After 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.

Jokingly 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!

Instead 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.

Lee 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.

I 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

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  1. 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.

    1. 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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