Friday, June 16, 2006

The Best Little Whore House on the UES


Best Little Whore House on the UES

For years, I have walked passed this venue, a nondescript bar with a blue awning and blackened windows, a small planted tree next to the glass door. It was attached to my friend’s apartment building and many times after a night out on the town, we would return to her place attempting to grab one last drink at this spot. Purely out of convenience, I would suggest it as we walked by. On many occasions we walked into the venue, quickly greeted by a surly woman who tried to shoo us out as fast as possible. “No for you,” she said in a Japanese accent pushing us towards the door and trying to limit our line of vision.

Something was off. From my limited vantage point, I noticed 4 very scantily clad Asian girls sitting tightly against a very fat and unattractive older man wearing a 10-gallon cowboy hat. The rest of the bar was empty. Something looked awry.

“I am sure it’s a whore house,” I said to Kate. “There is something going on in there. Something we are not supposed to see.”

And thus it became my mission to one day have a drink there and see what went on inside this place which was off limits to me. Lodged with determination and a journalistic plan of attack, I put my mission into motion over a late dinner and many drinks with M and his friend Bill.

“I think they won’t let me in cause I am a girl. I am not getting the “services” that they offer. But I bet if you two went in without me and assessed the situation it would play out differently,” I said sitting at an outside table on Second Avenue finishing the last of my port. “We need to roll in and act as if we know what the place is about. We can’t look around and act stupid. Are you guys in?” I asked hatching my plot.

M put down his empty martini glass and sighed audibly. “I’m not taking my girlfriend to whore house for a night cap. This is retarded,” he said debunking my scheme. After three months of dating, he has come to understand I need these insane adventures. I needed this story, if there was one to be had.

Bill was in. He was ready to unearth the mystery which lay twenty floors below Kate’s apartment. “Please, please!!” I pleaded with M. With Bill’s encouragement and M’s desire to stop my banshee like whine, he acquiesced.

I stood outside the bar as M and Bill entered. Dressed in preppy business attire, they looked the part of potential customer as they made their way through the labyrinth of doors and inside and out of my view. I smoked a cigarette, concocting the role I would play that night: dumb Texan blonde. I will blame this on the martinis.

M came outside and grabbed me, pulling me along and not looking at me as I stumbled in my four inch platform shoes. “This is fucking retarded,” he said yet again as we found Bill at the bar negotiating our “cover” with the “Madame”.

“It sixty dollars for each just to sit,” she said, eyeing us and trying to determine our purpose. At first I sat quietly, demurely – as if the men I was with were taking care of the details for the night. Perhaps, I was a paid escort…maybe that is what she thought, but then again who brings a bottle of Mad Dog to an open bar party? Bill and M agree to the details of our stay and we order drinks. More drinks, which I did not need.

The “Madame” brought over bowls of Hershey kisses, animal crackers, Frito's and Skittles, seemingly a strange aphrodisiac combination of bad vending machine food. My eyes darted around the room as Bill engaged the “Madame” in conversation and M sat gruffly next to me, his hand tightly gripping my knee as if at any moment I would be sold into white slavery.

The bar again was rather empty. A woman played Barbara Streisand “Memories” on a piano in the back. It was decorated with an 80s sense of airport lounge chic, industrial carpet and black lacquer chairs were the only ambiance complimenting this space. One man sat at the bar with two Asian women next to him, chain smoking. Besides the few other token nearly naked women, there was no one else there.

“Would you like to sing?” the woman asked us as she poured another round of drinks.

“Sure,” I said dragging M and Bill towards the microphone stand. I had been faking a Texan accent all night, this was part of my disguise for my undercover sting operation. I was going for Jessica Simpson, but I sounded more like someone with gumballs in their mouth.

We did a miserable rendition of “New York State of Mind”, my accent fading with each note. The small crowd erupted in applause when we finished….because we had finished and they could take the animal crackers out of their ears.

“I don’t think this is a whore house. I think it’s a worse piano bar than where we went for your birthday,” M said as we nursed our drinks. No one had offered us any “extras,” we had been there for over an hour.

An attractive blonde waitress fresh from Poland had come over to talk to us and complimented us on our off key serenade. This was it, I thought. Now, she is making her move. Maybe there was something in the back which would be the key, some room with beds or secret passageway, I thought.

“Where’s the bathroom, y’all?” I asked in my gumball Texan twang.

Blondie walked me back to the bathroom and waited with me while it was occupied. I thought this was a little odd. “So how do you like working here?” I asked her, hoping her answer would shed some light on my suspicions. “It’s ok. It’s empty tonight, it will be better tomorrow when the Japanese business men will be here. We talk to them all night. It is empty tonight.”

From what I saw, it seemed that conversation was the currency here and not sex. This was not a normal bar, but I wasn’t convinced I stumbled into Heidi Fleiss’s lair either. When I returned from the bathroom, M was well past ready to leave. Bill finished his Scotch as M darted for the door. We paid our enormous tab, feeling a bit foolish.

The “Madame” showed us out. “Come back again,” she said. “Come sing on Monday night.”

This bar, I am pretty sure, has some sketchy stuff occurring – but I am very sure that it must be a deaf bar if they want us to come and sing again!

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Did anyone get extra services?

Anonymous said...

Which one is M?

Anonymous said...

Which one is M? You couldn't even give us a clue in the article???? So you Carrie!!

Carrie Gross said...

M is the very handsome fellow in the suit next to me. Now tell me, how hot is my boyfriend?

Anonymous said...

Your bf is very hot! Nice job, carrie!! You finally got a keeper (I met those before him...and lemme tell you MUCH IMPROVED!!!)

Anonymous said...

Where is this place