Carnival Comes to Union Square

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    You used to have to go a block away to the park to see this.

    Bowlmor Lanes unveiled its newest upstairs club entry, Carnival, in Union Square last night, with the help of stiltwalkers, clowns, sword swallowers, The Human Blockhead, dunk tanks, and Paris Hilton (no, Paris was not in the dunk tank).

    Over the years Bowlmor has had big ambitions for the fifth-floor space above the bowling alley, from video projections and rooftop domes to lounges, but it has never seemed to take off. But now the Carnival is coming to town, bringing an experience that sounds like it belongs in Times Square (which is getting a haunted house courtesy of The Box's Simon Hammerstein) -- or possibly Vegas -- below 14th Street.

    The huge space is vaguely  reminsent of Britney Spears's red-and-yellow-stripe-festooned Circus show. After entering through the mouth of a scary clown drinkers are greeted with scores of carni games (hammer swinging, dart-throwing, BB gun target shooting -- what could go wrong?) to accompany their cocktails (specialties of the house like the Blue Cotton Candy and the two-gallon Dunk Tank) and fairway snacks like hot dogs, pop corn, pretzels and corn dogs. 

    It is no longer necessary to go to Coney Island (a place where, if Paris Hilton showed up, they'd put her not in the dunk tank, but Shoot the Freak) to get a stomach ache.