In the early-afternoon light, the Show Palace looks pretty innocuous. The Queens strip joint is at rest, hours away from powering up at night. Mike Diaz, the club's manager, meets me there in a slick gray suit and lifts up the metal gate. He's an old-school NYC character—constantly cursing, teasing, and jabbering away, the kind of guy who always seems a little bit angry but in a charming way. He's been running the day-to-day operations of the Show Palace since the summer of , when the club first opened its doors.