Nails Did: Black Pearl

Huevos RancherosAfter a delicious Cinco De Mayo brunch at Papacitos, with some stand-out huevos rancheros and a spicy Bloody Maria, I headed over to Ria Nailz, with my new friend who is visiting from Japan. Ria is renowned for her amazing nail art, which would cost up to $100 in Japan. Ria is a popular lady and she was booked solid, not surprising on a Saturday, but she was a total sweetheart about it.

Just got dissed at Ria Nailz - no time for GreenpointersJokingly I put this photo on the Tumblr and said, “dissed by Ria, she’s too busy for Greenpointers.” I was only kidding! Ria didn’t think it was very funny and wrote a perturbed response on her website that said: “I am no tumblr gangster nor do I want to start trouble in any way but greenpoint is MY home I’ve lived here since I was 2yrs old and for a greenpointer to say I dissed them and I have no time for greenpointers is (excuse my language) fucked up … If the person that posted this felt dissed then I apologize but I’m pretty sure I wasn’t rude or a bitch about letting you know I was booked up.”
God I love Ria even more now! She has strong values and doesn’t take shit from anybody. A true Brooklyn badass. Why am I always running my mouth? Luckily, she gave me an appointment for this Saturday and I hope she can forgive me. I would hate to be banished from Ria’s forever!

UntitledInstead we tried out Black Pearl over on Greenpoint Ave. The first time I went to Black Pearl it was empty, as in no nail techs and they called someone with a portable phone. I left.

Since I am doing the mani/pedi tour, I gave it a second shot. The first thing I heard when we walked in was, “I got meatballs at home and a nice Italian bread,” from a woman on her cell phone drying her nails. I felt like I was in Queens!

We met Lee, nail tech/owner, who was a hoot. Again, they were understaffed but Lee told me they are looking to hire someone. They had a lush backyard with plenty of chirping birds and the salon itself, painted in a two tone blue and green is very spacious and well maintained.

Sweet bird nail art! #nailLee was hilarious when we asked her to do nail art. My girlfriend wanted a bird, and Lee said, “My teacher never taught me how to do the bird! Pick something else!” But we had confidence in Lee and she ruled.
“Where is your teacher?” I asked, “Tell her to come here and show you.”
“In Vietnam!” Lee said.
The first thing I thought of was food.
“Can you cook good vietnamese food?”
“I don’t cook good, but I eat good,” Lee said. And she recommended a place in Queens called Thai Son. I will definitely be stalking that place.

UntitledI got the cheesiest guido yellow nails with palm trees and a red boat. If you’re going to go, go all the way!

I will definitely come back here for regular $20 mani/pedis. Lee is the bomb!

Cleanliness: 4/5
Friendliness: 5/5
Quality of mani/ped: 4/5
Value: 4/5
Local Banter: 3/5
Variety of colors: 5/5
Bonus Massage: 2 bonus points – 0/2
No razor was offered.
26/32 points

Black Pearl
173 Greenpoint Ave

About Jen G

After living in NYC my entire life, I found the strongest sense of community in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Running this blog is truly an honor and the best part is meeting its readers in real life. Everyday I am energized by smiles and inspiring conversations with fellow Greenpointers who tirelessly do and create incredible things that are good for our community and share the same love I have for life here. If you see me walking with my little dog "D" - please say hi!


  1. Sherry says:

    I too was confused about what you meant by “dissed.” Good to hear that Ria replied.

    Again, I suggest you head to Monika at Magnolia Beauty Spa. Make an appointment ahead of time; same day has worked for me. She does the best shellac manicure for a reasonable price, and it’ll last at least three weeks.

    • Jen G says:

      the problem is what it sounds like in my head is different from how it reads on an iphone! oh well – hope we kiss and make up. not the first time i put my foot in my mouth. i pretty much make an art of it! i will try monika, too!


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