On East 23rd Street, you can still find those unglamorous stores for life’s essentials: hardware, booze, a post office, a laundromat, and several thrift shops. Haru Nails is this reality-oriented strip’s nail salon, where residents drop in for a quick manicure, pedicure, reflexology session, waxing, or chair massage. Manicures are careful but swiftly layered—a method that saves time at the expense of durability. That said, Haru provides an atypically gracious experience. Its white-painted, blond-wood-accented, sidewalk-level digs are spacious and spotless; its Essie polish selection includes oft-omitted iridescent and Easter-egg hues; and its diverting music feed ranges from Duke Ellington to the New-Agey Opera Babes. As to the mainly Cantonese manicurists, they treat clients with gentleness, courtesy, and a welcome, if brief, shoulder massage at the nail dryer. Customers may even find a mostly used-up bottle of their chosen polish tucked into their bag as a surreptitious parting gift.
Indoor surfing, spinning lovefests, a luxurious pig-placenta facial, and more.