The Paradise Club

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Dinner and a show in Times Square

A few years back there was this bacchanalia of a show in Times Square called Queen of the Night. If you didn’t know that it was in the basement of a hotel you would have never known it was there. Fast forward to now and you have the new Edition hotel in Times Square with a beautiful, yet minimalistic lobby on the 10th floor and one floor more, a cozy lounge serving as a entree’ to an upscale, multi-course dining room. “Hidden” on the 7th floor is a new nightclub/performance space; The Paradise Club. The Paradise Club takes some DNA from the aforementioned Queen of the Night as well as burlesque shows and Cirque Du Soleil. It is fun interactive dinner theatre on all the best levels and is brought to you by trendsetting hotelier Ian Schrager and The House of Yes.

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First let’s talk about the show. As previously mentioned you get a bit of burlesque, acrobatics, dancing and singing. It is led by a charismatic emcee and the troupe of performers give their all and leave nothing on the table. They are not afraid of interacting directly with the crowd; there is no 4th wall here so don’t be shy. The show is done in two 30 minutes-ish acts and culminates in a dance party of sorts. After the show there is a DJ and it turns into more of a typical NYC nightclub with different themed nights music-wise.

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CAVIAR NACHOS

CAVIAR NACHOS

Now let’s talk about the food. The dinner is a multi-course menu executed by the John Fraser team, and this is where they set themselves apart from other shows past and present for me. WOW! See you they could have easily put out standard “safe” food that would appease a crowd mostly just looking to be entertained and to get their buzz on. But they really put thought, creativity and feeling into this food. And there is something for everyone here. Yuzu oysters, Prosciutto with pineapple & tamarind, Strawberry sweet & sour cauliflower, Smoking spiced ribs and Duck breast with foie gras & apricot. These are just some of the dishes we were blessed to taste. Oh, I forgot to mention the Caviar nachos, just ridiculously good with crispy potato chips as a vessel for the sour cream and the salty caviar. This actually makes me excited to try out the other food outlets since the team is doing the food for the whole hotel.

So how would one do the Paradise Club? I would do it with a group of friends that are looking to have a great night without having to hope around venue to venue. Did I mention they have a Manhattan cart? A good looking gentleman (the whole staff is incredibly attractive) wheeled around a cart making specialty Manhattans table-side as another option to a complete bar menu. Back to my previous thought, yes make a whole night of it; dinner, show and then stick around for the nightclub afterwards. Just make sure you have the next day off....

 

Les Clefs d'Or USA conference in New Orleans

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What an amazing time we had here in an friendly and warm (in more ways than one) city.  The host hotel, the newly branded Le Meridien was absolutely amazing with their hospitatlity, rooms, food and pool.  I highly reccommend it if you are ever staying in the Crescent City.  

We had great meetings, includiinng an election with a new Board of Directors: 

  • Rober Mark - President
  • Shujaat Khan - Past President & Zone Director of thee Americas
  • Nathn Goff - VP Media & Public Relations
  • Danny Alford - Treasurer
  • Leigh Anne Dolecki - Director of Membbership
  • Charisse Fazzari - Director of Concierge Relations
  • Kathleen Fitzgerald - Secretary
  • Harald Mootz - Direcctor of Development
  • Robert Watson - Congress Liaison
Chalmette Battlefield

Chalmette Battlefield

There was fantastic openining night reception at Harrah's Casino New Orleans, an educational Riverboat Cruise on the mighty Mississippi and visit to Chalmette Battlefield, and an inspiring gala at the National World War II Museum with entertainment by the Victory Belles.  It was my first congress and hopefully not my last.  We have a lot of great ideas and direction from great speakers to  take back to our hotels with us and make our guest experience even better.  

Victory Belles

Victory Belles

Duane Park

So you want something different, something other than the meat and potatoes song and dance that calls Broadway home those days.  How about super hot Burlesque?  How about amazingly talented entertainers?  How about fantastic food and drink?  How about all of the above?  Crawl slowly and cautiously downtown to the last vestige of real art in New York City, the East Village. Formerly home to the Bowery Poetry Club, this is the current home of Duane Park, a crazy, bawdy and extremely entertaining venue for the lost art of burlesque and showmanship.

Your guide like mine may be high pitched and scratchy voiced Cunio, the demon spawn of Freddie Mercury and Janis Joplin in a good way, no, an awesome way. He will guide you through the the many talented performers along with a band tighter than... well let's just let your imagination run wild. There are sword swallowers, hoop masters, fire eaters and good old fashioned burlesque performers giving their all for your entertainment and adulation.  Take this back to Des Moines with you Daisy Mae!  

This is not art for the faint of heart. This is for those that like to take the horse by the reigns and drag him through the mud, the ones that heed the call to arms and those that spit in the eye of danger, for those that want to live and be inspired.  Those that want a taste of Old New York!