Do You Live Near a Brothel?
May 13, 2005 8:01 PM   Subscribe

Do You Live Near a Brothel? It turns out that I do, and they're at Sacramento State's Art Department, the local office of NOW, and the Sacramento Film Commission, among others. Dubya, as it turns out, lives near a bunch of them as well, including the Center for Public Integrity and the local branch of the DC Public Library. You can find out the houses of ill repute near you, too, by simply entering your zip code and the word "brothels" in the Google Maps search box. It's supposed to be returning destinations for that type of local business. Oops. Google has no comment.
posted by robhuddles (52 comments total)
Leslee Unruh, the president of Abstinence Clearinghouse...

I just picture Ed McMahon showing up at my house and yelling "Hi-yo! to interruptus the coitus.
posted by DeepFriedTwinkies at 8:07 PM on May 13, 2005

I just KNEW something fishy was going on at the CDC! Men in long lab coats, coming and going all hours of the night...
posted by BoringPostcards at 8:09 PM on May 13, 2005

that's so weird. Film Forum is a brothel now? (altho Happy Ending i can believe.) My neighborhood is actually supposed to be full of real brothels, hidden in apartments.
posted by amberglow at 8:10 PM on May 13, 2005

i tried it and it didnt work for me.......damn macintosh!
posted by obeygiant at 8:12 PM on May 13, 2005

Last month Greg Beato posted a similar piece at Wonkette. Except it was about assholes in Washington, DC.
posted by i love cheese at 8:15 PM on May 13, 2005

Yeah, I searched for whores near my office a month ago, oddly enough, it found the corporate Burbank headquarters for Disney.
posted by jonson at 8:30 PM on May 13, 2005

Twin Cities Public Television? You'd think their pledge drives would be a bit more lively.
posted by nicething at 8:33 PM on May 13, 2005

Heheh, Cornerstone University (which used to be Grand Rapids Bible College, if that gives you any idea of its nature) is a brothel. So is the Acton Institute. And the Grand Haven 9, but that's really only funny to me.
posted by dagnyscott at 8:36 PM on May 13, 2005

Great! The Church of Scientology headquarters, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, the International Documentary Association and, of all places, the Simon Wiesenthal Center Museum: All brothels!

Oh, and a place simply listed as brothel in Santa Monica. It's fun living here in Babylon.
posted by maryh at 8:36 PM on May 13, 2005

"This isn't accidental," she claimed. "I think this is deliberate. Abstinence is under fire, we're under siege. Our opponents are trying to discredit the largest organization in the world that networks abstinence educators."

Lack of sex = desperate paranoia?
posted by Jimbob at 8:51 PM on May 13, 2005

Searching for "brothel" in my little town outside Philly returns mostly Philly-area movie theatres. What the search does not find is the brothel about three blocks from my house.

Fixedgear knows what I'm talkin' bout!

because he's a neighbor.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 8:56 PM on May 13, 2005

St. Marks Episcopal Church...I just KNEW it!
posted by fatbobsmith at 9:06 PM on May 13, 2005

Yes, Quimby's, that zine clearinghouse, and Women and Children First, the esteemed feminist bookstore, are clearly brothels in disguise.
posted by sugarfish at 9:09 PM on May 13, 2005

Google did not return a call for comment on why its Maps service lists brothels, or what causes some businesses and organizations to be labeled as cathouses.

Google not commenting about something that makes Google look bad? What a surprise.
posted by mediareport at 9:38 PM on May 13, 2005

Is it possible to google-bomb google maps? What's up with this?
posted by space2k at 9:44 PM on May 13, 2005

There is a house in New Orleans . . . that's called the House of the Rising Sun Bed and Breakfast.
posted by raysmj at 9:45 PM on May 13, 2005

yeah this doesn't work. for me at least. MENSA, a baptist church, and an ISD learning resources center. damnit.
posted by puke & cry at 9:48 PM on May 13, 2005

Theaters, galleries, museums, publishing for me... so maybe all of these put out/ host material relating to brothels, or just talk about them, and so Google Maps catches that information and associates them with brothels? That could explain the Abstinence Center's brothelhood, Baptist churches, etc.

Hmmm. Wait a second.

posted by furiousthought at 10:25 PM on May 13, 2005

Brothel sex is WAY overpriced anymore.
posted by HTuttle at 10:26 PM on May 13, 2005

This is just a shot in the dark, but I'm guessing that "Born Into Brothels" is probably playing (or has played recently) at most of those venues. Theaters, bookstores, churches, etc.
This may or may not be the case for the 89061 zip code.
posted by bstreep at 10:35 PM on May 13, 2005

you get different results for bordello
posted by warbaby at 10:52 PM on May 13, 2005

Google Maps is the best locator for crooks and liars.
posted by wendell at 11:03 PM on May 13, 2005

try 19096 ... apparently the Philadelphia Museum of Art is a brothel.
posted by LilBucner at 11:17 PM on May 13, 2005

thats more like it
posted by puke & cry at 11:21 PM on May 13, 2005

I did it for 94117 and discovered that many seemingly innocuous businesses are actually brothels. Among them a couple of my favorite second-run movie theaters, and the San Francisco Chronicle. Well, no surprise there.
posted by squirrel at 11:40 PM on May 13, 2005

I don't think this conspiracy is just about brothels. I searched for raw sewage in 78757, and, well, let's just say that result 'E' is rather telling.
posted by RylandDotNet at 12:25 AM on May 14, 2005

02116 is Boston's Back Bay. "02116 Prostitute" yielded:
    - Bay Windows (a gay paper) - The Free Software Foundation - Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study - Unitarian Univeralist Beacon Boston
posted by Mayor Curley at 4:25 AM on May 14, 2005

Near San Francisco, there's a brothel called "The Fat Lady". They might want to rethink that name.

I've heard about media whores, but there it finally is, in black and white: the San Francisco Chronicle is a brothel.

And it looks like old Mother Jones is puttin' out on the side too.

Sophomoric, I know, but still amusing. :)

A search for 'toxic waste' in that same area results in what seem to be a number of fairly relevant hits.... plus Office Depot in San Ramon. Someone forgot to pay the janitor, I think. :)
posted by Malor at 4:49 AM on May 14, 2005

I love headlines:

Quickie Google Search Lays Out "Brothels"
posted by mmahaffie at 4:53 AM on May 14, 2005

Born into Brothels explains away the theaters, sure. But why the colleges? Local papers? TV stations?
posted by graventy at 5:45 AM on May 14, 2005

Brothels in Irving, TX includes Irving Independent School District: Learning Resources. This explains why the kids in this town don't seem to know anything. Maybe they know far more than I would have imagined...

I'm not surprised, actually, as searches for things like coffee shops have often returned dentist offices and stationery stores. I love Google Maps but the inclusion of the Local results is far from optimal.
posted by elvolio at 6:23 AM on May 14, 2005

Apparently my workplace is crawling with prostitutes. Maybe that's behind "What's In It For You?" ; )

They seem to be at Christianity Today and Christ Church of Oakbrook, too. Who'd have thought?
posted by SisterHavana at 8:35 AM on May 14, 2005

Well, I actually DO live across the hall from a brothel here in my apartment building in NYC, so I can say for sure that they missed one.

The madams are actually very nice. When my mother came to stay while we were out of town, she got locked out and they called the super (who comes much quicker when they call, of course) and looked after her until we got back.
posted by papercake at 8:49 AM on May 14, 2005

Born Into Brothels would have been shown at a lot of colleges and universities. There's also a book that goes along with the movie, so that would explain any bookstores. As for local newspapers and tv stations, I'm guessing it's just coverage, advertisements or reviews of the movie.
posted by bstreep at 9:05 AM on May 14, 2005

If you do your search with Google Local, rather than just Google Maps, it explains a lot. The same results come up, but the webpages listed in Google Local have the word "brothel" on them somewhere.
posted by ArsncHeart at 9:11 AM on May 14, 2005

There was a kind of twisted logic in the results from my search. One of the neighborhood brothels was a company that owns radio stations; the link went to one of their stations in Butte, MT, where I grew up. One of the pictures on that website was of the Dumas Hotel, which WAS a brothel for 90 years, until it was closed by the IRS in 1982. The Dumas had a brief afterlife as a museum about five years ago until it closed for lack of customers.

I'm not going to speculate why "99205 brothel would also return the office for Republican representative Cathy McMorris.
posted by faceonmars at 9:32 AM on May 14, 2005

I love it. Apparently racist shitbag politician David Duke is a prostitute :-)
posted by localroger at 9:56 AM on May 14, 2005

hehehe the Cato Institute's in there, I hear they're an expensive lay.

Good find ArsncHeart: that makes sense. Clearly Google, would search an organization's website and co-list any terms on it with a mapsearch.
posted by stratastar at 10:08 AM on May 14, 2005

Near me the Mensa organization, two local theatre groups and a sandwich shop all came up as brothels. Silly google.
posted by dejah420 at 11:25 AM on May 14, 2005

It's quite bizarre really -- if you try a zip code (or postal code, in Canada) and "crap", you also get an assembly of seemingly random commercial places; same with "shit".
posted by clevershark at 12:32 PM on May 14, 2005

The bed and breakfast across the street from the courthouse (maybe Google was a few yards off in proximity?) and the La Quinta Inn popped up for Las Cruces, NM.
posted by coyotelaw at 1:00 PM on May 14, 2005

you can actualy type in the name of your town rather then a zip code. Works just as well

Aaaanyway. You can search for any term and come up with results with google maps.
posted by delmoi at 2:54 PM on May 14, 2005

Plugging my postal code in w/ brothel does pull up a local strip club that has a reputation for that kind of thing as well as a high-end swedish 'massage parlour.' Missed a lot of other swedish/asian 'massage parlours,' though.
posted by PurplePorpoise at 3:01 PM on May 14, 2005

Personally, I'm really excited to go to the brothels located at the French- and Swedish-American Chambers of Commerce. Mmm, dem French and Swedish girls.

(And for those of you in my area who swing the other way, there's always the Armchair Sailor!)
posted by Fontbone at 5:10 PM on May 14, 2005

hmm, it seems that a lot of the whores in Atlanta hang out at golf courses.
posted by MonkeySaltedNuts at 6:31 PM on May 14, 2005

"Abstinence is under fire, we're under siege."

Kewl. Actually I agree with ArsncHeart. This isn't incriminating evidence towards a conspiracy. It's just how a boolean search engine functions. Websites for the locations that pop up under brothel, or websites that mention the locations in question, simply bring up the word somehow. No harm no foul.

I searched my own name with my home town, and a restaurant I mentioned a long time ago in my online journal showed up. it was a very old page in a domain that I no longer use. If anything, this misunderstanding with the word "brothel" indicates that Google needs to update their findings, and scour through dated or otherwise encumbering information. Otherwise, Google's not responsible for opening fire on the concept of abstinence. They're barking up the wrong tree.
posted by ZachsMind at 6:33 PM on May 14, 2005

Websites for the locations that pop up under brothel, or websites that mention the locations in question, simply bring up the word somehow.

"Somehow" being the operative word. Sure, the abstinence folks are off-base, since the problem arises all over the political [cough] map, but have you tried clevershark's "shit"+zip code test? I get a local coffee shop, an indie bookstore and a bar in a nearby town, two TV stations and the state board of elections, among other things.

I dunno, seems like a kind of silly way to offer this kind of functionality. Makes me wonder about the pressure inside Google to keep the company's name in the press with new "innovations." Of course, even a brief official response from Google would clarify things immensely. Has anyone seen that anywhere?
posted by mediareport at 7:50 PM on May 14, 2005

I'm in China so, actually, yes. From what my Chinese friends tell me anyway. The most obvious, if I had to guess, would be the late night hair dressers.
posted by geekyguy at 11:33 PM on May 14, 2005

Hmm. A search for "morons" anywhere near Washington, DC, is an equal-opportunity offencer.
posted by baltimore at 6:39 AM on May 15, 2005


Turns out that The International Church of Scientology and Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences get listed as brothels for my zip code, as well as several theatres and the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

I would have thought that the Crystal Cathedral would have gotten listed as a much closer....
posted by msjen at 1:23 AM on May 16, 2005

Search for "whores" near Washington, DC. Trust me; you won't be disappointed.
posted by Faint of Butt at 4:52 AM on May 16, 2005

One would do better to search for "crack " nearby. For those in the know Otis Spunkmeyer really does == crack.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 1:50 PM on May 16, 2005

« Older We have all been to Iraq, and we support anyone...   |   Ask Guardianfilter Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments