It's nighttime in the city and everybody's working a hustle. Winking bartenders and smiling waitresses flirt their way to bigger tips. Hostesses and bouncers hit up the crowd of would-be customers for bribes. And on the other side of the velvet rope, single men and women are on a perpetual hunt to score - or at least pick up a phone number. Every night of the week they all play the same game, relentlessly competing for money, sex, self-esteem, and status. David Grazian's riveting tour of downtown Philadelphia and its newly bustling nightlife scene reveals the city as an urban playground where everyone dabbles in games of chance and perpetrates elaborate cons. Entertainment in the city has evolved into a professional industry replete with set designers, stage directors, and method actors whose dazzling illusions tempt even the shrewdest of customers. Public relations consultants, event planners, and a new breed of urban hustler - the so-called ''reality marketer'' who gets paid to party - all walk a fine line between spinning hype and outright duplicity. For the young and affluent, nightlife is a sport - a combative game of deception and risk complete with pregame drinking rituals and trendy uniforms. They navigate the dangers and delights of the city with a combination of wide-eyed optimism and streetwise savvy, drawing from their own bag of tricks that include everything from the right makeup and costume to fake IDs, counterfeit phone numbers, and wingmen. As entertaining and illuminating as the confessional stories it recounts, David Grazian's On the Make is a fascinating expos of the smoke and mirrors employed in the city at night.