Friday’s Under $40: Ways To Feel Better

Posted on: October 16th, 2020 at 5:03 am by

Photo: Sara Graham

In our Friday column, “Fridays Under $40,” Boogie writer Sara Graham again hits the streets to find cheap eats and affordable things to do during these weird times.

New York Magazine’s the Cut recently ran a funny-cuz-it’s true story about how our collective posture is getting worse by the day, due to myriad issues, among them: exercising less, working from home in non-ergonomic “desk” situations, and the general, non-stop stress of a global pandemic, recession, and climate change. And let’s throw in the election for good measure. If you haven’t ventured out for a massage since salons reopened and your shoulders feel like they’re creeping towards your ears, now may be the time.


I’m in this very predicament and now have chronic pain—related to teeth grinding while asleep, awake, really at any and all times—so I head to Vitality Spa in Chinatown. Don’t be put off by the flashy (and incorrect) signage outside; inside it’s an oasis of tranquility. Masks are mandatory and so are temperature checks, which is clearly stated at the door. I get my temperature taken and head to a private narrow room with a curtain to get a 30-minute back massage, which is undoubtedly deep tissue. When I leave, my masseuse offers me water. Hot tips: come with cash—there’s a $4 surcharge for using credit cards. The promotion they’re running right now: 30-minute back massage and 30-minute foot reflexology for $45, is a steal. Do it when you can go over $40.

Vitality Spa, 128 Baxter Street
Total: $28
Hours: 10 am-10:45 pm, daily


Photo: Sara Graham

My parasympathetic nervous system is clearly awake from my massage – the blood is flowing and I’m hungry. I walk a block over to Mulberry Street to get a slice. Manero advertises that they’re “the only slice in Little Italy,” and though that’s debatable, they’re definitely one of the only noteworthy slices in Little Italy.

Photo: Sara Graham

If you like a classic New York slice—doughy, cheesy, small puddles of grease, with a sweet pomodoro sauce, you’ll like Manero’s. Although their outpost is tiny and takeout only, they’ve been doing construction in the narrow space next door. A sign posted in the window says there was a hearing about their application for a liquor license in September. I peer in and see booths and hanging lamps in the dine-in space, which looks almost complete. I take a seat to enjoy the slice on their “streeterie,” which is devoid of atmosphere, unless you like construction zones and shuttered souvenir shops. Damn, that pizza is good though.

Manero’s Pizza, 113 Mulberry Street

Total: $3.27
Hours: 12am -12pm, daily
Total cost: $31.27

Costs recorded do not include tip. Tip generously. Wear a mask.

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