39 W. 56th St., nr. Fifth Ave.; 212-245-8006
No scented candles, no cheesy spa music, no books about finding your inner shaman. Owner Jamie Ahn wanted Townhouse to be comfortable for both genders (wise, considering her midtown location), so it’s heavy on the dark wood paneling, light on the New Age and pastels. The pedicures (starting at $45) happen on the main floor, and the techs use Microplane’s new foot files (yes, the same company that makes woodworking tools and graters that take the skin off a lemon). These are surprisingly gentle on your feet, but very fast and effective, without the ticklishness or endless grinding of the usual sandpaper files. Winterized feet that haven’t had a good scrubbing since the flip-flops went into storage will be baby-soft again in under an hour.
Best Midwinter Pedicure
So what exactly does “best” mean in a city with thousands of pizza joints, hundreds of celebrity masseuses, and museum-worthy concept shops on every corner? Well, in the case of this, our annual “Best of New York” roundup, there’s a heavy emphasis on what’s new or what has somehow remained virtually unheard of (until now, of course).