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Monday, April 9, 2007

Thing 22: Pasha Lounge

I got the bat call at midnight. Three nearly simultaneous text messages: "Come to Pasha Lounge!" I was on the couch finishing up a movie and thought, why not? I'd been sleeping off Thing 21 for most of the day, and I was ready to do some dancing. So I threw on some jeans and heels and hit the town.

Nearing the VIP Room at Pasha Lounge.Pasha Lounge is located at 22nd and P Street, the after hours club associated with the new Moroccan restaurant, Marrakesh Palace. I paid a $10 cover at the door, walked up a set of narrow stairs, and walked into thumping bhangra beats with Jay-Z's distinctive voice rapping over it. The room was going crazy -- the crowd was overwhelmingly well-dressed, mid-twenty-somethings of Middle Eastern and South Asian descent. They were dancing mostly in small groups of men or women, swaying hips and rolling wrists, cheering each other on.

The decor at Pasha is modern and angular -- lots of mirrors and lots of mosaic tile. Sofas are spare and angular, with a couple of dark corners away from the dance floor where you can, ahem, lounge andOne of Pasha Lounge's sheesha corners. smoke a sheesha. Most of the club is taken up by dance floor, and people aren't shy about joining in. The music on that particular Saturday was a mix of old and new pop music top 40, remixed with hip hop, bhangra, Egyptian, Turkish and raggaeton beats. A huge disco ball twinkles over the dancers, and apparently there was some serious fog machine, but I missed it. Drinks aren't cheap, but I was taking it easy after Thing 21 so I nursed a vodka soda for the couple of hours that we stayed.

Nearing the VIP Room at Pasha Lounge.After meeting up with my friends, we decide to hit the VIP lounge on the second floor of the club. A bouncer stood guard next to the staircase and we were not on the list. Just then, an older man in a full suit walked by, shaking hands all the way. One of our friends whispered a few unknown words to what turned out to be the owner of the place and next thing we knew we were breezing past the bouncer and into the VIP lounge. The VIP floor had the same mirrors, mosaics and low, angular couches as the unwashed masses get -- it is just thankfully less crowded and sweaty. Here my friends and I can spread out and truly flail...I mean dance. We can also watch the commoners busting their moves from over the railing, or dance directly above them as one section of the VIP lounge has a clear floor. I do not advise this for girls wearing skirts.

We danced and sweat and danced some more, moving from VIP to commoners and back again. Finally, the friends thought it might be time for pizza and bed, and we headed back out into the unseasonably cold night. I have to say, I'm so glad I answered the bat call. I found a fun, diverse club where dancing is more important than going home with someone at the end of the night, and where they understand the value of well-placed disco ball and a well-timed smoke machine.