2006_01_manicure.jpgGod knows that New York women (and some men - we've seen you!) love the cheap manicures and pedicures to be had at pretty much every other street. There are those deals - $20, Monday-Thursday, for manicures and pedicures - that are hard to resist. And Gothamist was just contemplating a cheap manicure for our post-New Year's nails (thanks to de-ornamenting the tree) when we read this AM New York story about the difficulty monitoring the health code at nail salons, and we were reminded of the nail salon hell stories we've heard from friends and the gross fungi they didn't want to show us but we demanded to see only to cry in fear. Are those purple-lit oven-like things that the scissors, files, etc. go into just shams? Augh! The NY Department of State is supposed to monitor nail salons, but has to monitor many other businesses - "boxing, registers corporations, and licenses everything from beauty parlors and private security firms to even pet cemeteries." Inspecting pet cemeteries and nail salons? The deputy secretary of state Eamon Moynihan tells AM NY, "We're operating under the assumption that this is a repeat business. No one has an incentive not to provide quality service." Love the double negative.

There are some suggestions on how to avoid infections, like bringing in your own nail beautification equipment and making sure technicians are licensed. Gothamist would add that you should also use your good sense - if the place looks shady and offers cheap manicures, maybe you shouldn't go there (which isn't to say that you can't get great manicures at cheap places or terrible ones at expensive places). Do you have any tips for checking out nail salons in the city?

SoYouWanna on giving yourself a manicure. And Wikipedia's really cute entry on manicure.