Sunday, October 24, 2010

Scores (New York, NY)

Quality of Dances (6/20) - Scores really shot itself in the foot with its stage setup. There are no poles, rails, or other props. No seats are affixed to the stage (although one could roll over a chair if he were so inclined). This creates the interesting dynamic of having to stand and deliver for special attention. Mostly, the dancers looked like deer in headlights up there without something to hold onto.

For a private dance, I cherry-picked the best stage performer, a little blonde hard body with decent curves who called herself Jesse. In my experience, a good stage presence usually translates well to the lap, but not always. Jesse was one of those exceptions. Her dance ranked up there with one of my all time worst – a complete dud. No energy, no interest, minimal contact. In her defense, fight coverage began just as our dance started, and the DJ inexplicably turned off the music to broadcast the playing of the national anthem. Obviously not one for patriotism, Jesse was thrown off her game big time. If she had shown any effort whatsoever I would have given her a mulligan, but unfortunately there was nothing redeeming about the dance.

Scores receives some points here, though, for what looked like decent dances and a fair amount of grinding from the transactions I spied taking place on the main floor. Indeed, one dancer in particular utilized a pretty heroic thrusting maneuver that Peter had never witnessed before; kudos to her for picking up the slack saving this category from ruin.

Quality of Dancers (7/10) - Scores has its share of beautiful girls, and most are young. I saw only one real stunner, however. Like most other New York City venues, Scores is topless only.

Number of Dancers (5/10) - For a Saturday night special event, the number of dancers circulating in the club seemed merely adequate. With the amount of money getting thrown around by the Wall Street-types, a lot of dancers were surely preoccupied in the private and semi-private sections. One host’s claim that between 40 and 60 dancers were working that night was laughable. When I asked a dancer, she estimated from 20 to 30 dancers were working.

Variety/Diversity of Dancers (1/5) - With the amount of blonde girls running around, I was afraid Scores had transported me into a Hugh Hefner wet dream. I was shocked at the lack of variety. The usual trip to a New York City club is like the “It’s a Small World” at Disney World, but with more silicone. Not at Scores. There were a handful of black girls, but I did not see one ethnically-identifiable Latina or Asian. I did not meet any Eastern Europeans or Russians; only dancers with names like Jesse and Betty. The Scores cast fails the diversity test with respect to body type, as well. Those with a taste for thicker, curvier dancers would have been disappointed by the selection.

Attitude of Dancers (2/10) - As would be expected, I found the dancers less friendly as the night went on and the club filled up. Like the fighters we were watching on the flat screens, the dancers all had their eyes on the prize, and our conversations got down to brass tacks fairly quickly. On the bright side, their cool, business-like indifference didn’t lead to any flak that I sometimes get when politely declining an advance.

That’s where the positives end. I could barely believe it when Jesse stopped dancing at the end of the sub-2:00 Star Spangled Banner and said “guess that’s our song.” Pausing for a moment to let her reconsider, I was briskly reminded of the $20 I owed and that we couldn’t tarry in the semi-private lap dance section. I understand that things move faster in New York City, but this kind of treatment just cannot be condoned.

Value (0.5/10) - With a $30 cover and $10 domestics, you’re going to be in for $40 within seconds of walking in the door. A $20 lap dance is not unreasonable for New York City, but it would be more palatable if the dancers actually earned their money. Your wallet will take a big hit if you’re interested in anything saucier. A “curtain” room is $350/hour ($175 for 30 minutes), and a “door” room is $500 ($250). Mercifully, drink purchases are not required for the private rooms. A decent party atmosphere and some eye candy is not enough to justify Scores’s high prices. Don’t be fooled by the flash and hype – there’s not a lot of substance here.

Dance Setup (4/10) - Customers were receiving lap dances pretty much everywhere but the main bar. The semi-private sections are elevated and isolated, and would offer a nice opportunity for debauchery if not for the ubiquitous security stationed around every corner. Seats are wide, comfortable, and placed far enough apart to maintain the intimacy of the dance. Like most New York City clubs, the private rooms are strategically sequestered for the best action.

Club Setup (7/10) - The public area of the club is one level divided into five distinct sections: the main floor with the stage and waitress service at small tables; an elevated bar with both bar seats and standing room; a semi-private elevated section for groups requesting bottle service; a separate section reserved for lap dances; and the restaurant. All sections have a great view of the stage.

The bar area is fairly long but not very deep, and by midnight, as the club began filling up, the bar became very crowded. Because Scores was catering to groups for Fight Night, management had restricted the main floor to bottle service. A host assured me that ordinarily guests can sit at tables on the main floor without obligation.

Club Atmosphere (6.5/10) - At least a dozen flat screen TVs rim the interior, providing a view of the game or fight from any seat. The club is dimly lit, and neon fixtures and the occasional smoke machine and laser show create the party vibe. Edgy showcases – featuring naked barbie dolls in compromising positions with everyday objects like hammers and tongs – appear prominently over the main bar. With the exception of shutting off the music for the national anthem, the DJ was well above-average, and I commend his Depeche Mode selection, “Enjoy the Silence.”

Unfortunately, the bouncers/hosts with CIA-style earplugs had the joint canvassed like we were in the middle of Baghdad. And by the decor, I couldn't blame them for the mistake. A large, Persian rug-styled stripe runs down the main stage’s backdrop, across the stage itself, and onto the floor. On the backdrop, eight screens flank this magic carpet stripe. They alternate between two computer-generated effects: the first, music visualizations (the kind you get when you play an audio CD using your Windows Media Player), and the second, silhouetted scenes of dancers performing acts ranging from the goofy to the sado-masochistic. The combined impression left me waiting for Goldmember to come skating out onto the stage through some Austin Powers-style time warp.

Club Accessibility (4/5) - Situated just south of the Penn Station rail yards and a stone’s throw from the Hudson, Scores is in the middle of a subway deadzone. The walk from Penn Station is 15-20 minutes and not for the feint of heart. Your best bet is to cab it there, as the club is easily accessible from the West Side Highway. You could also drive yourself and avoid the midtown clusterfuck, but you will have to pay for valet service in order to park your car in the secure lot across the street from the club.

Overall - On a marquee night, Scores failed to deliver. Management’s decision to cater to groups ordering bottle service left everyone else cramped in the small bar section. The focus on deep pockets filtered down to the dancers, too, making for a lackluster experience on the whole. Scores is just begging for a re-review on a more typical evening, but for the now, the best things I can say about Fight Night at Scores? Look for the cart food on your way out at 10th avenue – it really hits the spot.


1 comment:

  1. Ouch. Place was a lot cooler in its old upper east side location. Sounds like it's gone downhill.