Bad touch! Ridgites complain of outbreak of sketchy massage parlors • Brooklyn Paper

Bad touch! Ridgites complain of outbreak of sketchy massage parlors

Strange dream: This ad for Dream Bodywork appeared on the site Backpage.com, a site that promotes sexual services.

These massage parlors are making people anxious!

Well, their neighbors, anyway.

Bay Ridge residents and civic leaders say that spas offering underhanded services — and advertising them in the seedier corners of the Internet — are popping up all over the neighborhood.

Neighbors complain that more than half a dozen massage parlors with dark windows and late hours have popped up in the neighborhood in the last six months, mainly on Fifth Avenue — and that the joints seem to primarily serve men seeking special treatment.

Some who are fearful of giving their name say that they don’t understand how so many could stay in business — unless something seedy was going on inside.

“It’s outrageous, how can you need this many spas?” said one resident, who declined to give her name. “I never see women going into these places.”

Neighbors claim Linda Day Spa on Fifth Avenue between 81st and 82nd streets routinely has scantily-clad girls hanging out in the doorway and the sidewalk outside.

“They aren’t going to be giving massages wearing those kinky outfits,” one Ridge woman complained.

But the parlor denied participating in any illicit activities.

“We just do regular massage,” the manager said, before hanging up on us.

A recent posting for Linda Day Spa on Craigslist.com — a site notorious for running ads for prostitutes — offered customers the opportunity to “enjoy a sweet young girl.”

The website Rubmaps.com — a self-described “erotic massage review site” that uses the slogan “Find your happy ending!” — has listings for more than a dozen neighborhood spas, with ratings and commentary from users.

“I gave a few signals and made some advances, and then she asked me what I wanted,” reads one review for Dream Bodywork on 99th Street near the corner of Fourth Avenue, before graphically describing a sexual encounter.

Repeated calls to Dream Bodywork went unanswered.

And the spas aren’t just in Bay Ridge.

A woman who lives nearby the Dyker Heights parlor Jia Li Spa on Fort Hamilton Parkway between 71st and 72nd streets — which is also advertised on Rubmaps — said she recently drove past the spa late at night and saw a man zipping up his pants as he exited the place.

“It was disgusting,” the resident said.

A worker at Jia Li claimed nothing illicit was happening at her business.

“It’s all legal,” the woman said.

Community leaders said that they have heard the public outcry over the spas, and they’re deeply concerned.

“We all see the same thing — more and more places advertising massage. It seems like there’s a new one every week,” said Community Board 10 chairwoman Joanne Seminara. “It definitely is a problem, and it needs to be investigated if there is illegal activity going on.”

A source in the 68th Precinct confirmed that they had received numerous complaints about the massage parlors, and said officers were investigating the situation.

Last summer, neighbors along 69th Street between Narrows Avenue and Shore Road complained that the Bright Ocean Spa — which advertises “exotic massage” with racy photos on another site that posts sex ads, Backpage.comwas a house of prostitution. Bright Ocean’s manager denied the charges.

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at wbredderman@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4507. Follow him at twitter.com/WillBredderman.

Bad touch: Bay Ridge residents say that spas like Dream Bodywork are turning life into a nightmare.
Photo by Hannah Palmer Egan

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