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Barfly - Down the drain

What's an adult swim with no adults?

Planning a party from scratch may not be akin to cooking a dish in the kitchen. But in both instances, the words "just add water" always seem to simplify the recipe for success.

Such was not the case, however, at An Evening Swim. Last Saturday night, the Loft Experience and Upsouth Records set out to wrap a late-night fashion show, artist performances, and a live band inside a pool-party package. The 600-capacity Hidden Lakes outdoor banquet facility in Riverdale featured a wondrous landscaped garden, a sandy lakefront with a volleyball court, a tropical bar underneath a roof, and, of course, a swimming pool. Unfortunately, there was room for about 592 more folks to party that night.

Whether the modest turnout was due to the novel (read: boondocks) location or the $20 cover charge, neither brought the show to a halt. The police handled that. One complaint from the neighbors and the band was forced to shut it down. The authorities showed up and ordered the DJ to reduce the music's volume to iPod decibels.

Apparently, house music doesn't have to be extra loud to move a minute crowd. Two gentlemen illustrated the point by dancing with each other all night like long lost enemies. The shirtless, dreadlocked guy kept doing handstands in an attempt to kick his brethren with the loose fitting dashiki and the Afro. While one played the assailant, the other seamlessly avoided contact before returning a low spin kick, which was also dodged, in rhythm with the music. You probably wouldn't see Capoeira, a Brazilian art form that combines elements of martial arts and dance, being executed at Compound or Luckie Lounge on a Saturday night. Being that it requires space and concentration, Hidden Lakes was the perfect venue to practice with no fleshy distractions or crowds.

It also seemed to be an ideal spot for R&B songstress (and Lil Wayne's baby mama No. 3) Nivea to hang out. She wore extremely dark sunglasses and a hooded jacket over her head, presumably to hide from the invisible swarm of autograph seekers and fans.

With a half hour left until the 1 a.m. curtain call, the few dudes that had come out were headed for the exit. They halted upon hearing that the swimsuit fashion show was still going to happen. Pearl, a sultry, 5-foot-11, Haitian-American hip-hop artist, and Styleon, an equally tall and sexy Bahamian reggae singer, were both scheduled to perform, but given the circumstances, they were relegated to bikini models for the night. It was almost worth the wait. Almost.

One should rarely feel pity for party promoters; their mission is to profit from our desperate desire to mingle and get wasted. But in this instance, their pain was mine. In hindsight, maybe the fee to get into "An Evening Swim" should have been a six-pack, or some hamburger buns — or a busload of friends.



More By This Writer

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  string(3360) "It's Saturday night, and even though little more than an echo inhabits my pockets, my boys and I want to go out to a club and live it up.

The old club Dreamz ATL has been reincarnated as Mansion Elan (3595 Clairmont Road, 404-997-6900, www.themansionelan.com), the newest Atlanta mega-club to brave the mega-recession. It's free entry before midnight so we arrive at 11:30 p.m., park in the humongous, free lot and hit the line with hopes that the clock won't strike 12 before we take advantage of the complimentary admission.

Tonight is New York DJ Kay Slay's birthday bash, and some of the members of Diddy's busted boy band Day 26 are in the building, along with Raekwon the Chef. But it ain't as Black Hollywood as it sounds. The V.I.P. sections aren't even roped off. And the dance floor actually has people dancing on it.

Although a massive bar sits dead center, a stunning cocktail waitress in a shiny silver vest, matching bow tie, cuffs and short shorts captures our attention. A Playboy bunny without the tail, she hops right past us, delivering a bottle of pricey bubbly — with one of those "Look at me, I have money!" sparklers attached — to V.I.P.

Seconds later, a more attractive bunny takes her place, asking us if we, too, want the fireworks. There's a whole colony of these cocktail beauties bouncing around, to encourage the pocket-breaking bottle service, no doubt. When we fail to offer her a credit card and begin to order our drinks separately, her enchanting smile almost fades into a frown. Our frugality is not part of Mansion Elan's master plan.

DJ Trauma provides a soundtrack to satisfy the Soulja Boys, Gucci Men and anyone interested in "Blowin' Money Fast." Big Meech was nowhere to be found, but some act-a-likes in V.I.P. began tossing ones atop several fully-clothed, dancing women. It didn't even matter that the waitress kept picking up the bread and returning it to them so they could repeat the process. As long as they were willing to keep up the illusion, she was willing to play along.

When I wander upstairs to get an aerial view of the floor, the interior design of Mansion Elan is striking: the Gothic columns, the Roman statues, the crystal chandeliers all hit me in one grandiose gulp.

Free parking, a lenient dress code and a relatively moderate price of admission ($20 past Cinderella's curfew) may not cancel out the excess of a giant venue that encourages patrons to shine at all costs. But the folks behind Mansion Elan have succeeded at making the mega-club the main attraction, regardless of the promoter or the celebrity on the bill.

The drunker I get, the more novel the idea becomes. It's as if I'm the star and this is my mansion.

I'm about one-and-a-half drinks away from intestinal upheaval when I meet the implants of my dreams. Four cheeks and two smiling faces want to take a picture with me. The camera guy snaps two shots and I'm thrilled to know I'll be featured on one of those clubhopper websites with two fiery females. One of the ladies is pretty hyped about it, too, as she asks the photographer where she can view her photos.

He tells her, "Creative Loafing." And she responds with an, "Oh, OK!"

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The old club [http://www.dreamzatl.com/|Dreamz ATL] has been reincarnated as Mansion Elan (3595 Clairmont Road, 404-997-6900, [http://www.themansionelan.com/|www.themansionelan.com]), the newest Atlanta mega-club to brave the mega-recession. It's free entry before midnight so we arrive at 11:30 p.m., park in the humongous, free lot and hit the line with hopes that the clock won't strike 12 before we take advantage of the complimentary admission.

Tonight is New York DJ Kay Slay's birthday bash, and some of the members of Diddy's busted boy band Day 26 are in the building, along with Raekwon the Chef. But it ain't as Black Hollywood as it sounds. The V.I.P. sections aren't even roped off. And the dance floor actually has people dancing on it.

Although a massive bar sits dead center, a stunning cocktail waitress in a shiny silver vest, matching bow tie, cuffs and short shorts captures our attention. A Playboy bunny without the tail, she hops right past us, delivering a bottle of pricey bubbly — with one of those "Look at me, I have money!" sparklers attached — to V.I.P.

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DJ Trauma provides a soundtrack to satisfy the Soulja Boys, Gucci Men and anyone interested in "Blowin' Money Fast." Big Meech was nowhere to be found, but some act-a-likes in V.I.P. began tossing ones atop several fully-clothed, dancing women. It didn't even matter that the waitress kept picking up the bread and returning it to them so they could repeat the process. As long as they were willing to keep up the illusion, she was willing to play along.

When I wander upstairs to get an aerial view of the floor, the interior design of Mansion Elan is striking: the Gothic columns, the Roman statues, the crystal chandeliers all hit me in one grandiose gulp.

Free parking, a lenient dress code and a relatively moderate price of admission ($20 past Cinderella's curfew) may not cancel out the excess of a giant venue that encourages patrons to shine at all costs. But the folks behind Mansion Elan have succeeded at making the mega-club the main attraction, regardless of the promoter or the celebrity on the bill.

The drunker I get, the more novel the idea becomes. It's as if I'm the star and this is ''my'' mansion.

I'm about one-and-a-half drinks away from intestinal upheaval when I meet the implants of my dreams. Four cheeks and two smiling faces want to take a picture with me. The camera guy snaps two shots and I'm thrilled to know I'll be featured on one of those clubhopper websites with two fiery females. One of the ladies is pretty hyped about it, too, as she asks the photographer where she can view her photos.

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The old club Dreamz ATL has been reincarnated as Mansion Elan (3595 Clairmont Road, 404-997-6900, www.themansionelan.com), the newest Atlanta mega-club to brave the mega-recession. It's free entry before midnight so we arrive at 11:30 p.m., park in the humongous, free lot and hit the line with hopes that the clock won't strike 12 before we take advantage of the complimentary admission.

Tonight is New York DJ Kay Slay's birthday bash, and some of the members of Diddy's busted boy band Day 26 are in the building, along with Raekwon the Chef. But it ain't as Black Hollywood as it sounds. The V.I.P. sections aren't even roped off. And the dance floor actually has people dancing on it.

Although a massive bar sits dead center, a stunning cocktail waitress in a shiny silver vest, matching bow tie, cuffs and short shorts captures our attention. A Playboy bunny without the tail, she hops right past us, delivering a bottle of pricey bubbly — with one of those "Look at me, I have money!" sparklers attached — to V.I.P.

Seconds later, a more attractive bunny takes her place, asking us if we, too, want the fireworks. There's a whole colony of these cocktail beauties bouncing around, to encourage the pocket-breaking bottle service, no doubt. When we fail to offer her a credit card and begin to order our drinks separately, her enchanting smile almost fades into a frown. Our frugality is not part of Mansion Elan's master plan.

DJ Trauma provides a soundtrack to satisfy the Soulja Boys, Gucci Men and anyone interested in "Blowin' Money Fast." Big Meech was nowhere to be found, but some act-a-likes in V.I.P. began tossing ones atop several fully-clothed, dancing women. It didn't even matter that the waitress kept picking up the bread and returning it to them so they could repeat the process. As long as they were willing to keep up the illusion, she was willing to play along.

When I wander upstairs to get an aerial view of the floor, the interior design of Mansion Elan is striking: the Gothic columns, the Roman statues, the crystal chandeliers all hit me in one grandiose gulp.

Free parking, a lenient dress code and a relatively moderate price of admission ($20 past Cinderella's curfew) may not cancel out the excess of a giant venue that encourages patrons to shine at all costs. But the folks behind Mansion Elan have succeeded at making the mega-club the main attraction, regardless of the promoter or the celebrity on the bill.

The drunker I get, the more novel the idea becomes. It's as if I'm the star and this is my mansion.

I'm about one-and-a-half drinks away from intestinal upheaval when I meet the implants of my dreams. Four cheeks and two smiling faces want to take a picture with me. The camera guy snaps two shots and I'm thrilled to know I'll be featured on one of those clubhopper websites with two fiery females. One of the ladies is pretty hyped about it, too, as she asks the photographer where she can view her photos.

He tells her, "Creative Loafing." And she responds with an, "Oh, OK!"

As soon as he walks away, she turns to me and asks, "What's Creative Loafing?"

"Who knows?" I shrug. "But if you bounce up and down like a bunny rabbit, I can make you famous."              13054391 2004631                          Barfly - The way we ball "
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Article

Thursday August 19, 2010 04:00 am EDT
Hard times can't quell the money (and bunny) lust at Mansion Elan | more...
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  string(47) "Lost soul finds nu groove at DJ Kemit's monthly"
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  string(47) "Lost soul finds nu groove at DJ Kemit's monthly"
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  string(4120) "I don't know how I missed the memo that patrons dressed as their favorite soul icon would receive free admission to DJ Kemit's soul power-themed event, Spread Love.

Since I'd already paid my way into 595 North, I rushed back to the front door and told them that my garb was a tribute to Lionel Richie and they owed me a few dollars. Sure I was missing the wavy shag, but other than that I thought I was dead on. They disagreed. I tried Jeffrey Osborne, then Jermaine Jackson; I think they caught on to me. Oh well, back to the party.

For those unfamiliar with the event, it's described as a monthly music, art and dance retrospective with bazaar noir vendors. Yeah, I was confused, too. But as someone who's used to roped-off VIP sections with multiple bouncers and bottle service, I was invigorated to see African-American artists, designers and entrepreneurs using the party to generate income.

Well, that was my first thought, until I began to run a price check.

The petite masseuse with the massage chair in the darkest corner of the club was alluring, but she was charging $1 per minute for her services. On the side of the dance floor, a gifted artist named Corey Whitehead was painting a curvy, black woman on a canvas and easel. When he told me what the prices were for each painting, I wondered who would pay a thousand dollars for hand-created images of Ray Charles, Michael Jackson and Marvin Gaye. Then I scolded myself for failing to ask that question when it comes to overpriced bottles of Cristal and Veuve Clicquot champagne in the club.

The insatiable hypocrite in me couldn't even focus on Monica Smith's beautiful, handcrafted jewelry and accessories without noticing her photographs of the famous folks modeling her product. India.Arie and Erykah Badu looked stunning in her stones, but a picture of the fake celebrity/VH1 basketball ex-wife to Shaquille, Shaunie O'Neal, made me chuckle.

There I was at Spread Love, spreading hate.

I joked with friends that I might order a healthy green tea instead of a Long Island iced tea. But I decided to go with the latter upon receiving a text from my boy asking if any "bitches" were at the party. After gazing around the room, I hit him back: "No bitches, earthy queens tho." Had it been the typical nightspot, I would've written my usual "hell yeah" or something crass, while gawking at overexposed cleavage and cheeks. Instead, women were rocking three-fourths of cloth and natural hairdos, while dudes wore dashikis, sans the iced-out pendants.

At Spread Love, guys didn't "holla" at ladies, they addressed them: "Excuse me, sister" replaced "What up, shawty?" If you got bumped you responded, "Pardon me, brother" — whether it was your fault or not.

DJ Kemit wasn't shouting out regions of the country to find out who was in the house. He was blending Wham with Stevie Wonder, and no one was requesting Jay-Z or Lil Wayne. People were losing control to the congo-driven, house-fusion sound fittingly labeled global soul. They didn't care that Kemit played only about 20 songs in three hours, with each selection lasting an epic eight minutes or more.

But don't let my cynicism misguide you. Spread Love is about an atmosphere of uplift more than Afrocentric wears and paintings symbolic of black love. My usual nightlife woes revolve around long lines, bias dress codes, unnecessary bathroom attendants and obnoxious people. Yet even in the absence of those things, I still sarcastically smirk at a good time.

Apparently, I just need more love spread in my direction.

MORE DJ KEMIT IN JULY

??''
Sat., July 10. $5. Kicking Up Dust: a deep house lounge set. The Sound Table, 483 Edgewood Ave. 404-835-2534. www.595north.com.

Fri., July 16. Free. 5-7 p.m. Spread Love at National Black Arts Festival. Centennial Olympic Park.

 
Sat., July 24. $15-$20. 10 p.m. Spread Love with Sy Smith, Mark de Clive-Lowe, Omar Phillips. 595 North, 595 North Ave. 404-835-2329. experiencespreadlove.com.

Sat. July 31. $40-$75. One Music Fest with Common, De La Soul, Goapele, Mick Boogie. King Plow Arts Center, 955 W. Marietta St. onemusicfest.com.

''"
  ["tracker_field_contentWikiPage_raw"]=>
  string(4124) "I don't know how I missed the memo that patrons dressed as their favorite soul icon would receive free admission to DJ Kemit's soul power-themed event, Spread Love.

Since I'd already paid my way into 595 North, I rushed back to the front door and told them that my garb was a tribute to Lionel Richie and they owed me a few dollars. Sure I was missing the wavy shag, but other than that I thought I was dead on. They disagreed. I tried Jeffrey Osborne, then Jermaine Jackson; I think they caught on to me. Oh well, back to the party.

For those unfamiliar with the event, it's described as a monthly music, art and dance retrospective with bazaar noir vendors. Yeah, I was confused, too. But as someone who's used to roped-off VIP sections with multiple bouncers and bottle service, I was invigorated to see African-American artists, designers and entrepreneurs using the party to generate income.

Well, that was my first thought, until I began to run a price check.

The petite masseuse with the massage chair in the darkest corner of the club was alluring, but she was charging $1 per minute for her services. On the side of the dance floor, a gifted artist named Corey Whitehead was painting a curvy, black woman on a canvas and easel. When he told me what the prices were for each painting, I wondered who would pay a thousand dollars for hand-created images of Ray Charles, Michael Jackson and Marvin Gaye. Then I scolded myself for failing to ask that question when it comes to overpriced bottles of Cristal and Veuve Clicquot champagne in the club.

The insatiable hypocrite in me couldn't even focus on Monica Smith's beautiful, handcrafted jewelry and accessories without noticing her photographs of the famous folks modeling her product. India.Arie and Erykah Badu looked stunning in her stones, but a picture of the fake celebrity/VH1 basketball ex-wife to Shaquille, Shaunie O'Neal, made me chuckle.

There I was at Spread Love, spreading hate.

I joked with friends that I might order a healthy green tea instead of a Long Island iced tea. But I decided to go with the latter upon receiving a text from my boy asking if any "bitches" were at the party. After gazing around the room, I hit him back: "No bitches, earthy queens tho." Had it been the typical nightspot, I would've written my usual "hell yeah" or something crass, while gawking at overexposed cleavage and cheeks. Instead, women were rocking three-fourths of cloth and natural hairdos, while dudes wore dashikis, sans the iced-out pendants.

At Spread Love, guys didn't "holla" at ladies, they addressed them: "Excuse me, sister" replaced "What up, shawty?" If you got bumped you responded, "Pardon me, brother" — whether it was your fault or not.

DJ Kemit wasn't shouting out regions of the country to find out who was in the house. He was blending Wham with Stevie Wonder, and no one was requesting Jay-Z or Lil Wayne. People were losing control to the congo-driven, house-fusion sound fittingly labeled global soul. They didn't care that Kemit played only about 20 songs in three hours, with each selection lasting an epic eight minutes or more.

But don't let my cynicism misguide you. Spread Love is about an atmosphere of uplift more than Afrocentric wears and paintings symbolic of black love. My usual nightlife woes revolve around long lines, bias dress codes, unnecessary bathroom attendants and obnoxious people. Yet even in the absence of those things, I still sarcastically smirk at a good time.

Apparently, I just need more love spread in my direction.

__MORE DJ KEMIT IN JULY__

??''
Sat., July 10. $5. Kicking Up Dust: a deep house lounge set. The Sound Table, 483 Edgewood Ave. 404-835-2534. www.595north.com.

Fri., July 16. Free. 5-7 p.m. Spread Love at National Black Arts Festival. Centennial Olympic Park.

 
Sat., July 24. $15-$20. 10 p.m. Spread Love with Sy Smith, Mark de Clive-Lowe, Omar Phillips. 595 North, 595 North Ave. 404-835-2329. experiencespreadlove.com.

Sat. July 31. $40-$75. One Music Fest with Common, De La Soul, Goapele, Mick Boogie. King Plow Arts Center, 955 W. Marietta St. onemusicfest.com.

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  string(4366) "    Lost soul finds nu groove at DJ Kemit's monthly   2010-07-08T08:00:00+00:00 Barfly - Spread Love, not hate   Sha Stimuli 1488554 2010-07-08T08:00:00+00:00  I don't know how I missed the memo that patrons dressed as their favorite soul icon would receive free admission to DJ Kemit's soul power-themed event, Spread Love.

Since I'd already paid my way into 595 North, I rushed back to the front door and told them that my garb was a tribute to Lionel Richie and they owed me a few dollars. Sure I was missing the wavy shag, but other than that I thought I was dead on. They disagreed. I tried Jeffrey Osborne, then Jermaine Jackson; I think they caught on to me. Oh well, back to the party.

For those unfamiliar with the event, it's described as a monthly music, art and dance retrospective with bazaar noir vendors. Yeah, I was confused, too. But as someone who's used to roped-off VIP sections with multiple bouncers and bottle service, I was invigorated to see African-American artists, designers and entrepreneurs using the party to generate income.

Well, that was my first thought, until I began to run a price check.

The petite masseuse with the massage chair in the darkest corner of the club was alluring, but she was charging $1 per minute for her services. On the side of the dance floor, a gifted artist named Corey Whitehead was painting a curvy, black woman on a canvas and easel. When he told me what the prices were for each painting, I wondered who would pay a thousand dollars for hand-created images of Ray Charles, Michael Jackson and Marvin Gaye. Then I scolded myself for failing to ask that question when it comes to overpriced bottles of Cristal and Veuve Clicquot champagne in the club.

The insatiable hypocrite in me couldn't even focus on Monica Smith's beautiful, handcrafted jewelry and accessories without noticing her photographs of the famous folks modeling her product. India.Arie and Erykah Badu looked stunning in her stones, but a picture of the fake celebrity/VH1 basketball ex-wife to Shaquille, Shaunie O'Neal, made me chuckle.

There I was at Spread Love, spreading hate.

I joked with friends that I might order a healthy green tea instead of a Long Island iced tea. But I decided to go with the latter upon receiving a text from my boy asking if any "bitches" were at the party. After gazing around the room, I hit him back: "No bitches, earthy queens tho." Had it been the typical nightspot, I would've written my usual "hell yeah" or something crass, while gawking at overexposed cleavage and cheeks. Instead, women were rocking three-fourths of cloth and natural hairdos, while dudes wore dashikis, sans the iced-out pendants.

At Spread Love, guys didn't "holla" at ladies, they addressed them: "Excuse me, sister" replaced "What up, shawty?" If you got bumped you responded, "Pardon me, brother" — whether it was your fault or not.

DJ Kemit wasn't shouting out regions of the country to find out who was in the house. He was blending Wham with Stevie Wonder, and no one was requesting Jay-Z or Lil Wayne. People were losing control to the congo-driven, house-fusion sound fittingly labeled global soul. They didn't care that Kemit played only about 20 songs in three hours, with each selection lasting an epic eight minutes or more.

But don't let my cynicism misguide you. Spread Love is about an atmosphere of uplift more than Afrocentric wears and paintings symbolic of black love. My usual nightlife woes revolve around long lines, bias dress codes, unnecessary bathroom attendants and obnoxious people. Yet even in the absence of those things, I still sarcastically smirk at a good time.

Apparently, I just need more love spread in my direction.

MORE DJ KEMIT IN JULY

??''
Sat., July 10. $5. Kicking Up Dust: a deep house lounge set. The Sound Table, 483 Edgewood Ave. 404-835-2534. www.595north.com.

Fri., July 16. Free. 5-7 p.m. Spread Love at National Black Arts Festival. Centennial Olympic Park.

 
Sat., July 24. $15-$20. 10 p.m. Spread Love with Sy Smith, Mark de Clive-Lowe, Omar Phillips. 595 North, 595 North Ave. 404-835-2329. experiencespreadlove.com.

Sat. July 31. $40-$75. One Music Fest with Common, De La Soul, Goapele, Mick Boogie. King Plow Arts Center, 955 W. Marietta St. onemusicfest.com.

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Thursday July 8, 2010 04:00 am EDT
Lost soul finds nu groove at DJ Kemit's monthly | more...
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  string(3760) "Gaara was her name. She had long, dark hair, modest curves and the face of a schoolteacher. Adorned in garb that made her look like a cross between a genie and a belly dancer, she was the first to take the stage. Two bareback men with toga sheets tied around their waists carried her out on an Egyptian bed before she jumped into a tub filled with water. She began doing splits and throwing posters into the audience as she literally wet herself with an Aladdin lamp. But it wasn't until she broke out in a series of handstands and back flips that a nipple popped out of her costume, instantly reminding the crowd of the occasion at hand.

We were at a strip club after all — Atlanta's Pink Pony South — and Gaara's nipple was supposed to be the main event.

If you've ever been to a ball game with cheerleaders (or a Janet Jackson concert), and subliminally wished to catch a glimpse of an areola or some forbidden flesh, you know how torturous an experience that can be. Like a hybrid between a Vegas stage show and a birthday-suit showdown, the Exotic Dancer National Competition is not your typical strip tease.

While the average stripper is forced to spray and wipe down her own pole, exotic dancers have a stage crew that puts up swings, sets up water hoses and bathtubs, and prepares any other props necessary for their scene. Strippers encourage people to make it rain and when they're done they grab every dollar in their vicinity. Exotic dancers don't even expect money, but if someone decides to show some monetary love, the same crew that's drying up the spot for the next girl also picks up the bread.

Once judges voted on the top three contestants in both the master and newcomer categories, the remaining finalists were set to perform and compete. For the next two hours, patrons of the Pink Pony South watched six competitors execute circus acts, magic tricks and gymnastic feats. When the finalists came out in evening dresses to receive such awards as Fanciest Fanny, Best Breasts and Most Beautiful Face, I couldn't help but notice some of the in-house pole dancers grimacing as if they had much more to offer in those categories. While most of the folks fixated on the stage appeared to be close supporters of the girls, it was obvious that some were just waiting on some more nipple action.

But it was slowly dawning on me that exotic dancing is not always erotic. One woman constructed a penis balloon. Another came out in a samurai suit with a sword and nunchucks. And one sexy vixen attacked her chastity belt with a fake buzz saw spewing equally fraudulent sparks.

But the woman dressed as Bumblebee from "The Transformers" was the most peculiar. She gyrated to Chris Brown's "I Can Transform Ya" and could easily have won first place in a Halloween costume party, but seeing Bumblebee grind on a pole disrupted my childhood memory of the cartoon. When she finally revealed her 34Cs and tightly sculpted backside, the crowd seemed as relieved as I was to replace the mental image of the booty-popping robot.

Still, I felt slightly sorry for these contestants as I pondered their lot in life. Are exotic dancers glorified strippers with too many other talents to ignore or chorus line rejects with mildly entertaining abilities that would go unnoticed if they were fully clothed? Furthermore, why was H2O a part of every act? What makes bathing so sexy anyway? My baths bore me to pieces.

As for the grand prize, I didn't hang around long enough to find out if Honda endorsements or "Good Morning America" interviews came with the crown. The Exotic Dancer National Competition is wonderful if you want to be wowed — just don't expect to be aroused.

Got any Atlanta nightlife plugs? E-mail them to nightlist@cln.com."
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We were at a strip club after all -- Atlanta's Pink Pony South -- and Gaara's nipple was supposed to be the main event.

If you've ever been to a ball game with cheerleaders (or a Janet Jackson concert), and subliminally wished to catch a glimpse of an areola or some forbidden flesh, you know how torturous an experience that can be. Like a hybrid between a Vegas stage show and a birthday-suit showdown, the Exotic Dancer National Competition is not your typical strip tease.

While the average stripper is forced to spray and wipe down her own pole, exotic dancers have a stage crew that puts up swings, sets up water hoses and bathtubs, and prepares any other props necessary for their scene. Strippers encourage people to make it rain and when they're done they grab every dollar in their vicinity. Exotic dancers don't even expect money, but if someone decides to show some monetary love, the same crew that's drying up the spot for the next girl also picks up the bread.

Once judges voted on the top three contestants in both the master and newcomer categories, the remaining finalists were set to perform and compete. For the next two hours, patrons of the Pink Pony South watched six competitors execute circus acts, magic tricks and gymnastic feats. When the finalists came out in evening dresses to receive such awards as Fanciest Fanny, Best Breasts and Most Beautiful Face, I couldn't help but notice some of the in-house pole dancers grimacing as if they had much more to offer in those categories. While most of the folks fixated on the stage appeared to be close supporters of the girls, it was obvious that some were just waiting on some more nipple action.

But it was slowly dawning on me that exotic dancing is not always erotic. One woman constructed a penis balloon. Another came out in a samurai suit with a sword and nunchucks. And one sexy vixen attacked her chastity belt with a fake buzz saw spewing equally fraudulent sparks.

But the woman dressed as Bumblebee from "The Transformers" was the most peculiar. She gyrated to Chris Brown's "I Can Transform Ya" and could easily have won first place in a Halloween costume party, but seeing Bumblebee grind on a pole disrupted my childhood memory of the cartoon. When she finally revealed her 34Cs and tightly sculpted backside, the crowd seemed as relieved as I was to replace the mental image of the booty-popping robot.

Still, I felt slightly sorry for these contestants as I pondered their lot in life. Are exotic dancers glorified strippers with too many other talents to ignore or chorus line rejects with mildly entertaining abilities that would go unnoticed if they were fully clothed? Furthermore, why was H2O a part of every act? What makes bathing so sexy anyway? My baths bore me to pieces.

As for the grand prize, I didn't hang around long enough to find out if Honda endorsements or "Good Morning America" interviews came with the crown. The Exotic Dancer National Competition is wonderful if you want to be wowed — just don't expect to be aroused.

''Got any Atlanta nightlife plugs? E-mail them to [mailto:nightlist@cln.com|nightlist@cln.com].''"
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We were at a strip club after all — Atlanta's Pink Pony South — and Gaara's nipple was supposed to be the main event.

If you've ever been to a ball game with cheerleaders (or a Janet Jackson concert), and subliminally wished to catch a glimpse of an areola or some forbidden flesh, you know how torturous an experience that can be. Like a hybrid between a Vegas stage show and a birthday-suit showdown, the Exotic Dancer National Competition is not your typical strip tease.

While the average stripper is forced to spray and wipe down her own pole, exotic dancers have a stage crew that puts up swings, sets up water hoses and bathtubs, and prepares any other props necessary for their scene. Strippers encourage people to make it rain and when they're done they grab every dollar in their vicinity. Exotic dancers don't even expect money, but if someone decides to show some monetary love, the same crew that's drying up the spot for the next girl also picks up the bread.

Once judges voted on the top three contestants in both the master and newcomer categories, the remaining finalists were set to perform and compete. For the next two hours, patrons of the Pink Pony South watched six competitors execute circus acts, magic tricks and gymnastic feats. When the finalists came out in evening dresses to receive such awards as Fanciest Fanny, Best Breasts and Most Beautiful Face, I couldn't help but notice some of the in-house pole dancers grimacing as if they had much more to offer in those categories. While most of the folks fixated on the stage appeared to be close supporters of the girls, it was obvious that some were just waiting on some more nipple action.

But it was slowly dawning on me that exotic dancing is not always erotic. One woman constructed a penis balloon. Another came out in a samurai suit with a sword and nunchucks. And one sexy vixen attacked her chastity belt with a fake buzz saw spewing equally fraudulent sparks.

But the woman dressed as Bumblebee from "The Transformers" was the most peculiar. She gyrated to Chris Brown's "I Can Transform Ya" and could easily have won first place in a Halloween costume party, but seeing Bumblebee grind on a pole disrupted my childhood memory of the cartoon. When she finally revealed her 34Cs and tightly sculpted backside, the crowd seemed as relieved as I was to replace the mental image of the booty-popping robot.

Still, I felt slightly sorry for these contestants as I pondered their lot in life. Are exotic dancers glorified strippers with too many other talents to ignore or chorus line rejects with mildly entertaining abilities that would go unnoticed if they were fully clothed? Furthermore, why was H2O a part of every act? What makes bathing so sexy anyway? My baths bore me to pieces.

As for the grand prize, I didn't hang around long enough to find out if Honda endorsements or "Good Morning America" interviews came with the crown. The Exotic Dancer National Competition is wonderful if you want to be wowed — just don't expect to be aroused.

Got any Atlanta nightlife plugs? E-mail them to nightlist@cln.com.             13051349 1488555                          Barfly - What's so erotic about Exotic Dancer National Competition? "
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Article

Thursday June 10, 2010 04:00 am EDT
Too many clothes, not enough nipple exposed. | more...
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