Friday, April 1, 2011

My Massage at Providence Day Spa Before Owner Was Busted

As a birthday gift, I asked my husband for a gift certificate to one of my favorite Brooklyn day spas. I'd been experiencing discomfort on my lower left side and hoped a detoxifying massage would alleviate the nagging pain.

So on a mild winter afternoon, I walked a few blocks from my apartment to Providence Day Spa and checked in for my appointment.  It had been a few years since I'd been to the new age-y spa and I soaked in the homey decor -- warm colors, comfy pillows, and candles.

After waiting for a few minutes, I was greeted by my masseuse, a hippie-ish middle-aged women with her hair pulled into a ponytail and wearing flowing garb.  I told her about the pain, which I self-diagnosed was due to my fibroids and endometriosis.

Photo credit: NY Daily News
She seemed empathetic and revealed that she'd had her own problems with fibroids and other female issues. During the course of my enjoyable hour-long treatment, this healing arts practitioner rubbed and kneaded my taut muscles into submission.  On an odd note -- perhaps in an effort to encourage me to do the same -- she loudly inhaled and exhaled with every stroke.

When the session was done, I was a satisfied customer.  I asked the receptionist for the name of my masseuse and she said, "Providence." Since that's the name of the spa, I was confused and repeated the question.  The receptionist replied, "Providence," adding the woman who did my massage was the owner of the spa.  I didn't know the spa was named after its owner and was honored that I'd been pampered by the boss.

Fast forward to March. While scanning a Brooklyn newspaper, I came across a story about a woman named Providence Hogan, who was accused of embezzling $100,000 from the PTA board of an elementary school in my Cobble Hill neighborhood. As I read on, the article revealed this was the same Providence who did my massage.  As the PTA's former treasurer, Providence allegedly took the money for fertility treatments, to pay rent for her apartment and day spa, and as she told police to "keep her family living in the lifestyle they were accustomed to." She turned herself in earlier this week, and if convicted the 43-year-old faces up to 15 years in prison. Talk about a lifestyle change.

Meanwhile, I recently passed by Providence Day Spa on my way home.  It's still open for business as usual. But as much as I like the spa's treatments and empathize with her infertility issues, I can't support the shady way she funded her business, and Providence has lost this repeat customer.

2 comments:

  1. That's bizarre!! In an unrelated but related in an "it's a small world" kind of way... I applied for a job at Providence Day Spa several years back. If memory serves me correctly it resulted in a few emails back and forth, but never a face-to-face interview. I am glad I didn't get the job and based on this... will never regret or wonder "What if" again!

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  2. hi,
    Nice post , Monday night is set apart for family Home evening. Woman health is very important for over all the family because if womens are healthy your home enviroment is also good.

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