About Town

Gotham Girls

Written and Photographedy by Cynthia Hartzell

I did a double take when my actor friend Ashley handed me a flyer inviting me to a Roller Derby Smack Rack/Bingo fundraiser. But Ashley assured me this wasn't an elderly lesbian bondage party. She promised "hotty" tough girls rolling around a bar on skates, so on Wednesday August 11th, I grabbed three friends and ventured out to find The Tainted Lady Lounge in Brooklyn. I was skeptical but ready for a good time. The place was packed. I instantly knew we were in the right bar when I saw all the chicks-on- wheels rolling by. I introduced myself to the Gotham Girls Roller Derby Team, that's right, all of them. And Ashley was right, they are a bunch of "hotties" on wheels who like to kick a little ass.

The Tainted Lady Lounge is a hoot. The walls are covered with 70's paintings of nude or close to nude women. Some of the women are painted on velvet (Viva Las Vegas) and some are posed next to exotic animals like cheetahs and monkeys. There is a TV that plays old burlesques videos, an adventure in every corner. So if you're looking for something unique, this is your place. Ms. Thrasher sold Katie Shapley and me a package of 3 Bingo cards for $5. She told us that the grand prize would be a gift certificate to an erotic toyshop, Babes in Toyland. There's a second prize, but who cares, we were focused on the grand prize.

Katie and I are big bingo losers. What's a girl to do? So we decide to check out the infamous and much anticipated Smack Rack. So here's the deal. You pay $3 to have a Gotham Girl smack your ass or you can smack a Gotham Girl's ass for $15 a pop. Afterwards, you receive a Polaroid print as a souvenir. Now let me tell you, there was one long line to smack the Gotham ladies. Two gentlemen purchased the right to land five smacks on a Gotham chick's behind. Ouch! And you are right. There are no photos of Katie or me getting smacked because WE CHICKENED OUT.


There were so many fun ways to support the girls at this event. You could drink, buy candy, lighters, t-shirts, play bingo, smack-a-chick or get your own ass smacked. Roller Derby isn't for the weak or weary. This chick got a broken wrist (with three pins in it) at a practice session. I met tons of cool people, like Soeren (above). He's from Copenhagen and plays in a rock band. I also met Courtney, a TV producer who wants to produce a show about the Gotham Girls, and a journalist who's writing a national article about the return of Roller Derby in the US. Roller Derby is coming back with a vengeance.

We had a blast and can't wait to come back for more of the Gotham Girls Bad Ass Bitches on Wheels. Also, when you are in Brooklyn, be sure to check out the Tainted Lady Lounge. Tell them Cynthia sent you! And to learn more about the Gotham Girls, check out their website at: www.gothamgirlsrollerderby.com


The Gotham Girls Roller Derby Team

318 Grand St. | Williamsburg, Brooklyn

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