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An Evening’s Entertainment

I’m a pretty classy guy. I go out of my way to assist the elderly. I speak encouraging words to children. I dress nice and hold doors. I speak with clean grammar and refrain from correcting spoken gaffes of the less educated. I have a deep knowledge of opera, literature, architecture. Of late, I’ve grown especially proud of a budding collection of wine which ages flavorfully in my cellar.

And so, on a recent trip to Boston, I stopped at what destinations you might expect of a classy guy: the MFA, the ICA, the Harvard Film Archive, Symphony Hall. And then I capped my visit with some bracing entertainment at Chelsea’s King Arthur’s Motel and Lounge.

While I cannot speak to the accommodations the King Arthur’s affords the wayfaring rogue, as aesthete I can certainly speak to the Lounge’s dancing. King Arthur’s dancers specialize in a heady, conceptually innovative dance. Theirs is a form of what might be called anti-dance. A didactic, declarative dance. A dance which, eschewing beauty, communicates real facts, imparting knowledge to its audience. Through their movements, the dancers do not tell you, “Appreciate the artistry of my movements”; rather, they say, “Here is my butt.”

I appreciate accessibility in the arts, and accessibility is King Arthur’s prevailing aesthetic. Without paying a dime in admission, I received an excellent refresher course in anatomy (–as in, “Oh, that’s where that is!”), and returned home not simply satisfied, but edified.

It was the morning after that, during a period of idle googling, I learned that King Arthur’s Lounge did not rest as highly in popular estimation as it did in my own. Here’s a not entirely generous three star review from Robo T. on Yelp.com:

This place is great – its sketchy and dangerous which makes it alluring. I’m a fruit and I still went with a straight friend to watch some bishes do some strimpin. Someone commented about the women being hot however all we saw were mis-aligned fake tits and c-section scars.

The location is awesome – its an industrial wasteland littered with old train tracks and weird pipes running from tank to tank ABOVE the street. If you’re not careful, you will break an axel. The pot holes are insane!!

I would never consider getting food from the burrito trailor accross the street. I would never consider consider getting porn from the porn trailor accross the street either.

Seattle’s Jim L. also weighed in on Yelp. Below is an abridged version of his review (sorry, Jim!):

Nestled between the “New England Produce Distribution Center” and the “Cash and Carry” and directly across from a porn/buritto vendor this place takes up the prime real estate of downtown Scaryville. STAY AWAY. Do not go after dark. Should you chose to go during daylight hours, do not stay longer than 15 minutes. Sure the strip club is totally nude… sure its only a 10 minute drive from downtown Boston. STAY AWAY. You only have one life to live, and King Arthur’s is the prime locale to lose it.

One testament to how shady this place is: some enterprising young man saw a business opportunity from the mounting body count of King Arthur’s – so they built a Dunkin Donuts next door for the cops to hang out at while they wait for the next ‘187’. Business at Dunks is booming… while I was at King Arthurs there were a minimum of two police vehicles parked outside.

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King Arthurs used to be a sketchy motel and bar in an sketchy industrial part of town… the years have not been too kind.

It is now a strip club/lounge/bar/pool room/motel… don’t play pool here. Just get back in your car and drive away. As I drove by, I saw this place as a potential real diamond in the rough dive bar…. my buddy and I sidled up for a $3.50 Bud Light (pricey) and just enjoyed taking in this dive. I decided to go exploring for the men’s room… After being thoroughly impressed with how far the fake suits of armor in the ‘motel lobby’ had fallen into disrepair I found my way to the bathroom. In addition to fully operation indoor plumbing (a surprise) I saw some pretty wild items available for purchase in the men’s room, the kind of stuff I have only seen available in during my trip to Byelorussia (you will have to wait until Yelp goes international to hear those stories) – after exiting I noticed a second bar on the far side of the motel lobby… low and behold it was a strip club… a packed strip club at 4:30 in the afternoon. After quickly surveying the surroundings I decided it was in my best interest to flee.

I have no idea what the Motel section is like. I think by the time you are asking those sorts of questions you are probably reading this on my stolen laptop as you drive to the nearest pawnshop“.

Should you chose to visit King Arthur’s despite my warnings here is what you will need: a 4X4 vehicle (preferably something more intimidating than my girlfriend’s Jeep Liberty) because Beecham Street is like navigating the Trans-African Highway through the rough part of Kenya; a flak vest – for when the natives get restless; a mounted 50mm – for cover fire during the get away“.

As a final comment. Please don’t go here. I will feel terrible if someone gets shot/shived/crucified because my stupid Yelp review aroused too much curiosity from a good, albiet foolhardy soul.

The more I read about King Arthur’s, the more I reconsidered my initial judgment. I pride myself on my taste, but could find no one to share my good opinion!

After an hour or two of immoderate scotch sipping, some of my fellow sophisticates confess a belief that art is not for everyone, that it’s province of the elite. I’ve never agreed with these confr??res, but I’m considering a revision of that opinion, too. For, as I’ve learned on further googling, an appreciation of the artistry of King Arthur’s Lounge is not for everyone.