades I like a few different brands. These are really trial and error, you just have to try a bunch to find out what your face likes. Your best bet is getting a sampler pack. I know I bashed Gillette but their Silver Blue blades are really nice. $32 for 100, that'll last you a year at least, probably longer. I also like the Feather blades but those are SHARP. Astra, PolSilver, a few others. This is really an individual choice. Get a sampler and try a bunch.

Proraso pre-shave (and post!): Green tea & oat. AMAZING. I use it on both ends of the shave. Softens the whiskers and gives a wonderful cooling at the end. Smells great. Subtle.

Proraso shave cream - I like the "white line" of their products, it's great for sensitive skin. Green tea & oat. Wonderful stuff. Their Sandalwood is nice too.

Proraso - after shave balm, again I like the Green Tea & Oat. It's mild and feels incredible. Not strong scented at all. Bonus: ladies love it.

The Proraso stuff is all great. Just read up on the different scents and try a few and see what you like. I like mine really mild and subtle, hence the green tea & oat. Have not tried them all, though. The Italians do know their shaving!

Lastly, get a decent badger hair brush. It doesn't have to be super fancy or expensive, just make sure you get badger. You can use a wide coffee mug to stir and get your lather.

Good luck, and enjoy!

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Got some exploring to do, and it's invaluable to have a shaving-geek guide. My currently-idle professional restaurant critic self is nodding with grateful respect.

Yeah, I went with the silver-tip badger hair bristle, the ne plus ultra of shaving brushes, years ago at that old-timer's little Brooklyn shop. Expensive, but it's a daily kiss from a rose, and will outlive me. One of my better splurges in the name of simple, everyday at-home luxury.

I'd rate it up there with the vintage Vornado pedestal fan I bought at the bygone Lost Engine Gallery in Allston, in what, maybe 1993? It's a singular bit of pop craftsmanship, a sweet melding of nearly indestructible industrial sturdiness and elegant Machine Age design, right down to its Bakelite blades, and it's simultaneously powerful, efficient and quiet.

It was way more than I could afford at the time, maybe $150 or $200, but I bit the bullet, and it has given me comfort on every steamy-weather day since, and year-round aesthetic pleasure. (It has scars, like a big chin divot from the time amidst a brutal August heatwave that I lent it to a friend with a newborn and no AC; he must have knocked it over at some point. No regrets.) Friggin' thing was built a century ago, and with a few drops of 3-in-1 oil every spring, it still runs like a top.

Them old things: safety razors, ordinary electric fans, the plain vintage suits and workingman's wristwatches I also sporadically collect and wear. Practical, affordable, often beautifully designed, but always built to last, and 50 or a 100 years later, they still do. I'm no antiquarian, but having wastefully consumed a lot of the shoddy, ephemeral, purposefully-disposable goods of my own era, those durable bits of bygone craftsmanship and humble art often speak powerfully to me.

Definitely going to take my dear old pop's sturdy, fusty, "What, did he bring that thing back from the war?" razor out for a spin.

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They might be able to afford land if they were to get into the wet shave market. We'd love to get in front of their customers.

If you like straight razors check out https://www.nakedarmorazors.com/

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So where is "World Shaving Headquarters" now?

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not the factory

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They sold the factory to Stark Industries years ago.

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More selling their parking lots - depends on how you define 'vacant'

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I'll make the story clearer. As Ron said, they're selling off vacant land (like parking lots), not the factory.

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So now its the World Shaving Headeigths or maybe World Shaving Headsixteenths.

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Clever, took me a second.

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When I finally got the pun I groaned and slapped my fivehead. (Which, in pre-receding-hairline days was a mere forehead).

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In NYC English, forehead goes with nearhead, not fivehead.

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"This decision is unrelated to the broader Massachusetts site assessment that we announced last Fall." -This is a years-long process for P & G to remove Boston's largest employer. (That sounds like a bad thing.) These are the last of the major parking lots owned by them. All that's left now is the factory itself.

The assessment will of course determine that the Northeast, and especially Boston, is a prohibitively expensive place to do manufacturing and the real estate is worth $$$. Gillette used to be privately held which was the only reason it had lasted this long. This has been in the works ever since they were bought by Proctor and Gamble. The only question is where they will move the work to.

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93 north, look right about 1/4 mile past the lane drop. That sites been growing in use for over 5 years

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Assuming they did (in anticipation of economic activity, construction, jobs, etc.) I wonder if the taxpayers get a cut of the proceeds.

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But a lot of that land was acquired over 100 years ago

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