Celebrate Super Bowl weekend with a tour of New York’s strip clubs

strip club
The Super Bowl isn’t the only show this weekend.
Credit: Colourbox

Whether you’re a seasoned New Yorker or in town for the weekend, the Super Bowl’s visit to the Big Apple is a great excuse to see the city with new eyes. Why not put those “Private Eyes” to good use at New York City’s best strip clubs? In the name of journalism, I hit up strip clubs in five boroughs to get you in the mood for the year’s most heteronormative weekend.

Bronx

Monday night
Sin City Cabaret
2520 Park Ave.
718-401-1700
www.sincitynewyork.com
I kicked things off by heading straight to the top by taking the 4 Train up to the Bronx. I’d never been to a strip club, and braced myself after an imposing sign in the foyer gruffly reminded my boyfriend and myself that prostitution is illegal.

We turned the corner and saddled up to the bar, which faced an opposite stage that was abandoned on early weeknights. Not that that held back the dancers closer to the bar, or the lights beating down through the chandeliers over the seating area. A smiley dancer complimented my tights, and my boyfriend joked that my shy ‘thank you’ must have come off as pathologically rude.

Manhattan

Wednesday afternoon
Rick’s Cabaret
50 W. 33rd St.
212-372-0850
www.ricksnewyork.com
Did you know that there’s a context wherein saying “this strip club has the creamiest chocolate mousse I’ve ever had” is not a euphemism? For $10 and a drink, Rick’s clientele get a prix fixe lunch special and a view of the stage. When I showed up on a Wednesday afternoon with a girlfriend, the doorman diplomatically re-phrased “are you two sure you’re in the right place?” in three different ways.

His confusion made sense – the daytime crowd was mostly lone older men in suits. It could have been an audition for the lead role in Glengarry Glen Ross 2. Even at midday, the subterranean club was pitch-black and pounding with remixed pop. We had to lean in close to debate the authenticity of a particular butt, imbued with a geometric perfection no planet could ever approach.

We stumbled out into the Midtown afternoon with full stomachs. Between the wine, the cold, and the daylight, it was like entering a new world.

Brooklyn

Friday night
Pumps
1089 Grand St.
718-599-2474
Jammed somewhere between Williamsburg and Bushwick, Pumps was the strip joint that did the most convincing impression of an actual bar. The $5 ATM surcharge and $7 bottled beers were relative bargains, and for once I wasn’t the only non-dancer in the bathroom line. There are wall-to-wall mirrors on each side of the place. If you get drunk enough, you could even stare into them until you believe you are the center of endlessly repeating arrays of tinier and tinier strippers.

My male friends are so supportive of my writing career that a few of them decided to tag along. Conversations in strip clubs tend to be about strip clubs.

I take my role as an amateur anthropologist very seriously, so I gave a lap dance a shot. The dancer was lovely, friendly, and very good at her job. The same could not be said of me. I had to suppress a bizarre urge to chit-chat, as well as the thought that, damn, this girl is way thinner than I am.

Staten Island

Saturday night
Curves
2945 Arthur Kill Rd
718-966-4477
www.curvesgentlemansclub.com
The awning of Curves actually says ‘Curve’s.’ I hope this was not a typo. I prefer to believe in an entrepreneurial owner Mr. Curve, undaunted by anyone who ever said he’d never find a way to merge his love of breasts and puns.

The ceiling was lined with the same cosmic neon lights that tell middle schoolers to leave the roller rink before the bad teens show up. They weren’t so bright that they washed out the TV screens or prevented patrons from enjoying CNN, a basketball game and something starring Nicholas Cage.

But the dancers were not about to lose their customers’ attention to some movie that wasn’t even “Face-Off.” The girls cycled through more costume changes than I’d seen anywhere else. One donned a tiny American flag-printed bra and panty set, whose size only allowed it to represent the original five-and-a-half colonies.

The bartender noted that “we look like a couple,” which we took as code for “you are both wearing glasses.” We downed two test tube shots of Sex on the Beach, and steeled ourselves for the voyage back to Brooklyn.

Queens

Sunday afternoon
Gallagher’s 2000
4319 37th St., Long Island City
718-361-1348
www.gallaghers2000.net
After a week’s worth of strip clubs, what does the doctor order? A strip club with a Sunday vibe, complete with a griddle of free, slowly revolving hot dogs.

We ate them below the VIP lounge, whose stairs were lined with glass panels featuring silhouettes of trees and sunsets that would not be out of place at a Chinese restaurant.

I thanked my boyfriend for coming to all of these, which he assured me was more fun than the time I dragged him to the opera.
As we finished our beers, we were ready to wrap up the week with some Netflix. Another customer came up to us.

“I tried to get my girlfriend to come to one of these with me, and she broke up with me,” he said. “You guys are cool!”

It was the ultimate deception. We are not cool. But a full week of these outings had perfected our poker faces.

We smiled, ran through the rest of our singles, and went home to watch a documentary about bees.

Follow Natalie Shure on Twitter: @nataliesurely



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

New York City agencies to provide healthcare, legal…

Child migrants who have recently arrived in New York City and are going through deportation hearings will now have access to services from multiple agencies,…

International

Hurricane Odile batters Mexico's Baja resorts, sparks looting

Hurricane Odile injured dozens of people, forced the evacuation of thousands and smashed shops open to looters in the popular tourist area of Baja, Mexico.

National

Apple iPhone 6 pre-orders hit record 4 million…

By Lehar Maan(Reuters) - Apple Inc said many customers will need to wait until next month for their new iPhones after a record 4 million…

National

LAPD investigates complaint from detained 'Django' actress

The LAPD is investigating after "Django Unchained" actress Daniele Watts accused police of violating her rights when they detained her.

Television

'Outlander' recap: Season 1, Episode 6: 'The Garrison…

Whipping, punching, kicking and a marriage contract. "Outlander" is not for the faint of heart this week with "The Garrison Commander."

The Word

The Word: Hey girl, it's a girl for…

It's a girl for Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes, who reportedly welcomed a daughter last Friday, according to Us Weekly. The super-private couple managed to…

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, Sept. 16: 'New Girl,'…

Check out the season premiere of "New Girl," as Jess competes with Jessica Biel for a guy's attentions.

Movies

Newsflash: Corey Stoll still not a man

In director Shaun Levy's "This Is Where I Leave You," Corey Stoll stars as the oldest of four adult children (the others are played by…

NFL

Tom Coughlin says Giants 'beat themselves' against Cardinals

Head coach Tom Coughlin, who had a day to cool off and reflect, still sounded like he had a gnawing feeling in his gut.

NFL

Marty Mornhinweg accepts blame for Jets timeout fiasco

Jets fans looking for a scapegoat for Sunday’s timeout fiasco found a willing party on Monday: Marty Mornhinweg.

NFL

3 things we learned in Jets loss to…

The wheels came off for the Jets, who gave up 21 unanswered points after a brilliant first 20 minutes in a 31-24 loss at the Packers.

NFL

Victor Cruz catches case of the drops in…

The Giants dropped a tough, 25-14, decision to the undermanned Cardinals Sunday in their home opener. And drop was the operative word of the day,…

Style

Rachel Zoe: New York Fashion Week Spring 15

Rachel Zoe goes 'Glam bohemia' for Spring.

Food

Where to find SweeTango apples

Introduced in 2009, SweeTango — a hybrid of Honeycrisp and Zestar — is a sweet apple with plenty of crunch.

Style

London Fashion Week recap

London Fashion week gets in on the action with politics, heritage and summertime living.

Food

Padma Lakshmi's recipe for green mango curry

Padma Lakshmi shares her recipe for green mango curry in UNICEF's new book, "UNICHEF."