Los Angelenos and New Yorkers are often at odds: comparing their cities and complaining about what’s wrong with the other coast. Well, I’m one LA gal who loves just about everything in New York, and although I don’t think I’d trade what I love about LA, I take advantage of everything the east coast city has to offer when I’m there.

During my last visit, I went to Ettia Holistic Day Spa Salon on the Upper West Side. The salon was like the city itself: a place inhabited by people of every nationality with interesting stories of what brought them there.

Katia did my pedicure. Trained in esthetics in Poland, 22-year-old Katia came to the U.S. and studied nail care and found the salon, owned by another successful polish immigrant Ettia Tal. Katia emerged from one of the massage rooms to greet me and she looked particularly relaxed and flushed. Before I could ask any embarrassing questions (had I woken her from a nap?), she explained that she had just had a massage and sea salt body treatment. Her demeanor was so calm and relaxed, her skin so pink and healthy-looking, I wished I had made time to get the sea salt thing myself. But the pedicure she provided was downright sleep-including, so there isn’t much to tell you about it. I also had my legs waxed (now that I remember).

Despite the eight-million-plus people who occupy the island of Manhattan on any given workday, even the good salons have to work hard to bring in clients. Ettia has made public relations a number one priority and she has been well rewarded for her efforts. She has been named one of the top salons in New York by such magazines as Glamour, Vogue, and Allure. Although I had heard of her salon from my friend Tammy Stonich at Salons USA, I could have easily read about the salon in Cosmopolitan or Harper’s Bazaar.

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