Fate of the Red Light District 2015
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The Baba’s packed from morning until closing time – full house. You cannot see the dealer’s counter in this photo, off to the left side, and down a hallway that’s too short and narrow to contain the line of customers. Always at least a dozen waiting, takes 15 minutes, or less, to make your way to the front.
Twelve buyers every fifteen minutes, pay between twelve and twenty Euros for one gram, five grams the max that one can buy. Assuming a minor purchases, one gram, twelve Euros (thirteen bucks U.S.) 48 deals an hour, would be five hundred bucks, and change – modest estimate. Nobody buys a single gram, except to sample something new. There’s also coffee, soft drinks, T-shirts, lighters. I suspect the Baba will remain where it is now, but only time will tell.
* * *Sex also sells, and prostitutes are also being moved. When the hooker window leases end the city buys them up, and no new hookers with be given license to practice. A lot of windows are now vacant.
Rooms for rent
But hundreds are still working.
Photo above is from the PIP window – Prostitute Information Program. They look out for hookers, even help set up retirement plans.
The future may look less than bright for prostitutes, but voyeur sex is easily available and shows no sign of disappearing. Casa Rosso is the largest and the most prestigious. For 40 Euros you can watch couples doing it in all kinds of creative and sometime humorous ways. I must confess I’ve never seen the show, but you can hear the audience’s cheers and laughter on the street outside the place. There’s always a long line of people waiting to get in. Show lasts less than an hour – another money maker. Rosso owns a dozen other sexy places, walks the streets beside his bodyguard, in a white coat with gold elephant emblazoned upon it.
I can’t help but wonder if there isn’t more to this than just to modify the tourist’s first impressions. Red Light is the oldest part of town, canal laced –charming. Beautiful would be an understatement - paradise for backpacked youth. Hostels abound, and fast food places, inexpensive. I suspect that’s going to change, replaced by three and four star, posh hotels, and costly restaurants. More mature tourists will happily play the price, and go on tours to hear about the way things used to be. I wonder if the end result will be some kind of Red Light Disneyland, with synthetic highs and robot hookers in the windows, like a chapter out of Stephan King’s Dark Towers fantasy.
(Insert coin every 15 minutes)
Does a sexy Disneyland await us in some distant future?