The inferno of Chelsea's glittery nightlife hell, Marquee, is approaching its second anniversary. To examine why the venue thrives while others disappear every other day, the Times sent poor Lola Ogunnaike to experience the magic. To best understand Marquee, we turn to the words of its people:
• "Most of these people waiting in line are not likely to get in."
• "One night I was dancing right next to George Clooney," squeals a woman named Margaret who is wearing red stilettos and a miniskirt the size of a headband.
• "Customers spend extra money to be near the image tables," Mr. Tepperberg says. Pointing to a piece of wood no bigger than a suitcase, he says, "On average this table is worth $1,000 - that's three bottles of vodka, plus tax."
• Tonight, Mr. Shahbaziyawaz has already spent $900 on alcohol, including a $600 bottle of Johnny Walker Blue, his favorite. "It's $200 in the store, but it's more fun here, and when you're having fun, you don't mind to pay."
• Wednesday is the only night that Marquee, open Tuesday through Saturday, loses money, Mr. Tepperberg says. " It's filled with hipsters that night, and they don't spend a lot."
• Not all are ready to call it quits. " Do you have any condoms?" one man can be overheard asking several partygoers leaving the club.
Okay, we're not sure that last quote best exemplifies the nature of Marquee's patronage. But we're trying to be fair.