Ian Frisch | Longreads | June 2018 | 7 minutes (1,683 words)

Ludlow House, a members-only club in the Lower East Side, is a catacomb of various bars, lounges, parlors, and restaurants. That night, the place was packed. I followed my friend Doug, a magician, from floor to floor, trying to find a place to sit. I had become used to Doug’s spontaneous offerings to go to fancy places — rooftop bars, underground speakeasies, esoteric clubs — and knew, whenever we went out, he couldn’t help but perform some magic to people we ran into. I learned quickly that, when you’re with magicians, something memorable is bound to happen.

There wasn’t a chair open in the house. Clusters of women in leather pants and high heels noshed on appetizers, finance bros in double-breasted suits sipped Manhattans, and rocker cliques in skin-tight jeans and chunky boots lounged in suede armchairs and…

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