“Oh my god! Finding Mi Cumbia Organica - “

“ - was like finding a back door into Heaven for 90 minutes. I will never go back to my neighborhood salon again!

I had been going to a neighborhood salon for pedicures for the past 4 years out of cheapness and laziness. More than half the time I left there with at least one bleeding toe, polish that has been slopped on, sore heels and soles that have been rubbed almost raw with a pumice bar and my feet and legs reeking of cheap, laundry detergent scented lotion. Last year, I got a pedicure at the neighborhood place in October and then went 7 months just doing my nails at home because I realized I'd been dreading going back and being hurt yet again. With sandal season on the horizon, I did go back to the old neighborhood place once more out of pure sloth, disregarding my gut feelings. The nail tech was annoyed, she was rough, indifferent and ignored me when I said it felt like my 2 big toenails on either foot were getting ingrown. 2 days after the manicure at the crummy little neighborhood place, my right big toe was so sore and tender I could not even put the weight of a bed sheet on it. I went online and Googled 'best pedicure in Philadelphia' and immediately got in touch with Mi Cumbia. 

When I made my appointment online, I indicated that I had at least one ingrown nail from another salon. I was called the next day by Sahar, the general manager. She was kind and sweet and apologized to me, thinking one of the nail techs at Mi Cumbia had cut my toenails the wrong way. I assured her that was not the case and that I was coming in to have some other salon's work corrected. 

Walking into this cozy little Paradise was like entering the most inviting, low key hedonist's club you can imagine. I was met with sincere warmth and hospitality. There was no nose burning stench of acetone, formaldehyde or cheap, musky foot lotion. I was shown the colors and picked one, then waited a few minutes (I was early and was NOT kept waiting past my appointment time) in a comfortable seat. 

The pedicure area is small (2 stations) but not cramped and there are none of those buzzing, vibrating monster chairs there. The dear woman who tended my aching toes was so gentle and kind it was all I could do not to weep with relief. Yes, it did hurt to get the toenails corrected. There was no way around that but she was quick, professional and knew exactly what to do and did it with skill and speed. There was no excess prodding, digging or pinching and no blood was shed. As soon as she cleared out the nail debris that the neighborhood place had allowed to build up around the toenails and trimmed them straight across-the way they should always be trimmed-my toes were pain free. I was not subjected to having my feet scrubbed half raw with an old plastic nail brush, they were not scraped at with a worn down pumice sponge, I did not have my heels subjected to being rasped with a cheese grater nor were my insteps tortured with anything rough that painfully tickled. My feet, toes, ankles and legs were treated and touched with respect. The rest of the pedicure was so relaxing I could have easily gone to sleep, but I was happily engaged in conversation and laughter with her, the other nail tech and another customer. The foot and leg massage with warm coconut oil was one of the most delicious pleasures I have experienced outside the boudoir. There was no slapping or pounding of fists on my soles or legs or cracking and stretching my toes. Since I have fibromyalgia and my shins have a lot of trigger points, I normally dread the 'massage' part of a pedicure but this was so blissful, I told her she had Goddess hands. And I meant it. 

The atmosphere here is really full of love and kindness. Everyone-clients and employees-seemed to be genuinely happy. All the nail techs were relaxed and pleasant, I did not pick up any snarky or impatient vibes and it seemed quite natural to just chat with everyone who in turn seemed happy to interact with me. 

This will sound corny but it is very sincere-my first visit to this oasis in the city was a healing experience. I realized I was worth a more expensive pedicure in a positive, clean, comfortable, nurturing environment with kind women who really seemed to enjoy their work and their clients. I hugged and kissed so many people before I left because I had connected deeply with them while I was there and it seemed quite natural to do that. Believe me, I am a tough Philly native and not normally affectionate with strangers-but this place did not feel at all like I was among strangers and this was not La La Land air kissing. This place is awesome AF on so many levels I cannot wait to go back. Going here is not self indulgence. It's honoring your inner Divinity.

You owe it to yourself to be pampered here. You're worth it. The manicuristas know how to do it with the genuine grace of true artists. Warren W.