Nails. As of late they’ve been one of my latest accessories. They’re attention getting, a statement, and just fun when painted in a creative manner. While you have the option of going out and frequenting a salon in your hood I have taken it upon myself to start painting my nails. Why? Because the first and last time I patronized a nail salon in my hood (for a pedicure) I was almost murdered by a deranged lunatic.
Ok, I wasn’t almost murdered, but my life was in danger. Here’s what happened…
It was my second week in the Stuy (and the second week in May) and I was in need of a pedicure (as moving is hard on a girl’s feet). I left my house around 7 or so (just as the sun was on it’s way down – that was my first mistake). NEVER venture out into your new neighborhood as the sun is setting, you never know what kind of craziness is lurking in the dark.
I digress, I’d noticed two nail salons near the J train station that I use to get to and from work earlier in the week. Instead of going directly after work I went home to change and come back out to get my very first pedi in BK.
Nail salon #1 (located on Broadway between Kosciuszko & Lafayette) was a no go. They didn’t have OPI or Essie polish (I’m a bit of a nail polish snob) and the establishment looked dirty. I walked out of that joint as quickly as I walked in. Onto nail salon #2. It was located kinda up the block and across the street (kind of, more like across the street, but diagonally). It was located next door to a fried chicken spot, a liquor store, and a 24-hour deli – the typical hood holy trinity.
I walked into this spot and noticed that it look a lot cleaner; it was brightly lit, full of patrons and they had OPI nail polish (one out of two ain’t bad)! That was it, I found my new nail salon and it was only two blocks from my crib.
I forget the name right now, but I will never forget the location and you shouldn’t either. If you value your life you won’t walk into the nail salon on Lafayette & Patchen (with the bright pumpkin orange awning) in the Bedford Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn.
I was greeted by one of the workers and asked which service I wanted done. I let her know and proceeded to walk to the wall and pick a color. I normally go for a French, but on this particular day I felt like playing it safe and getting a solid color (after all, some of these women butcher a simple French pedi). I was a bit indecisive so I went to the pedicure station with about two colors in hand. As the woman is doing her thing on my feet (you know cleaning, filing, scrubbing, massaging) a big (I’d say 6’1″ tall & husky – about 225 – 230lb) man strolled in. He walked in like he was the owner and made beeline for the restroom towards the back of the salon.
Ummm, I was mad confused. Word, a dude the size of a line backer walks in to the salon without saying a word (oh yeah, the sun was completely down and it was dark out so that added to my fear) and no one says anything? He looked at a few of the patrons (including me, but I quickly looked away because my brother always told me never to stare crazy in the eye as it invites them) and workers. He rambled something in fluent gibberish then walked out. It was at the moment that I realized I should’ve never come here at night. I tried to forget about it because no one appeared to be phased so I guess it was in my best interest to not be bothered by that random visit as well.
As the nail painting portion of my pedi had started I realized that I didn’t like the colors that I chose. I excused myself and told the worker that I’d like to re-visit the wall and get another color. I walked about 10 feet or so to the wall and turned my back to the door. What the HELL was I thinking? As I turned around to return to my chair I was startled by the same axe murderer/deranged lunatic that came into the shop a few minutes prior. He caught me off guard, but I did my best not to scream as I was afraid this may have only intrigued his crazy ass.
He smiled at me the same way that crazy clown in Stephen King’s IT stared at Georgie from the sewer –>
and asked me what color I was going to choose. Word, none of the patrons in the salon felt the need to warn me that this wack job was about to decapitate me by the nail polish wall? Why should they, they weren’t phased. However, I was. I loved BK, but my new neighborhood hadn’t become MY neighborhood yet. I didn’t know anyone and no one knew me – I’d only been there for two week. This Queens girl realized that I wasn’t in Queens anymore just like Dorothy realized she wasn’t in Kansas anymore.
Being the quick witted person that I am I told the serial killer that I was going to get pink because my MAN liked pink. He picked up another color and told me that I should get that instead. I instinctively gave my fictitious man more clout and inform the escape convict that my HUSBAND likes pink. I politely excused myself (never making eye contact of course), and proceeded to walk back towards my chair. This only enraged the monster.
“Keep being cute ight, keep being cute” is all he said. I looked him in the eye briefly as I wanted to keep tabs on where he was. One of the male workers said something to him then he walked out. At this point my heart was racing. I was afraid that he would return before my “husband” could come to save me. The three remaining patrons talked about him and how he comes to the salon every week – why? Because he lives around the corner in the halfway house. Wonderful…. I chose to go to the nail salon that halfway house residents visit when they want to pick their next victims.
I sat under the nail dryer for a few minutes plotting my escape. I didn’t give a damn how dry my nails were, I was going to leave as soon as one of the patrons left so I could walk out of the salon with someone. Not even five minutes after I sat down did I get up (a patron was leaving AND she was walking my way). I ran outta that salon so fast and prayed the entire way home while simultaneously turning around every few steps to make sure Freddy Kreuger wasn’t chasing me.
That was my first and last time at that salon. Since I’ve been in Brooklyn I’ve been doing my own nails – manicures and pedicures. I like using my ingenuity and expression on my fingernails – it’s cost effective, fun, and a nice conversation starter. I’ve gotten so good at it that I’ve decided to keep at it and share some of my favorite nail creations.
Take a look at some of my favorite designs….
To create these looks:
Step 1 –> Gather your nail polishes, nail polish remover, a metal file, and a Q-tip/cotton swab. Step 2 –> I always start by painting my dominant hand first; I’m right-handed and paint my right hand first. The reason I do this is because I want to get the save the easiest hand (my left hand) for last. It’s easier to paint because I am able to paint it with my dominant hand). Step 3 –> Use your ingenuity and create a nail design of your choice. I pretty much come up with these ideas out of the blue, but you may find inspiration elsewhere. To clean up your edges (as you’re bound to have excess nail polish around the perimeters of your nails), use the metal file or Q-tip/cotton swab and nail polish remover. Step 4 –> Use a high gloss quick dry top coat (I’ve listed my preference above) and allow your creation to dry in a timely fashion.
I didn’t always have a steady hand, but you know what they say “practice makes perfect”. I hope these nail designs inspired you to experiment on your nails, give it a try!
Until Next Time Friends