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Best Manicure for an M.F.A.

  • Vanity Projects

    99 Chrystie St., nr. Grand St., Ste. 2F; 646-410-2928

    For those who feel like they should be soaking up some culture, but could really use a manicure, the weekend quandary has been solved, thanks to Rita Pinto’s new art-gallery-meets-nail-salon. A curator turned nail technician, Pinto realized that the painstaking process of nail art (those custom-painted leopard spots or Disney characters can take up to two hours) meant she had a captive audience. So she set up two large projector screens that feature a rotating series of video artists like Shannon Plumb, who’s known for morphing herself onscreen into anyone from a boxer to a fashion model. (Headphones are provided for any customer who wants to fully engage with the work.) Meanwhile, Pinto also enlists rotating guest nail artists such as Miku Tsutaya from Tokyo or Virginia-based mani-celebrity Regina Rodriguez, who’s had fans stop her outside the shop. Prices start at about $70, but you can get a regular manicure from $18.

From the 2014 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine