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9/14/2008

Think Inside the Box

So, I've been living in Manhattan for about a month now and my last box is finally unpacked (there were 100, so this was a feat of both strength and perseverance). Things have been so hectic, though, I really haven't taken the time to look around and see the city that I now work and sleep in.

I'm a Jersey Girl at heart, but I've worked in New York City for the last 12 years -- my whole working life (aside from an unfortunate post-grad stint as a photocopying grunt in Parsippany). So I thought I knew Manhattan. The sights. The sounds. The crowds. The smells. We were old friends! But the other night, for the first time, I realized I wasn't in Pine Brook anymore...

For a sales conference group outing, my company rented out a place called The Box, an ultra-exclusive, LES sign company turned burlesque club. From the outside, it looked like a dump nestled between a giant heap of trash and questionably-spelled graffiti scribbles. I wasn't impressed. A chatty doorman told us that Madonna and A-Rod visited the night prior. That should have piqued my interest. But it wasn't until someone said that it doubled as the club "Victrola" that Chuck Bass from Gossip Girl owned, that I took notice.

OMFG is all I can say. Inside, it just felt naughty (which, incidentally, WAS a little weird while at a work function), but amazingly cool just the same. Private banquettes in the balcony were lit with a single tea light, and had thick curtains that could be drawn for...privacy. Scantily-clad girls (and guys) in costume hung from trapeze above the bar. Plush couches circled the stage, ripe for intimate conversation. Our larger-than-life host's hair was shaped into devil horns. A "little person" in a curly blond wig, a 7ft bronze god wearing assless chaps (and twirling 6 hula hoops), and an opera-singing drag queen from New Orleans completed the psycho-sexual circus spectacle.

It was a trip. And definitely not an experience you would EVER have in quiet, quaint Pine Brook, NJ.

What was your first New York moment?

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