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Best of San Antonio > Readers Pick

Our Bodies, Our Selves

Justin Parr

 

Best Massage Therapist
Michelle Jimenez, MAJR Massage Therapy
414 W. Mistletoe
(210) 508-2277
majrmassage.com

Michelle Jimenez (who also dabbles in belly-dancing) is a licensed massage therapist who has been trained in Swedish massage and can work out any muscle in need of soothing. Her specialties include deep-tissue massage, trigger-point therapy, and myofascial release. And if you’re pregnant, Michelle’s also trained in pre-natal massage. She’s also acquired the business of the Alamo City Rollergirls who can vouch for the greatness that is Michelle’s massage treatments; she’s found herself as their unofficial massage therapist and undoubtedly is kept busying during the roller-derby season.

2. Tie:
Spa D’Sante in Stone Oak (Brian & Jasmine),
Multiple locations
spadsante.com

The Synergy Studios (Carlos Matutes)
300 E. Grayson, Ste. 100
(210) 824-4225
thesynergystudio.com

4018 by Gina
4018 NW Loop 410
(210) 241-8748

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Most Pro Shoe Shine/Repair
Central Shoe Repair Co.

5026 Broadway St
(210) 824-8001

Central Shoe Repair Co. is a throwback to the old-fashion repair shops of yesteryear. You’ll be greeted with a friendly smile from Stella, who will be quite frank about the two-week turnaround time due to Fiesta. But you really can’t beat the $4.50 shoe shines that can be done in 15-30 minutes. We’ll gladly wait and shoot the breeze with our shoe shiner any day of the week (except Sundays and Mondays, when the shop is closed).

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Impeccable Alterations
(4-way tie)

Alamo Heights Tailor Shop
6714 N. New Braunfels Ave.,
(210) 826-7278

Alterations to Go
130 W. Olmos
(210) 805-9495

The Golden Needle
2267 NW Military Hwy #105
(210) 341-8080

Lennie’s Alterations
10907 Wurzbach Rd.
(210) 699-9679

The general sales pitch from the winners of the four-way tie is, “We do everything.” From taking in a wedding dress to shortening trousers, Current readers couldn’t decide on one for the best … but we don’t mind. Three of the winners are Alamo Heights/Olmos Park residents, while Lennie’s Alterations covers the Medical Center area. But be warned, if you’ll be taking in clothes to get altered the sweet lady that answered the phone over at Alamo Heights tailor shop says that recently she’s been “so busy with Fiesta,” but assured us she can fix any bodice.

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Top-Notch Personal Trainer
Micah Hartsock, Spectrum, Downtown Location

(210) 354-1900
spectrumclubs.com


Antonia Padilla

As a city that always manages to come out near the top of the nation’s five fattest or unhealthiest cities, San Antonio needs all the top-notch personal trainers we can get. Fortunately, Micah Hartsock of Spectrum Athletic Clubs is just one of many qualified trainers you can sign up for. As many trainers do, Hartsock became a personal trainer after being an athlete and continuing the weight training and exercise later in life. Heartsock has a wide range of clients, and he speaks of the importance behind adjusting training techniques to match his clients varying abilities. “My aproach is a full-body, very holistic approach, and I like to see equal amounts of weight training and cardio,” said Hartsock. “But when I think of cardio, I don’t only think about being stuck on a treadmill. I think about doing cardio with weights as well.” He says he likes waking up to come to his job every day, and the best part about it is helping people become healthier. We think the best part about his job is that personal workout time is automatically incorporated into his work schedule.

2. Danny Sanchez, Body By Danny
1884 Nacogdoches Rd.
(210) 804-2039
bodybydanny.com

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Most Gifted Makeup Artist/Counter
MAC @ North Star Mall

7400 San Pedro
(210) 375-7804 

Technically, there are several MAC counters in North Star Mall, but on a muggy Thursday morning I arrived almost as early as the elderly-walking-ladies at Dillard’s to engage the popular MAC makeup artist Erica Andrews (crossing my fingers that I wouldn’t have a The Truth About Cats and Dogs makeup-counter moment). Turns out she’s mosied on, but that wasn’t going to stop me from getting my makeover. As the kind artist on hand applied MAC’s Mineralize foundation to my cheeks, she explained that MAC is popular because it lasts so long — and of course, because “the stars” wear it. I think maybe it has something to do with MAC employees effusively liking their jobs, too.

2. Sephora @ North Star Mall
7400 San Pedro
(210) 541-0979

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Best Waxing Services
Isabelle’s European Day Spa

17851 Rogers Ranch Parkway, (210) 493-5544, isabellesdayspa.com

Isabelle’s European Day Spa website boasts, “Be a hairless wonder!” We’re not sure about getting everything waxed, but if you’re inclined to a friction-free lifestyle (a full body wax sets you back $200), Isabelle’s has you covered (er, uncovered). Isabelle Timms, owner of the Day Spa, was born and raised in Europe and is experienced in the European way of waxing. If you’re wanting a Brazilian XXX or Sphinx (the fabled landing strip), she and her team of waxing whizzes can work magic down under.

2. Aveda Institute of San Antonio
250 E. Grayson St. #101
(210) 222-0023
avedaisa.com

3. [tie] 4018 by Gina
4018 NW Loop 410
(210) 241-8748

Tyler Cummings @ Doo or Dye
331 W. Mulberry
(210) 738-8089
dooordye.net

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Most Relaxing Day Spa
Watermark hotel and spa

212 West Crockett Street
(210) 396-5800
watermarkhotel.com
The Current can report from personal experience that the level of luxury and pampering at the Watermark Spa is dangerously high. Appointments with masseuses, aesheticians, and the like give you access to a hot tub overlooking the quaintest block of Crockett street and lit by candles on little rock-wall ledges (we’re talking about the girls’ rooms here; can’t vouch for the guys’, but we hear decadent things). A soothing resting room filled with Neiman Marcus catalogs and stocked with freshly infused waters makes it hard to leave, and it’ll be weeks before you can truly enjoy your measly home shower again. Oh, and the services? Not quite the therapeutic heights of Santa Fe’s Ten Thousand Waves, but give them time.

2. Patricia’s Day Spa
3320 Oakwell Ct.
(210) 829-1969
patriciasdayspa.com

3. Woodhouse Day Spa
255 E. Basse Rd., Ste. 950
(210) 822-8800
sanantonio.woodhousespas.com

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Most Insightful Psychic

I only wish I was a psychic, so I could decipher the individuals you voted for in this category, San Antonio. The top two seem to be some approximation of Regran Bekram and Stephen Reyna, but I can’t find either soothsayer online. Will the real Best of SA psychic please stand up? Mm, creepy, maybe you heard me and you did … just now … as I’m writing this … Or maybe we’ll meet on the astral plane in my dreams tonight? If you can hear me call me now! Now! Now!

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Best Yoga Teacher/Classes
Bikram Yoga San Antonio

Multiple locations
Bikramyogasa.com
Adherents to this style of yoga, in which scantily clad disciples sweat through a set routine of demanding poses in close proximity to each other, tend to be fanatical about its benefits. And the toned instructors do seem to radiate a good-health euphoria. The Bikram Beagle, the studios’ cheerful, informative e-newsletter, makes it feel like a community. San Antonian and newish teacher ReBeca Drury’s name came up more than once in Bikram’s sweep of the Yoga category.

2. Synergy Studio
300 E. Grayson
(210) 824-4225
thesynergystudio.com

3. Hot Body Yoga
1201 Austin Hwy
(210) 829-0088
hotbodyyoga.com

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Gym
Gold’s Gym

Multiple locations,
goldsgym.com

Gold’s Gym had the Current hook, line, and sinker. It’s so easy to sign up for a membership, because at any given time they’ve got a number of specials that facilitate a pocket-friendly enrollment. They’ve got gyms around the city and membership isn’t location-specific, so there’s bound to be one close to home, work, school, your babysitter’s house, or any other place you might be frequenting. If your objective is working out and you don’t need special amenities like shampoo and conditioner, towels, and childcare, Gold’s is a good investment. Fees run about $30-40 a month, and you pay out of pocket for extras like personal training sessions. The only caveat — payment is often taken directly from your bank account every month and there’s an additional fee for cancelling your membership.

Spectrum
Multiple locations,
spectrumclubs.com

Lifetime
Multiple locations,
lifetimefitness.com

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Best Hair Salon/Stylist
Doo or Dye

331 W. Mulberry
(210) 738-8089
dooordye.net
Doo or Dye also won Best Hair Colorist and Best Place to Hide From Your Parents.


Jeanna Goodrich

Doo or Dye’s animated architecture sticks out like a sore thumb in the Monte Vista Historic District. But the salon has been a local staple for 13 years, and says Lee, a stylist at the most popular salon in town, it brings in customers solely by word of mouth.
We went in one day to sample the place, and was greeted by Tyler (she along with the rest of the Doo or Dye crew earned themselves the best hair colorists title); she took us to the backroom to view some products while a young mom with a baby on her lap was getting a trim. We purchased Mercy, a leave-in condition (their own product, by the way), and was given helpful instructions by Lee on how to get awesomely soft hair — and let’s just say our very own arts editor has oh-so-soft hair (and at $14 it didn’t leave a dent in her wallet).
The salon is full of character. Yes, you have your typical stylist stations, but it’s also got a roomy lounge feel going on, too — ideal for hiding from your parents while you’re getting your hair dyed a funky fuchsia hue.
Lee mentioned that the salon may branch out to another location, possibly on the North Side, to “make stupid money.” We dare you to get a do or a dye, and be sure to tell ’em the Current sent ya.

2. Shag the Salon
110 Warren
(210) 222-1700
shagthesalon.com

3. Visible Changes
Multiple locations
visiblechanges.com

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Best Hair Colorist
Doo or Dye

331 W. Mulberry
(210) 738-8089
dooordye.net
Doo or Dye also won Best Hair Salon/Stylist and Best Place to Hide from Your Parents.

Doo or Dye’s animated architecture sticks out like a sore thumb in the Monte Vista Historic District. But the salon has been a local staple for 13 years, and says Lee, a stylist at the most popular salon in town, it brings in customers solely by word of mouth.
We went in one day to sample the place, and was greeted by Tyler (she along with the rest of the Doo or Dye crew earned themselves the best hair colorists title); she took us to the backroom to view some products while a young mom with a baby on her lap was getting a trim. We purchased Mercy, a leave-in condition (their own product, by the way), and was given helpful instructions by Lee on how to get awesomely soft hair — and let’s just say our very own arts editor has oh-so-soft hair (and at $14 it didn’t leave a dent in her wallet).
The salon is full of character. Yes, you have your typical stylist stations, but it’s also got a roomy lounge feel going on, too — ideal for hiding from your parents while you’re getting your hair dyed a funky fuchsia hue.
Lee mentioned that the salon may branch out to another location, possibly on the North Side, to “make stupid money.” We dare you to get a do or a dye, and be sure to tell ’em the Current sent ya.

2. Chop Chop Salon
136 Ellis Bean
(210) 334-5619

3. Tie:
Shag the Salon
110 Warren
(210) 222-1700
shagthesalon.com

Kim McCammon, Visions for Hair
123 Southbridge St
(210) 826-4601

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Most Pro Manicures/Pedicures
[tie]

All About Me Day Spa
11851 Bandera Road,
(210) 372-0700
allaboutme-dayspa.com

Nails by Lynn
224 E. Olmos,
(210) 829-8905

Right off 1604, All AboutMe, the “revolutionary day spa,” offers quite the selection for manicures and pedicures … and for a reasonable price, too. A typical manicure will cost you $18 (add $5 if you want a French); for an ultimate chair pedicure you’re out $40 (but it includes a mint mask and sugar scrub). The spa also offers a tired-foot treatment. We recommend you splurge and add on that skin peel. too. Nails by Lynn is a bit pricier at $40 apiece for a manicure and a pedicure (add on an extra $3 for French).

2. Ann’s Nail Salon
5231 Broadway St.
(210) 805-8899

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Best Aesthetician
Honorary critic’s pick:
Neva Skincare & Massage
5228 Broadway
(210) 884-6382

Although many readers recommended an aesthetician or day spa, no one candidate received more than one vote. Maybe women guard gifted skin-care specialists the way the bon-vivant uncle of a A Good Year suggested men guard the name of a good tailor. In any event please consider our honorary critic’s pick, Neva Fernandez. Local designer and Gallery one9zero6 co-director Yvette Benavides recommended her after the Current noticed how great her skin was looking, motherhood and an adventurous life notwithstanding. “In my experience, she’s a very nurturing aesthetician, and she really explains your skin to you,” says Benavides. “She makes you relax, she has a very nice touch, and she doesn’t push product. People notice the results she has on her clients, and that’s how she’s built her business.”

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Most Artful Tattoo Shop
Dandyland

1821 Bandera Rd.
(210) 432-5747
dandylandtattoo.com
Dandyland also won Best Piercing Shop.


Chuck Kerr

A Current readers’ perennial favorite, it’s no surprise to see Dandyland perched atop both categories yet again. And for good reason. Lots of people don’t switch it up once they’ve found a tattoo artist or piercer they really like. Lesley Reyes is a proud Dandyland returnee who’s had both piercings and tattoos there. She entered the shop on the recommendation of a friend and will go there for any future work. “The Dandyland artists are confident and professional, yet still laid back and down to earth,” says Reyes. “Its apparent they know what they’re doing.” Reyes also speaks of the shop’s overall cleanliness, as will most anybody who’s ever stepped inside. She says she greatly values that the artists and piercers always wash tools and open sealed jewelery right in front of her. Though it should be obligatory in any shop, some of these small details will occasionally fall by the wayside. Reyes had a rook piercing done by Miro Hernandez (above, left with Paul) awhile back, and said that his calm, laid-back demeanor put her at ease. “I’m a talker when I’m nervous, and he chatted with me,” said Reyes. “It’s also calming to hear a piercer describe what he’s doing next, so you’re not surprised.”

2. Mr. Lucky’s Tattoos
2710 N. St. Mary’s,
(210) 736-6900

3. Element Tattoo Studio
4741 Fredericksburg Rd.
(210) 979-9877

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Best Piercing Shop
Dandyland

1821 Bandera Rd., (210) 432-5747, dandylandtattoo.com
Dandyland also won Most Artful Tattoo Shop.

A Current readers’ perennial favorite, it’s no surprise to see Dandyland perched atop both categories yet again. And for good reason. Lots of people don’t switch it up once they’ve found a tattoo artist or piercer they really like. Lesley Reyes is a proud Dandyland returnee who’s had both piercings and tattoos there. She entered the shop on the recommendation of a friend and will go there for any future work. “The Dandyland artists are confident and professional, yet still laid back and down to earth,” says Reyes. “Its apparent they know what they’re doing.” Reyes also speaks of the shop’s overall cleanliness, as will most anybody who’s ever stepped inside. She says she greatly values that the artists and piercers always wash tools and open sealed jewelery right in front of her. Though it should be obligatory in any shop, some of these small details will occasionally fall by the wayside. Reyes had a rook piercing done by Miro Hernandez awhile back, and said that his calm, laid-back demeanor put her at ease. “I’m a talker when I’m nervous, and he chatted with me,” said Reyes. “It’s also calming to hear a piercer describe what he’s doing next, so you’re not surprised.”

2. Platinum Piercing & Tattoos,
1706 SW Loop 410,
(210) 645-7000

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Best Self-Defense Trainer/Class
Krav Maga Worldwide—911 Self-Defense, San Antonio

7460 Callaghan Rd., Ste. 401
(210) 348-6127

If you’ve ever felt a stab of fear while walking to your car in a shadowy parking garage, listen up. For the unfamiliar, Krav Maga is an Israeli self-defense technique that uses instinctive reactions against realistic attacks. It’s serious training, practiced by both men and women of all ages, and isn’t dependant on size and strength for effectiveness. In addition to the self-defense classes, Krav Maga offers extras, like an upcoming rape prevention seminar, and a full schedule of fitness classes like kickboxing, pilates, yoga, and more to get you in top form. This March, KSAT 12 ran a story about parents enrolling their kids at 911 Self Defense to help them stand up for themselves when school bullying goes too far. Parents raved about the program, called km-X, which updates the traditional approach just for kids and stresses positive thinking, confidence, and strength.

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Best Vitamin Store
GNC

Multiple locations
gnc.com

Our staff writer contends that GNC is not the place to find your herbal supplements, but rather an oasis for weightlifters looking for body-mass-building pills and powders … but he was at a Vegas location, so who knows? With 4,800 retail locations, though, they certainly are ubiquitous enough to make sure your basic needs are met wherever, whenever (as Shakira would say). Just hold off for Sun Harvest for that really hippie stuff.

2. Whole Foods
255 E Basse Rd # 130
(210) 826-4676
wholefoodsmarket.com

3. Sun Harvest
multiple locations
sun-harvest.com

See Also

Best of 2008 FAQ's in Readers Pick 4/23/2008

Special Places in Readers Pick 4/23/2008

You've Been Served in Readers Pick 4/23/2008

Shop Till You Drop in Readers Pick 4/23/2008

Working-class Heroes in Readers Pick 4/23/2008

You Turn Me On in Readers Pick 4/23/2008

Mini Me in Readers Pick 4/23/2008

Our Bodies, Our Selves in Readers Pick 4/23/2008

Vice and Virtue : Part 2 4/23/2008

Vice and Virtue : Part 1 4/23/2008

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