Moving is hard. Uprooting yourself, leaving your friends and family, leaving your job, having to find a new coffee shop, it’s all very exhausting. Despite being in love with New York and everything here, it was still a difficult and often lonely transition.
When my Ann Arbor manicure finally started to chip away after a few weeks (shoutout to the World’s Best Boss for letting me skip part of my last shift to get them done before I left), I had to find a place that I could trust with my nails.
You might think, hey it’s New York can’t you just wander down the street and find 15 different salons? Yes, yes you can. Maybe in a time before Yelp when things were simple, I would’ve done just that. But those times are over, and why would I wander blindly when I could wander with my eyes wide open?
I spent more time than I am proud to admit scrolling through reviews and pictures and prices (remember, NINE DOLLARS for a Cliff bar in this city, I was on high alert). That was when I found Empire Nails in Upper Manhattan, an air-conditioned oasis right off the 1 train.
The girls made breezy conversation and even the patrons talked to each other. Within five minutes of being there, someone complimented my “perfect summer outfit” and gave me three restaurant recommendations. Not to mention it was the best manicure I’ve ever had. My summer green mani lasted for an entire month without a single chip. Uptown girls can do nails, don’t forget that.
That confidence you feel just after getting your nails done can be a little intoxicating, although maybe that’s partially due to all the nail polish fumes you ingest. Regardless, I left feeling better than I had since I got here.
Self care can feel like a silly concept and I usually use it as an excuse to eat Ben and Jerrys or take a nap I definitely don’t need. In this case though, I felt the real power behind self care. It was impactful I’ve decided to call it nail therapy.
A good manicure might cost $40, but I can’t put a price on the first time I really felt connected to New York and her people.