I'm supposed to be getting manicures and pedicures regularly, as part of my 101 Things project. Last weekend, I realized that I was four months in, and I hadn't even bothered to get a manicure.
Near my house, there are about eleventy-hundred nail salons, and they're all pretty cheap. I think most of them are sanitary, as well. I mean--I've always watched them pull the tools out of the sterilizer, and I've never gotten any kind of infection, so... I think it's all good.
Last weekend, I went to get a mani-pedi, at the first place on that street. I don't know what the name of the place is. I only know that it wasn't there a few weeks ago. (The nail salons tend to come and go on that stretch of Church Avenue in Brooklyn). So, I'm just going to call it "place number one."
My strategy for evaluating the mani-pedis in my hood is to walk in, ask for a manicure/pedicure, and then just see what they do. I'll let them up-sell me, if it's something that doesn't seem too expensive or unnecessary. But mostly, I'm sticking to the basics, here.
Place Number One started me off with a pedicure. They had actual massage chairs at each pedicure station, but I didn't have my glasses with me, so I couldn't quite figure out which buttons did what. Eventually I found one that seemed to run through some kind of cycle, so, that was good.
They did a good job on my pedicure. Sometimes I feel like for a guy's pedicure, they don't really spend much time working on my cuticles, because it's such a disaster down there, after they pick the stuff out of my big toe, they figure I'm not really gonna care. Well, this place actually spent some time on my toe cutes. Points for that.
Also, for some reason one (and only one) of my toes had a really super long toenail. They cut it down to a reasonable size. I would have expected that of any place, but I only mention it, because I think it's weird that even when you clip all your nails down to exactly the same length, there always seems to be one that grows out at a disproportionate rate. That's weird.
They asked if I wanted a crystal gel foot bath, and I said, "sure." I had that once before in Ohio, when my niece took us for pedicures. There's some kind of powder that they put in the water that turns it into the consistency of tapioca pudding. I don't know exactly how much it was at the salon in Ohio, but it was only $10 at Place Number One. So, I went for it. For another $10, they offered a 15 minute massage, but they weren't specific about what, exactly, was going to be massaged, and since I was sitting in a massage chair, I opted against spending another $10. Also, a short hand, foot and leg massage came with the mani-pedi, so... Well... I just didn't really understand what I was getting for that money, I guess.
It was a weekend, so the place was pretty busy. I didn't actually have to wait, when I arrived, but it was getting crowded midway through my pedicure. The woman did my hands while I was still soaking in the tapioca glunk, just to get me out of there more quickly. And even though my cuticles were a real mess (I tend to pick at them), and even though she was standing and I wasn't at a manicure station, she did a really good job.
Total cost, including tapioca treatment and 20% tip: $40, even.
(I'll get the name and the address, later, but...for now it's Place Number One.