It's now legal to get a haircut in New York on Sundays. No, it wasn't before.

Originally published at: It's now legal to get a haircut in New York on Sundays. No, it wasn't before. | Boing Boing


Well, we accomplished something today.


When I first moved to NY it was illegal to sell alcohol on Sundays (at least in liquor and wine shops; beer was ok iirc). There was a big repeal movement at the time and the initial utterly brilliant compromise was that a package store could sell on Sundays but had to close one day a week in compensation. That didn’t last too long.


WTF? Is this a 2021 senator or a 1921 senator? Or was this just a joke taken out of context? The twitter links don’t actually point to what they claim. I expect people to say businesses should be closed so people can go to church, or just that businesses should give their employees weekends off when possible, not a prohibition era anti-bootlegging claim.


Why TF wasn’t this law repealed decades ago, as soon as it became obsolete?! That’s insane. I certainly have no objection to folks not working on weekends, but if a business owner wants to open on Sundays it should be determined by her/him and the employees, not some archaic gov’t prohibition.

There are metric fucktons of such laws. e.g., It is illegal in Michigan to have sex in a bathtub. Taking a bath or shower without wearing a swimsuit in Flaaarida is illegal. It gave me great pleasure to break both of them, obviously one more than the other.

Blue laws in the United States - Michigan - Wikipedia

The sale of alcohol is banned from 2 a.m. to 7 a.m. every day. The only exception to this rule is New Year’s Day, in which case alcohol sales are permitted until 4 a.m. Alcohol sales were likewise banned on Sunday until 12 p.m., and on Christmas from 12 a.m. until 12 p.m., until a repeal in late 2010. Specific localities may petition for exceptions for either on-site or off-site consumption. All “blue laws” which had restricted Sunday hunting, in specific Lower Peninsula counties, were repealed in 2003.

Our friend from England was confused when she ordered a beer at a restaurant in Kentucky, only to be told by the waitress, “It’s a drah cowndee.” Mom stepped into the breach and ordered her a lemonade, and asked me to explain it to her. She was horrified that there are still towns and counties in Yankistan that do not allow any sales of alcohol.
Dry county - Wikipedia
“And you call this a civilized country?!” she quietly and angrily inquired after my explanation.


Blue laws are notorious for their staying power. There’s really no standing for them given the Establishment Clause, but there are enough Christians around that politicians are usually wary of offending their delicate sensibilities. Eventually, religious observance wanes in a given jurisdiction, and suddenly more people than not are asking why this stupid holy roller law is still in place.


Well, officially it was. I moved to NY about 19 years ago and that’s the year they were changed. It’s still astonishing that they were still active even that recently, but NY was in a very weird place legislatively back then.

A lot of them are kept on the books as a pretext to bust people when there’s no other probable cause (ie. minorities). My buddy was stopped for spitting on a sidewalk, an old tuberculosis-era law. He’s a dumbass, so they got him for parole violations and possesssion (after I told him to leave his bag at home!).

I was mortified to learn during a layover in Utah that you can only order one drink at a time. “Well, you’d better get back here before the food arrives then, because this whiskey will be gone and I’ll be in need of a beer to chase my burger”, sez I. The server wasn’t terribly impressed.


My grandpa on my dad’s side came to the USA on a boat from Sicily when he was a little boy in 1911.
Moved from NYC to Scranton to Cleveland to Rome, NY to eventually Northern CA in the early 1950’s as a married family man with 2 younger kids and 2 closer to adult ones. He lost his wife in 1955 and lived on his own from that day forward.
Never had a day of school past the 3rd grade, literally worked in coal mines as a kid in PA, was a barber and worked in a hotel in downtown San Jose till he was in his 70’s. He shaved with a straight razor till he was 80, then went Norelco.
He died in 1987 when he was 85 years old. My brother and I were lucky to have been so close and to have been able to grow up with such a great guy so near where we lived.
We spent every day in the summer it seemed helping him is his garden and listening to stories. We used to have lunch of Ball Park franks and root beer.
He loved to paint in the front room of his little house and I’m lucky to have 3 of his paintings hanging in our house. I still remember the smell of the thinner and the oil paints that he used. And the smell of the pasta sauce that he’d make for the two of us from his tomatoes and vegetables. He’d make these meatballs that seemed giant to us.
He was one of a kind.
When my brother and I were little, he used to come over for dinner sometimes on weekends, driving his beloved white 68 Chevy Nova with 3 on the tree. You could hear him coming to the door as he was always singing.
Anyway, he also would always have a bottle of wine, which he referred to as “hair tonic” and as kids we assumed it meant that it would grow hair on his completely bald head.
We learned much later at a family dinner after he had passed away about his little side business in his barber shop selling bootleg booze during prohibition (and I have a feeling the practice stood for a while after, but I have no way of knowing…)


(BIG OL’ CAVEAT: I don’t remember whether this came up when I lived in Georgia or NC regarding the lifting of blue laws, and–as I heard it at second hand–I don’t know if it’s true, or if it’s merely truthy:)

As I heard it, one group among those most in favor of keeping blue laws on the books is liquor-store owners, because they are going to sell the same amount of liquor over every 7-day period regardless, but they’ll have only six days of compensating their employees for showing up at work. (Also seems plausible that the employees might like a guaranteed day off.)


My favorite blue law from Boston MA (since repealed) was that liquor stores had to close on Sundays but if you had a prescription you could get whiskey from a pharmacy. Those prescription were passed on for generations. You’d just send a kid to pick it up for Grandma or Grandpa. :slight_smile:


Maybe it’s an unpopular opinion but should be mandated that stores should close a day in the week, if one doesn’t like Sunday, it could be another day. Actually here most barber shops not in closed mall are closed on Mondays, and the ones in malls have very few customer on Mondays.

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