There might not be a fancy, schmancy, in-person ceremony this year — thanks, COVID — but the W42ST Best of Awards 2021 (sponsored by Wells Fargo and supported by HYHK Alliance and The Durst Organization) are underway. We will be out on the streets surprising and delighting our category winners over the next week…
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Our shortlist of Best Service Providers included a real estate broker, a dog walker and a personal organizer — but the competition became Hell’s Kitchen hot when readers voted for how they look and feel. Hair salons and nail spas were fighting it out.
W42ST readers found a clear winner — and like Best Coffee Shop winner Amy’s Bread, they have been in the neighborhood for 30 years. Also, by coincidence, the owner is Sicilian — like the Newcomer winner, Norma!
Congratulations to Maria Lanza and David Ryan Salon for their award.
David Ryan Salon – 429 W46th St (bw 9/10th Ave)
Maria told us that the salon has been open since 1991. “I started working here in 1995 as an assistant, worked my way up to stylist and then eventually — five years later — bought the salon from David, who was the original owner,” she said after receiving the award last night. “My husband and I ran it together for a long time, but Madion Russo has been here with me for almost 10 years now. He’s the manager.”
We shared some of the lovely comments that W42ST readers made about Maria and the salon as they voted. She could recognize every customer. “Arista was originally David’s client — and now she’s been with me for 20 years,” she said.
As with every small business in Hell’s Kitchen, the pandemic has been tough. “We were closed for three full months from March 22 until June 22. We did a GoFundMe and our customers really helped. Also, thank God for the PPP loan, otherwise there’s no way we would’ve been able to come back. There was no way because my landlord wanted his rent even though we were closed,” said Maria. “COVID was rough, but everybody really did support us. I’m so grateful to all my clients for all the years of support and love. We love them like family.”
Here’s what W42ST readers had to say about David Ryan Salon:
“My hair has never looked better. This is my forever salon, a jewel in Hell’s Kitchen. The coolest, warmest stylists, high-quality and consistently great service. Family-owned, they make you a part of the family. I am proud and fortunate to be a long-standing client for years,” said Arista A.
“Best hair salon. Great ambiance. And I love the way my hair looks 100% of the time!” said Sheila J.
“Maria and her team of stylists are the best in NYC. My family and friends have been going to David Ryan for many years and this is the best salon in NY. I always love my cut and color and love seeing everyone,” said Erica Drasche.
The runners up are a diverse bunch. A few yards west along W46th Street, Nams Nail Spa was popular with our readers; Timothy John Salon was close in the voting (Maria recalled: “Timothy was a stylist here years ago”); Juli Oliver’s OrganizeNY had a fan base that enthused about her services; and Mirjana Vicari from Tilly’s Walks was every pup’s favorite.
Nams Nail Spa – 451 W46th St (bw 9/10th Ave)
“This is my ONLY nail salon. They are so sweet and welcoming. The color selections are endless and the nail techs are great artists. Want a treat? Get a spa pedicure — they make you feel like royalty,” said Leanne Buckley.
OrganizeNY – New York, NY 10019
“Juli is committed to taking the stress out of your home — and goodness knows, people need all the help they can get with that!” said Joanna Gallegos
Tilly’s Walks – New York, NY 10036.
“Mirjana loves what she does, she is absolutely dedicated to her dogs and she loves each and every one. I would highly recommend her as your dog walker,” said Lillian Vuckovic.
Timothy John Salon – 888 8th Ave (bw W52/53rd St)
“The atmosphere and staff are professional and friendly and offer top-notch services. It’s an all-inclusive space, regardless of gender or background, and stylists genuinely care about each client in their chair,” said Cat G.
Our readers’ shortlist included some of our favorite Hell’s Kitchen people. Danny Sayegh from the Dyksterhouse Team was featured when he put aside his real estate duties at the height of the pandemic to return to the front line of respiratory care in ER; Rita Ewing steered Massage Envy through COVID times; and Maria Rutilo from West Vibe shared her story with W42ST in the early months of the shutdown.
Dyksterhouse Team – New York, NY 10036
“They sell real estate the new way,” said Jared Goodloe.
Massage Envy – 525 W 42nd St (bw 10th/11th Ave)
“I always feel relaxed when leaving. Go there after work, and you’ll be re-energized for the rest of the day,” said Bradley G.
Stylish Ten – 661 10th Ave (bw W46/47th St)
“Great service, lots of colors and clean!” said Miranda Horan.
West Vibe – 451 W46th St (bw 9/10th Ave)
“I found West Vibe through a W42ST article on Maria. This is a wonderful salon — staff is incredibly talented and very friendly,” said Adrianne Welt.