If I were to win the lottery today, there are very few things I would change about my life. I wouldn’t hire a personal chef (I love NYC restaurants too much). I wouldn’t go on a shopping spree (I love my NYC apartment with limited closet space too much). And believe it or not, I wouldn’t hire a personal driver (I love the amusement provided from the characters on NYC public transportation entirely too much). And yet, there is one area of self-indulgence I’d have no problem diving right into: hiring the entire staff of Village Chinese Therapy Center to be my personal, on-call masseuses. Because they are really all that amazing.
I’ve been going to Village Chinese Therapy Center for several years. I was first introduced to the concept of the “Chinatown Massage” by one of my Asian girlfriends. She knew how much I loved a quality rub down, and suggested I try out one of the Chinese places that cost a fraction of what most spas charge in Manhattan.
Always up for a cultural adventure, I trekked down to St. Mark’s Place with her, went into the tiny cubicle, stripped down and let the Enya-esque music dance in my head. Moments later, I was in for what would be the first of many best massages of my life, all thanks to the staff and their amazing hands (and sometimes elbows).
For only $45, you can get an hour-long massage that includes the full body rub down, top of your head all the way down to your toes. The massage includes lotion, hot towels, and two of the best hands your back will ever have the pleasure of coming into contact with. The best part is that all the masseuses I’ve had are not afraid to identify the knots and really do an amazing job working them out. While I’m sure they’d be happy to go gentle if asked, the massages tend to be on the more aggressive side, mimicking traditional Asian variety massages. Whatever stress you carried into the massage room is sure to be kneaded (and sometimes pounded) away by the time you leave.
It must be noted that the Chinatown Massage is not everybody’s cup of tea. Don’t go expecting the likes of scented candles, elaborate locker rooms (or any locker room, for that matter), lots of English conversation, or very much privacy. The massage beds are separated by hanging sheets, and you can hear every grunt, groan, and sigh made by everyone in the place. If you’re going for the experience rather than the massage, you’re better off saving for one of the swanky hotel spas. But if quality massage for a great price is what you’re after, I promise Village Chinese Therapy Center will not disappoint.
On one final note, I encourage you to hurry for your massage soon, cause once fate hands me that first million, the staff will transfer from Village Chinese Therapy Center to Jess’s Apartment. But being the awesome millionaire I’ll be, fear not, I’ll be willing to share my top-shelf masseuses with the other 99%.
Village Chinese Therapy Center
11 Saint Marks Place (Between 2nd and 3rd Avenue)
New York, New York
HOURS OF OPERATION:
Sunday-Saturday: 11 a.m. to 12 a.m.
20 Minutes = $18
30 Minutes = $25
45 Minutes = $38
60 Minutes = $45
After ten visits, get one free!
By: Jessica Tiare Bowen