The Palace was a veritable magnet for criminal activity, since most hookers were drawn to its cash-rich customers as a matter of economics. Responding to demand, the girls provided a supply. Similarly, the visibility of this supply sparked a demand from intoxicated, lust-filled guests. Other girls were less entrepreneurial than they were opportunistic, often robbing their victims after selling – or in pretense of offering – sexual satisfaction. There are only two types of prostitutes [working the Palace and the surrounding hotel district]: call girls and streetwalkers. The call girls always show up in a cab or a private car chauffeurs them to the hotel. Many are gorgeous. Most, at best, are decent looking or marginally attractive, and work for agencies that send them all over the metropolitan area for a $250 hourly minimum. If the hooker is beautiful or has an outrageous body, she charges $500, $1,000 or even $1,500 an hour. Call girls rarely, if ever, rip off their customers. No wonder, considering the going rate. Their agency bosses further discourage thievery by the fact that such organizations are notoriously mob connected. Do you think it’s a coincidence the police occasionally identify dismembered bodies found stuffed in suitcases and left in bus terminal rental lockers, and bloated corpses found floating in the East River as known prostitutes? This isn’t to say that these women don’t suffer at the hands of murderous sadists, who no doubt take advantage of the vulnerability of the girls’ positions, job-wise and horizontal-wise. Skimming profits and scaring away repeat customers often leads to career-ending brutality. The typical routine for hookers of the street-level variety is to venture by foot from Lexington Avenue, the heart of the East Side hotel district. Others arrive in their personal cars which, for some reason or another, almost always have New Jersey license plates. Some might fit into the attractive category. Most are skeletal hounds in need of a blood transfusion and a few hearty meals. Others are candidates for liposuction or some other drastic measure. Regardless of how they get to the Palace, they either circle the hotel like vultures in flight or go straight to Harry's Bar in the hotel lobby, waiting to get picked up by a drunk who doesn’t mind crawling between the legs of a cross-eyed and toothless streetwalker. To be continued. By Steve Peacock firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.StevePeacock.com (c) Independent Media Center. All content is free for reprint and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere, for non-commercial use, unless otherwise noted by author.