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Night Spies 

We are at 1615 N. Clybourn.

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A friend and I used to come here on a regular basis when it was known as Vinyl, a New York-style quasi-beautiful people bar that also served dinner. Upstairs there was a cool Latin-style band we lost track of once the club closed. Every week there was a cheesy dance contest, and my friend Bill and I would compete for first prize with a different partner we'd met that night. First prize was typically a kitschy 70s LP--the Carpenters or Toto or some such archaic act. Despite Bill's being a much better dancer, my partner and I would always find a way to win because of my/our willingness to do something more over-the-top than Bill and his partner. This went on for almost two years. Bill and I called it "Boys Night," and we considered it an honor for any woman--whether we were dating or not--to be brought along. One night as the frenzied competition surged to a climax it looked as if Bill might break his losing streak. I whispered to my partner, "Pick me up," and she did without hesitation, lifting me off the floor and spinning me around. Naturally we took home the prize again. I never lost to Bill--though he's better looking, a better dancer, and is now even married.

--Jon Ross, arts administrator

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