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November 11, 2010
AboveNet Expands High Bandwidth Services Portfolio in London
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November 8, 2010
AboveNet Connects with CENX to Expand High Bandwidth Network
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September 20, 2010
AboveNet Expands to key European Markets
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June 16, 2010
AboveNet's secure fibre network connects to London's Telehouse West data centre
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June 7, 2010
AboveNet Expands Metro Portfolio with Launch of Core Wave Services
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In the happy endings business, it pays to put on a happy face. Claire knows this well. On a sunny fall morning, she took the train from her home on Long Island to a storefront in Chelsea, where the windows were taped over with yellowing paper. Inside, it was as dark as a movie theater, the paper and heavy curtains blotting out any sunshine. The smell of sweat rose from the carpet. Soon the place would fill with customers, so Claire changed into a strappy zebra print dress and steeled herself with a smile for the job of giving massages, and occasionally more, to a parade of men, something she does for 80 hours a week. Her parlor does not advertise happy endings that all too familiar euphemism but many clients expect them, she said. Mostly she says no, but sometimes she agrees for those she considers "a nice person," particularly for those undergoing trouble in their romantic lives. "They need help, and I help them," she said. Though Claire is careful not to discuss a price for this beforehand, she knows that providing a mid massage "manual release" is likely to garner her a gratuity of $60 per customer, money she says she needs to support herself and her 16 year old son. Claire could make more as much as $150 per session if she went further and had sex with her clients. She refuses. And while most customers shrug it off if she turns them down, some take offense. One grew furious and slammed her against a wall. She slapped him twice in the face and he bolted, fumbling with his clothes as he ran out. But the encounter left her in tears, shocked at how much her life had changed from her time in China, where she worked for 20 years as an accountant for a respectable business. (Employees) say it's just like a 9 to 5 job. Go in the morning, jerk a bunch of dudes off and go home at night. Andy, a Mandarin translator "He couldn't believe it," she said. "I thought, 'Why did this happen to me?' " Claire is not her given name, of course. She arrived in New York from Shanghai in 2012 on a work visa, part of an army of Asian workers who support the booming business of illicit massage. Approximately 1,200 are open just in New York City (which, by way of comparison, has some 2,500 bars and nightclubs, along with 280 or so Starbucks). If each place clears $20,000 a month, a figure that two Rutgers University professors found was the average among illicit parlors, oakley holbrook american heritage the industry's yearly profits would top $1 billion. And this market is trending up. The Department of Labor expects the massage industry to grow by 23percentbetween 2012 and 2022. The industry has become a pipeline for new immigrants, and brought paid for sex to Main Street America with a veneer of respectability, or at least mystery. "Erotic massage does get ignored. It's relatively safe. And setting up a low level massage parlor doesn't take a lot of capital. Plus there's a general interest in society at large in getting legitimate massages. So, crossing over into something more? "It doesn't take a lot to bridge that gap." The Flushing pipeline Claire never intended to become a sex worker. The single mom left her country for a better life, starting work in a Manhattan nail salon until she could no longer stand the fumes. A friend offered a crash course in deep tissue therapy, which led to her new position as an unlicensed masseuse. The trade is fueled by hopeful immigrants like her predominantly from China, Korea, Thailand and the Philippines. The Rutgers study found that sex workers in Los Angeles took home, on average, $7,200 a month. In New York the figure was $6,000. The owners take home much more, and an Urban Institute found that profits are primarily put into other businesses or property. Like a cab license or a bodega, a massage parlor illicit or otherwise is seen as a pathway to success in America. If there's an unofficial headquarters to the erotic massage industry, it's the working class community of Flushing, Queens. Entire blocks along Union and Main streets are lined with provocative sounding parlors like Asian Kitty and Shangri La Lily, and behind the scenes an extensive training network prepares the next generation of pleasure providers. To be sure, many discourage hanky panky, offering only typical beauty and health treatments exfoliation, facials, reflexology, waxing for women, couples, families. At clubs like Tai Huang, Coco and New York Spa oakley holbrook amber Sauna, a traditional Korean day spa, one can find a better than average shiatsu massage for as little as $25, hot stones included, reviewers say. The bargains are partly a result of the inexperience of staff members, who are mostly newcomers learning the craft and speak little English. Some go on to get licensed, which in New York state requires 500 hours of training. Many do not bother. There's a brisk trade in forged credentials. Andy, a Mandarin translator, learned of the network when he helped a young Chinese couple open their own happy ending parlor. The man had come to New York to attend college but grew interested in the business after meeting his girlfriend, who worked as a masseuse and knew several employees in Flushing. "That's just what her and her friends all do," Andy said. "They say it's just like a 9 to 5 job. Go in the morning, jerk a bunch of dudes off and go home at night."

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