By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
Buzz doesn't envy vice cops.Imagine spending your workday viewing all sorts of the worst in human depravity and immorality and then having to go home at the end of the day. Yep, poor vice cops must hate having their shifts end after only eight hours.
Bad jokes aside, one imagines that vice cops must see some pretty grotesque stuff. So why, we wonder, were two of them bothered by the films showing on the bar televisions at Nikita's "naked Sundays"?
Here's the deal: Nikita, in the West Village, packs in a hot crowd on Sunday. Around 11 p.m., to set the mood for what is essentially a roomful of drinkers looking to get lucky, the joint plays soft-core films, the sort of stuff you might see late at night on Cinemax or Showtime. Few people watch the monitors at Nikita, in part, one supposes, because they're too hotly in pursuit of real sex to pause for fake sex.
The bar started the promotion about two years ago. About a month ago, general manager Jonn Baudoin says, "A couple comes up and says they are undercover vice detectives. Suddenly I'm surrounded by four cops. They confiscate the porn.
"It's cheesy Cinemax--a bunch of tits slapping around," he adds. "No genitalia, nothing that crosses the line."
The cops tell Baudoin they're taking the movies, which he rented from a local video store, to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, which is having a huge toga party that night. Just kidding. They actually tell him they're going to let TABC see if the bar is violating any laws. Since then, Baudoin says he's heard nothing. The local TABC office told him it wasn't aware of the incident. "I just want to find out if a law has been broken," Baudoin says. "We've not done anything wrong."
Yeah, well, don't be too sure, pal. It's a new red-state America these days. Still, what with all the strip bars in Dallas, where you can see real slappin' tits every night of the week, we wondered what law Nikita was breaking, too.
Turns out, maybe none, at least as far as the TABC is concerned. "There are restrictions, but it has to be pretty egregious," a TABC spokeswoman told us. "Generally speaking, they have to violate the obscenity portion of the penal code."
That would pretty much mean something with penetration, or maybe sheep--certainly nothing you can rent at a regular video store or see on Cinemax.