Breaking the Seal on a New New York Experience

On Saturday Jordan and I had a perfect New York day. We started with brunch at Bubby’s with our friends Norm and Shakti (complete with drool-inducing buttermilk biscuits). Then we spent hours wandering — first along the Hudson river, then up through Soho and the Village. It was a gorgeous day: blue sky, warm but with a breeze, and we indulged in that luxury of a weekend day with no agenda looming… time stretching out before us to do exactly as we pleased.

After several hours of walking, though, my feet were killing me, and I found myself looking longingly at every hole-in-the-wall massage parlor we passed. But I was nervous. I’ve lived in New York for almost two years, and I’d yet to frequent such a spot. They’re ubiquitous, but they’re often below street level, with a curtain pulled over the window — they look sketchy. Still, the price was right ($10 for 10 minutes, $20 for 20 minutes, and so on), and my dogs were barking. I decided to give it a shot.

I made Jordan walk in with me. If it was secretly a brothel or some other kind of shady business, I wanted back-up. Instead, we found a nice man and woman sitting behind a counter in a spare office-like setting. They convinced me that 10 minutes wasn’t enough for a foot massage (oh, the privileged life I lead!) so I booked 20 minutes for the discount price of $18 and agreed to meet Jordan at a shop across the street when I was done.

As I walked back to the massage room — separated from the main room by a shower curtain — I relaxed knowing that they’d seen my husband and knew he was expecting me. It tells you something about (a) how much my feet hurt and (b) how much I wanted them to not hurt, that I overcame my misgivings and lay down on that massage table.

And oh, how good it felt!! It was heaven. I soon forgot to worry about my surroundings and gave myself over to the wonderful, relaxing sensations. 20 minutes later I FLOATED out of there, feeling brand new.

I broke the seal on a new New York experience, and I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

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