Philly Blunt

Freelance writer. Editor and web-video producer. Former Atlantic City Press and Philadelphia Weekly staff writer, City Paper managing editor/columnist and Dougherty for Senate campaign manager. Comments welcome here or emailed to brianhickey9 [at] hotmail. Now on: Facebook (Brian Hickey, in Philly) Twitter at Flickr at Be sure to check out Hickey on Divorce Court:

13 June 2008

Somewhere, the Rainbow (Account) is Over

Full disclosure: One Wednesday night a few years back, the Philly PD's Citywide Vice Unit let me go out with them on a raid of a massage parlor atop Westy's, the pub sitting directly across Callowhill Street from the home of the Inquirer and Daily News. We mustered in a nearby parking lot and waited until an undercover officer who'd gone inside sent word that he'd been propositioned for more than just a shoulder rub. Then, the flashing-light cars descended, and officers flocked inside where they proceeded to lock up mamasan, a few of the ladies and an unfortunate chap who'd been unable to get his pants on in time. (His buddy, on the other hand, had just, um, finished up, so I hung in the parking lot as he asked the overly-kind officers whether his boy was jail bound. He was.) Would've made a hell of a story, probably.
I mention all this today on account of the fact that, although I never wrote the piece I wanted to on these human-trafficking fueled dens of sin, another spot seemingly got busted last night. And the Inquirer was kind enough to point out that Rainbow spa at 1235A Race St. used to pay my bills. To wit:

"We will have zero tolerance for this type of activity," [Chief Inspector William Colarulo] said, "and in light of Welcome America approaching, you will see frequent raids of these houses of prostitution that are thinly disguised as massage parlors."
The target of the 1:40 p.m. raid was a nondescript, gray, three-story rowhouse at 1235A Vine St. that houses Rainbow, a business that advertised "body shampoo and total relaxation" this week in the Philadelphia City Paper and Philadelphia Weekly.

Anybody else shocked? Fine, me either. How about appalled? Ok, ok. Can we settle on mildly surprised? (Psst, yo vice, you might have missed a few down the street, BTW.)


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