Have you noticed the fancy new nail salon on Franklin St called Latika Spa? It is my latest stop on the Greenpointers Mani-Pedi Tour. Don’t roll your eyes. Ladies need to know.
I am on a gel bender but I wished I’d started my habit after Latika Spa, because it is considerably more expensive than the other nails salons I’ve been to in Greenpoint.
It is also considerably nicer, more of a nail/spa hybrid than a straight up nail joint. They have loads of other services, like massage and facials. While there, a few ladies came in with a print out for savings. I felt left out.
“What’s that, I asked?”
My nail tech Kim, said, “Coupon. After.”
I thought maybe I could download the groupon online, but it had expired. They also didn’t have a mani-pedi special, which I think is key, but Latika, who is the owner, promised they would start summer specials the following week.
The ladies who work there are all dolls. One voluntarily scraped gum off the bottom of my sandal because I was got stuck to the tile floor. Gosh, I have never felt like such a d-bag. (Okay that’s a lie.)
Right next to White Dream, the storefront on Manhattan Ave that gives me the giggles every time, is another awning that simply says Nails. I walked in and knew this was the place where I would do it: the infamous and controversial gel manicure.
A manicure that lasts for two weeks and doesn’t chip? Sound too good to be true? Lots of ladies rave about it. Others are concerned it’s bad for your nails and your health. When I asked my platonic wife Julie to take the plunge with me, here is what she said:
Jules: I totally want, but we (the Jewish mother convention on the Upper West Side) had a long table discussion about it’s many pitfalls and now I’m scared.
Jules: They strip your nails and take forever to recover! As in never the same again. The UV light causes cancer! One woman went to the hospital with 2nd degree burns…All together “not worth it” was the consensus.
Jen: That sounds like an overreaction!
Jules: We’re Jewish!
Fair enough. Every girl needs a Jewish mom to worry about their health and nail safety. But they look so glossy and perfect!
You might just walk by Jennifer Day Spa on Nassau near Manhattan, but after Blue Angel Day Spa, which has an internet cafe, an espresso machine and a juice bar turned me do saying they were booked all weekend, I carried on and was happy to discover this hidden gem. It isn’t your regular mani-pedi joint, they have a lot of other services, and rather than blaring lights and rows of nail technicians with those amazing painted claw posters, it was quiet and calming with a couch facing a mantle with a big TV overhead. Calming at first.
Sara greeted me, the sweetest older lady. She was trying to give me color choice advise, “Birght color, bright weather!” My indecision annoyed her, but her frustration was adorable. “Whatever color you want. This pink or that pink. Whatever color you want.” She began by giving me a really great pedicure with a strange interrogation light hanging above us. The experience would have been relaxing had the television not been playing episode of Animal Cops. After she saw me crying she got upset too and said “Animals give people happiness, the don’t ask anything.”
Have you tried a gel manicure? Sara was all over it, saying it lasts two weeks. But at $25 just for the manicure I passed.
The manicure she gave me was very nice. The whole package is on the higher priced end for the area, at $25 for a manicure and pedicure, but the place was lovely, quiet and very clean.
Who is Jennifer? I asked.
“That’s Jennifer” said pointing to little sleeping creepily breathing stuffed dog curled in the corner.
I will definitely be back.
Quality of mani/ped: 4/5
Local Banter: 3/5
Variety of colors: 3/5
Bonus Massage: 2 bonus points – 0/2
Ladies, the warm weather is here and soon you’ll be breaking out the strappy sandals and peep toe shoes. That means getting your mani/pedis did at your local nail salon.
Someone once told me they know I’m from Queens because I am aware of where ALL the nails salons are in the hood. There are almost as many nail salons in Greenpoint as there are liquor stores!
What is important to you? Secret razor society? Location? Price? Cleanliness? Color Variety? Friendliness?
Greenpointers is going on a Nail Salon Tour of Greenpoint and scoring each location based on the following guidelines:
Cleanliness: 0/5 Friendliness: 0/5 Quality of mani/ped: 0/5 Value: 0/5 Local Banter: 0/5 Variety of colors: 0/5 Bonus Massage: 2 bonus points
I started out at my usual spot: Marvelous Nails on Manhattan Ave. At $18, it’s a pretty great deal for a mani-pedi. The nail techs are really nice. And the local banter is priceless. Whether teenagers are getting ready for prom or Grandmas are price shopping for paper towels, I don’t need to read the gossip magazines to keep entertained.