Health & beauty
Wed Apr 23 2008
With a New York Health & Racquet Club (60 W 23rd St), two outposts of Equinox (1 Park Ave; 897 Broadway) and a trio of NYSC (3 Park Ave; 50 W 34th St; 200 Madison Ave) in the vicinity, gym devotees have plenty of packages to compare. The choice broadens further in late June, when 24 Hour Fitness opens its first Derek Jeter Signature Club—designed in partnership with the Yankees’ captain (225 Madison Ave, 800-224-0240, 24hourfitness.com).
The founders of defunct beauty nook Le Petit Spa have settled into these bigger digs while retaining their expansive menu of services. Plush velvet couches and a tiki hut for manicures greet clients. The tropical theme continues in the peaceful treatment rooms, decked out with murals of bamboo forests and palm trees, and couples can be pampered together in a double room. Facials and massages begin at $50 for 30 minutes. 40A E 33rd St between Madison and Park Aves (212-213-2000). Mon–Thur noon–8pm; Fri–Sun 10am–8pm.
Are you a closet Dancing with the Stars addict ready to take things to the next level? If you want to master the merengue or have a hankering to do the hustle, follow in the footsteps of Winona Ryder, Al Pacino and Meryl Streep, who’ve all brushed up their technique at New York’s biggest ballroom and Latin studio. Attend a free one-hour group introductory class and/or a 30-minute private lesson before you commit to a program (from $90 for a course of four classes, or $79–$90 for a single private lesson). As well as more than 80 classes a week (see the website for schedule), there are nightly practice parties where you can strut your stuff for $6–$20 per person (free if you’re attending a course). 22 W 34th St between Fifth and Sixth Aves, fourth floor (212-307-1111, dancesport.com)
Discover the art of “fragrance combining” at the British perfumer’s boutique. While cynics may dismiss it as a marketing ploy, layering complementing scents is an addictive sensory experience. The olfactory palette spans spicy, floral and fruity concoctions with such evocative names as Wild Fig & Cassis and Lime Basil & Mandarin (from $50 for a 30ml cologne spray) and you can extend the delicious smells to your home with candles and room sprays. The Kohdo Wood Collection, inspired by Japanese incense ceremonies, debuts in May: Lotus Blossom & Water Lily (an energizing daytime scent) and Dark Amber & Ginger Lily (a smoky nighttime fragrance) can be worn alone or together. Malone started out as a facialist, and luxurious facials using her natural skincare range and signature techniques are being relaunched in-store later in the spring. The new express facial ($90 for 45 minutes) is half the price of the original 75-minute version, but almost as relaxing. 949 Broadway at 22nd St (212-673-2220). Mon–Sat 10am–8pm; Sun noon–6pm.
Laughing Lotus Yoga Center
Laughing Lotus Yoga Center
Smiling Hindu goddess murals greet you in the lobby; a spread of cookies, tea and water (all free) sit outside of the dressing rooms. The warm red and orange walls of the two spacious wood-floor studios at Laughing Lotus may make you feel like you are returning to the womb, but the challenging Vinyasa Flow will boost your energy level. Choose from up to 15 classes a day, including a donation-based community class (all proceeds are given to a charity of the week) taught by graduates of the center’s teacher training program. Night owls may want to try Friday’s Midnight Yoga (10pm–midnight), complete with live music. Bring your own water, as bottles are no longer sold. 59 W 19th St at Sixth Ave, third floor (212-414-2903, laughinglotus.com). Mon–Thu 6:45am–9:45pm; Fri 6:45am–midnight; Sat, Sun 9am–8:30pm. Single class $16.
MaurLife Therapeutics / Beth Small Acupuncture
Massage therapist and Feldenkrais Method practitioner Maury Christie uses a combination of techniques—including deep-tissue work, myofascial release and craniosacral therapy—to treat a variety of painful conditions, from back problems to repetitive-strain injuries. A session with Christie, who has many dancers and athletes on his books, isn’t just about easing clients’ discomfort in the short term, but “to teach them to be aware of themselves and their movements, and enable them to enhance what works well, and improve what doesn’t.” Also on site is acupuncturist Beth Small, who divides her time between these calm treatment rooms (currently on Mondays, but Wednesdays are in the pipeline) and Satori Holistic Spa on the Upper East Side. Cupping and tui na (Chinese therapeutic massage) are also offered. 928 Broadway between 21st and 22nd Sts, suite 704. MaurLife Therapeutics (212-533-4068), one-hour session $100, by appointment Mon–Fri. Beth Small Acupuncture (917-822-9264), introductory one-hour session, $100.
One of the chicest places in the city to rack your balls, Slate Plus offers more than 20 pool tables, eight Ping-Pong tables and four foosball tables over two slick, contemporary levels. But if that sounds like too much effort, kick back with a cocktail and watch sporting events on one of 14 plasma TVs, or get a bite from the American menu. 54 W 21st St between Fifth and Sixth Aves (212-989-0096). Mon–Wed, Sun noon–3am; Fri, Sat noon–4am. Rates from $7 per person per hour weekdays.
Wellness Men’s Day Spa
Like a Jean-Georges Vongerichten restaurant, Wellness offers high-end European products with a graceful Asian twist. Tucked into a cozy two floors, the spa is a gentle paradise of wtaupe and stone, geared toward providing a relaxing environment for the modern businessman. Manicure and pedicure stations lie just beyond the tea-and-juice bar in the vestibule; down the hall and downstairs, individual rooms for massage, waxing and toning await. The facial regimen (starting at $135)—administered in a small room whose combination of high-tech gear and hypnotic music makes it seem like the world’s most soothing dentist’s office—deploys a dizzying arsenal of tactics to buff and rejuvenate the skin, including masks, mists, micropeels, microdermabrasion, and even a few painless needles. 44 W 22nd St between Fifth and Sixth Aves (212-366-9080, wellnessmensdayspa.com). Mon 11am–9pm; Tue–Sat 11am–midnight; Sun 11am–8pm.