An Ode to South Brooklyn Nail Salons

There she is!

Today I got an amazing manicure. It was $7. Yes, that’s right– at Jung’s Nail Salon on Ave X in Gravesend you can get pretty, long-lasting manicures for $7 and pedicures for $15. I normally ask for Joanne, but as she’s usually booked by the time I realize I want to go, I also have to praise Amy or Andrea. My mom and I have been going there for years, and since my mom has back problems, Joanne will put towels behind my her back when she gets a pedicure. That’s service for you. I also have come to like the always-busy New Happy J & J Salon in Sheesphead Bay, right off Sheesphead Bay Road, where you can get the fastest manicure of your life– though still a neat one– for $7. As someone who cannot stand to sit for very long when I don’t have something to read or watch, you can see why a quick, efficient manicure is a happy thing. This also explains why I normally choose to get one coat of a pale color, as the drying time is cut in half. But I digress

But in the city, and in certain parts of Brooklyn that will not be named, such prices, especially for that level of service, are unheard of. I work in Soho and have tried a number of nail places in the area, in hopes of finding a nearby convenient spot I could pop into after work. But, manicures are a minimum $12 and, more troubling, the salons are dirty. Seriously. One nearby salon always has flies and another once presented me with a male manicurist (ok, fine) who proceeded to have the world’s sweatiest hands (not fine). Another, in Tribeca, cut my cuticle badly and continued to PAINT THE NAIL as blood leaked into the nail polish color. But I learned my lesson. For starters, if I need a manicure after work, I haul over to Nolita to Spazio, where for the basic manicure (which is about $15, if I remember correctly), you get a exceptional cleaniless– they open a fresh bag of nail tools for each client– and a wonderful hand massage. For things like that, I can understand paying a bit more, sure. But those other spots? Of course I get the ‘whole city rents are higher’ thing, but can we get a broom in there? Or some bug spray? Or a trained manicurist? Something?

Anyway, C has her own Bensonhurst favorite, where manicures are $5 and she swears it’s super spotless, but I can’t recall the name (can you leave it in the comment section, C?). Anyway, another reason to travel to south BK– awesome nail salons. Thank you.


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