2006_10_bruises.jpgEveryone loves a secret bar, but what happens when the bouncers might be too...bouncery? Someone who tried to take a picture of the secret bar La Esquina claims he and his girlfriend were assaulted and threatened by the bouncers. One bouncer even yelled, "I will take you around the corner and rape you!"

He said this right before coming out and slapping me several times on the sidewalk and knocking the camera from my hands that I was using to document what had just happened. He also threatened that "in the old days you would be dead!" I can only assume he meant the good old days before a bouncer at The Falls murdered someone and the city passed the Bouncer Control Act* this August.

The crime my partner and I committed? Eating some Mexican food and drinking two diet sodas, then walking down a flight of steps past an untended door in their restaurant to get a look at the bar before heading home...

The bouncers in this city have gotten way out of hand and are on some strange power trip like I've never seen in 18 years of living here. They actually took delight in looking for customers to bully and assault. I asked two bouncers AS THEY DRAGGED ME UP THE FLIGHT OF STEPS BY MY WRISTS (and as I offered no resistance whatsoever) if he was a licensed* NYC bouncer, and he said yes but then refused to provide his name or show me a copy of his license. I fear for anyone who gets near these three particular guys we ran into tonight. WOMEN BEWARE. (Men, too!)

Ask yourself before giving this establishment your money who is at fault here. There is something horribly wrong with this picture, horribly wrong with New York City, when customers are ASSAULTED for no reason. We did not push past anyone, we did not threaten or menace them or the customers in anyway. There is no velvet rope. We had already been welcomed into the establishment. We finished our meal, opened a door and walked down a flight of steps. Period. We are a PhD scientist and a writer--hardly a menacing pair.

The victim helpfully linked to the Bouncer Control Act. While we can Monday morning quarterback this all we want about the people having asked permission to take pictures (and who has sneaked a photo here and there?), we have to say - get manhandled seems to be extreme (Angelina and Brad weren't even around!). And even if the bouncers thought they were competition spies, is that any way to handle the situation?

And Gothamist visited La Esquina last year.