New York Burlesque

images-1 10.34.51 AMHow’s this for gloriously perverse?

I sit under a twinkling chandelier and enjoy an appetizer of sunchoke veloute with pistachio and lemon creme in a high-ceilinged Rococo style room that manages to be both minimalist and maximalist at the same time (imagine if Louis XV met Banksy) while a fiery redhead shakes monumental tasseled breasts at me with a confidante’s wink.  Then I order branzino with baba ganoush and spring onion couscous and my drink of choice for the evening, the Gypsy Rose Lee with rose petals floating above the ice. I look down and think I see a big pair of luscious lips floating in my glass.

IMG_2570 IMG_2478 IMG_2476 IMG_2475Duane Park, not to be mixed up with Duane Reade the NYC-based drug store that hires only people who hate other people, is an exceptionally friendly place.

Located on the now super-fashionable Bowery it holds poetry nights on Sunday and Monday. But this was Friday and instead of repetition, verse and rhyme  we have trumpets, tits and tassels.

IMG_2551 IMG_2572Do you mind, this is a classy gaffe, there’s no twerking. Or it’s back to the Idaho cornfield for you.IMG_2581

A burlesque supper club that’s more Dita Von Teese than Diablo Cody, it boasts a part owner who is a former road manager for The Human League, ABC and other 80s bands. Curiouser and curiouser.IMG_2507

The redhead I mentioned earlier is known as the Headmistress of the New York School of Burlesque. She happens to be 52 years old. As you can see structure and facade both sound…IMG_2484

A dapper clientele under the golden lighting are in attendance while a jazz band plays like it’s 1922.
IMG_2568 IMG_2566 I truly feel transported to yesteryear when the art of shaking what the good Lord gave you was a more elegant affair…IMG_2557 IMG_2556 IMG_2492 IMG_2491IMG_2497

Where undressed and well-dressed reside side by side against a backdrop of Sinatra vocalsIMG_2561Va Va VOOM!IMG_2522IMG_2550Next morning over breakfast you might find a stray pink plume in your hair or a sequin clinging to your skin…

Keep the name tucked away for a special night out. High kicks and high jinx guaranteed.

My novel set among the flying feathers and sequins of the international fashion industry is now available. You can buy Silk for the Feed Dogs here



  1. Jackie! I never knew — FANTASTIC. Hmmm, a must-see with Master or with passionate Burlesque friends.
    (You can tell the difference between Duane Park and Duane Reade by the lighting and the aisle “butt bump” distance.) Thank you. XO

  2. Such joy! Love your photos……I am transported….just need Don Draper at my side!

    • Don’t we all?! 🙂
      Happy to take you along as we drift towards the weekend in a sensual, voluptuous wonderland.
      But point those toes and arch that back!

  3. Arg I’m jealous! Been looking for a show to see and haven’t put enough effort in to it! Thank you for taking me there if but for a deluxe moment, just love it 🙂 xx

  4. You never fail to amuse and enlighten. Thanks.

  5. Sounds like a fabulous night! xx

  6. Need to get my ass out and find one in Los Angeles. I have been wanting to see a burlesque show for ages! 52 you said? I need to grow myself a pair of tits…maybe I still have an untapped career ahead of me…

  7. Oh lalaaaa! Titilating! On my list (if you don’t have to book a year in advance). Thank you!

  8. No crazy advance booking required. And a different experience every night so you can go back and maybe see the sword swallower next time. Oooh lala, indeed! xo

  9. What a fantastic spot. I doubt anything like this has ever or will ever exist in Ireland. Can’t help feeling a little jealous of what i’m missing out on! :o)

  10. Well, funny you should mention, I saw on Facebook that there was a burlesque event in the town hall at home in our wee town. Not in my day, i spluttered. Now, I don’t imagine many vestments were discarded apart from maybe a glove but change is a-brewing even in little Northern market towns…Get your corset out of storage, Olivia, the troupe’s on its way and sooner than you think! 🙂

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