"the" Mrs. Astor

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Ditmar's Christmas Eve table was the model of elegance that welcomed all the guests with my favorite touch, the bottle of liqueur wrapped in a bow. This was the table I almost fell asleep at.

Holiday Feasts

Like all good Christians, I spent Christmas weekend at the Altar of Food praying to one dead, butchered beast or crustacean after another. At Chris Inskeep's Friday, pre-Christmas luncheon I could almost hear the choirboys singing as I walked up the isle of his garden to the Alter to Fine Taste. I naturally lied to myself when I proclaimed it would be the first and last feast of the holiday, but, then, I had no intention of entering a confessional unless someone hid my lobster bib in it as a prank. We feasted on all sorts of delights outside.

On Saturday Chris and I took a taxi to--God forbid--The Mainland. The Cathedral of Excess is located there, but some know it only as Ditmar Perner's home. Fourteen or fifteen worshippers were in attendance, although the dining pew only held twelve of us anointed ones; the others had to eat in the living room. The main course was divided into three dishes and after the last I felt very tired. Not helping was the fact that almost everyone was speaking German, Dutch, or Yiddish (at one point, I longingly glanced at the sole Latino, Lisandro, and wished he would utter something in a romance language.) I found myself staring at the soon-to-be-filled dessert plate. Ditmar was doing his best to keep the crowd entertained, but my mind was spinning in a swirl of guttural languages. I thought my nodding head might be taken as a silent moment of prayer, but I started to doze off somewhere in a haze between Fiddler on a Roof and Der Furher Bunker. And, then, S-L-A-P. Chris took the lead in my revival with a slap on my back, my head popped up, and he announced, "This gentleman is getting married in February!"

Nothing grabs the attention of a room full of gay men and woman like a wedding announcement and guests were once again speaking English with questions and congratulations. "Oy's" and "Ach's"became "Am I invited?', "Who is he?" Chris answered that one with, "He's a very handsome young man from Buenos Aires." and everyone squealed like pigs. Dessert was being served by Ditmar's maid, and I now had to contemplate the near impossibility of getting a cab in N.E. Miami at 11pm on Christmas Eve. The tears forming in my eyes were not ones of Christmas Freude as they were of taxi Furcht, but somehow we made it back.

On Christmas night there was the annual feast with the housemates, and their family; I awoke on Monday not a little guilty, but since I'm not Jewish it didn't bother me.

The road ahead? A lavish New Years Eve dinner with Chris at 8, joining Jeremy's table for The 7th's dinner (a dozen hot guys) at The Palace at Ten, and Chris's Recovery Breakfast tomorrow (something called a "Washington Menu). .

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Revenge is Sweet

KiKi isn't feeling well so I took him under my care this week; he loves to be pampered and cooked for, to lie by the pool on a deck chair getting some rays, and generally to "live large". But something's wrong with KiKi this week and he is lethargic and not even given to his usual moods of being finicky and standoffish.

Be this as it may, I came home early yesterday and found him on my computer. When I inquired as to the purpose of his furious typing, he snarled and I stepped back; he's been known to go on dog4dog and I have always excused him of this weakness.

Little did I know the plot that was under paw or the sinister thoughts in KiKi's head. As I logged on last night to MSN, KiKi was on my bed, staring at me with those cold, black eyes. Something was up, I thought, especially since he knows by routine.

Then it struck me! I had noticed that KiKi was in My Received Files earlier, the repository of my vast picture files. When I got to the files my horror was realized. KiKi had super-imposed his face over every photo, even the naughty ones. A quick glance over and KiKi was grinning. I smirked back and said, "Well, there's always the back-up disk" and KiKi used his tail to brush aside the doily on the bed; yes, there is was: the chewed up back-up disk.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Getting Ready For New Hellos

You can set you watch to it. At 2 pm on December 26, the veil of sleep is lifted off the head of this town and the manic social pace so admired and envied wakes up hungry. Over-booked planes arrive all day, the causeways become clogged with beach-bound traffic, and gridlock on town streets develop. Pasty snowbirds start popping up at all the bars, their white skin ripe for the inevitable sunburn and (since it was in the 60's late yesterday afternoon) when Boris arrived with a ski jacket and cap he was met by our visitors in speedos. It is all great fun.

By Thursday a switch will be turned on and the formal parties begin. While their invitations may speak of honoring this person or that cause, if you read between the lines they all worship the weather. The weather is a fickle god; in September and October it punished this heathen town. But apparently enough virgins were found and sacrificed to appease the weather god because it is pay back time and that god is shining down on us. The madness has just begun, and we are eager to show that we survived to carry on.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Last Goodbyes

After dining and drinking at The Palace all week (it seemed as if almost everyone had time off), Jeremy, the remaining members of the 7th, and the rest of the gang bid a tearful goodbye and embarked on trips to their families. We will reassemble next week in time for New Years.

In the meantime, the remaining holdouts will gather this afternoon for one of Chris Inskeep's famous Lavish Luncheons. I tried to wean out of Chris last night just how many people he had invited, but the number varied between 10 and 15 depending on just what who he could remember inviting. "Tsk, tsk", I thought, "more rather than less are usually invited in a tipsy haze.", but Chris waved it off with a decision of prepare lunch for 20. Ah, The Voice of Reason.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The Slowest Week of the Year

I detest the week before Christmas; everyone is running around in a last ditch effort to "get in the spirit", there are few tourists to lighten up the day, and you just have to wince at the tropical Christmas decorations (this year colored lights in the shape of palm trees attached to street lights). Achieving that cozy Christmas feeling is one thing in Rockefeller Center with your nose about to freeze and fall off, it's quite another when strollers are wearing thongs and sipping a frozen drink.

It is also the week that friends with family obligations leave us and I was happy to have Jeremy and The 7th call and ask if I would be around as they were "stopping for lunch". Of course, their definition of "stopping by" is spending five hours at the bar, where after the perfunctory lunch, a whole lot of booze is consumed. Everyone was in good spirits and having a ball when the afternoon's levity came to an abrupt halt when the large seaplane that makes the daily flight to Bimini, crashed ten blocks down the beach in a spectacularly fiery plunge. The rather tight and overburdened streets of the city were immediately clogged with rescue vehicles and the whole incident cast a sad shadow over the mid-afternoon festivities.

On Saturday I walked out of my office and found KiKi chatting it up with one of the many gay dogs who visit The Palace, Dexter Ferriera. KiKi and Dexter (old friends) were talking about the usual things over a cool refreshing drink: other gay dogs and what they wear, current grooming techniques, how tacky girl dogs are (excluding the hagdogs, of course), and the opening of The King Tut exhibit. KiKi was growling his displeasure that I am taking a friend and not him and was saying, "That upstart will never take over my position. And", KiKi snarled, "platinum is NOT the new pink." A new gay dog entered the bar, though, and all attention turned toward his direction.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

White and Tan is Always in Season in Miami

It was a balmy 62 degrees this morning when I took KiKi for his morning walk; all I needed today was a short-sleeved shirt at 7 in the morning, so there are no weather complaints coming out of me anymore.

During the many parties in the last two weeks I noted one of those Miami “things” that always interested me: the pairing of the “white bread” boy (or girl) with the handsome Latino (a). It is so prevalent here that you think it must be the way it was meant to be.

I took the day off yesterday and we broke all records by spending over 12 hours on the blessed MSN with a two hour break for napping. (The break makes me think of marathon dancing.) We are not just in love, we are in-fatuation.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Twins in the Mailbox

I was skipping up the the driveway yesterday and spotted a fat, bulging...envelope by the mailbox and, when I saw the return address of a major American magazine, I knew it was another book from Lahoma van Zandt. She has always sent me the most interesting and appropriate pieces for me. "Sex with Kings," a history of courtesans and their politcs; "The Handbook to Hedonism", by Fokker; "The Affair of the Poisons: Murder, Invanticide and Satanism at the Court of Louis XIV" by Anne Sommerset, and now "One of Us", by Alice Dreger.

Lahoma will never forget the night I had conjoined twins, Lori and Dori (now Reba) Schappell over to a dinner party at my apartment. It was a night of such intensity that, although armed and ready with three cameras, I could only break out of my stupor to take seven photos. Several of these I posted on my story of The Twins on March 4, 2005.

It's comforting when you receive a gift book and you know the giver thought in their mind, "THAT's got his name all over it." Thanks, LVZ.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Black Girl Down

You have to be ready for anything when black drag queens try to out do each other. Every Saturday Miss Tiffany and her girlfriend, Sasha, battle it inside and out for the affection of the audience and, of course, the tips. During one benefit for another entertainer, I personally witnessed Miss Tiffany pull--and I mean PULL--in over $400 from our customers. She's a trooper.

So when, this past Saturday, I heard someone yell, "Look she's down!" I immediately rushed to see the statuesque Miss Tiffany on her back on the sidewalk. Terms like "Liability Lawsuit" rushed through my head, yet she was still singing. It turned out that Tiffany was just doing her Witney Houston on Crack routine, and this was evidence to me that I am just not up on the latest pop culture. Sasha was right there (those are her feet in the silver, opened-toed slingbacks, not mine) and maybe she, too, thought (wished) Tiffany had taken The Big Fall. I walked back up the stairs and turned. Insurance claims no longer troubled me.

Now My Only Real Concern Turn Out To Be....

...how she EVER find boots like that in size 13?

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Star Booty

It didn't take me long to find the old soundtrack to Star Booty. Like many other video and musical releases involving the original gang from Atlanta that took over Manhattan in the late eighties and early nineties, RuPaul, Lahoma van Zandt, Lady Bunny, and Larry Tee, this album was produced by Funtone, USA. The gang was originally called The Now Explosion and used their extremely offbeat approach to monopolize nightlife in New York for years. The British duo, The Fabulous Pop Tarts, provided most of the musical accompaniment along with background vocals.

Star Booty was an outrageous parody of the Black Exploitation films of the 70's like Cleopatra Jones and The Mack, with hooker/law enforcer Star Booty always on call to fight crime. "In the name of the United States government, you are uhnda arrest" was my favorite line as Ru walked through the streets of Manhattan in the latest hooker wear. A crazy shot of her going through the revolving doors of The Russian Tea Room only to exit quickly with a uniformed doorman in pursuit is vividly recalled.
Funtone's motto was "If it's not fun, don't do it." May I have an "Amen" on that!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

FLASH....Breaking News

Legendary singer, actress, and inventor of crop circles, Lahoma van Zandt, is indeed coming out of retirement as has been rumored for some time. The famed performer has long been a recluse in her New York City apartment and is only occasionally seen, yelling at passing children or rifling through neighbors' mail.

According to The Village Voice's nightlife columnist, Michael Musto,

"You want sex on a stick? Blacktress RUPAUL is doing a movie as her old Star Booty character, and I hear drag legend LAHOMA's come out of "vacation" to be part of it. (Says Lahoma, "How could I ever turn down a hooker role where I get to flag down cars in terrible wigs with my ass hanging out?")"

I was blessed with copies of the orginal Star Booty videos when I used to hang out at Ru and Lahoma's brownstone at 5 Ninth Ave. We used it as a sort of after hours movie reviewing venue/drug den/meet new and exciting people at 6am place. Star Booty, The Movie was inevitable and my guess is that The World of Wonder might be behind it.

The photo above of Michael and Lahoma was taken at the notorious Mars nightclub in the meatpacking district; four floors and a roof of madness and depravity of every sort. My type of place at the time.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Another Departure

Our favorite nuclear technician (how many do you even know), Greg Gosbie, is leaving us this week for Pittsburg. I don't want to sound crass, but they couldn't pay my ass enough to move to Pittsburg before winter even begins. Alas, we will toast him Tuesday night at 7pm, at 8pm and probably until everyone gets kicked out by Boris.

Although not a member of The 7th, Greg led his own band of regulars; fortunately there was never any jealousy between the groups. All I need is for rival gangs of healthy, young men competing for top honors.

I'm a little confused at the outfit, Greg. You delightfully pull off the Gary Cooper look, but you are so much more Barbara Stanwyck.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Some White Party Photos

Elaine Lancaster, flanked by two women not nearly as stunning as he is.

My guess was correct: Peruvian

Some boys were cold....

...and some boys were Hot

Twist owner, Richard Trainor, WSVN Anchorman Craig Stevens and Peter in the back

Every man who could squeeze into a white ballgown, did.