New York: Hooker's Market

Since the days of Fiorello La Guardia, New York has seemed a fairly antiseptic town. No more. Oldtimers and out-of-town tourists alike are astonished this summer at the parade of prostitutes who have turned midtown Manhattan into a bawdwalk that compares with Rio de Janeiro's Avenida Atlantica or Rome's Via Veneto.

Tricked out in such garish plumage as bouffant vermilion coiffures, patterned stockings and silver demi-mini-dresses, the new whore corps is aggressive, ubiquitous and expensive (around $1 per minute). In the past five years, three huge new hotels, catering mostly to out-of-town...

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