"the" Mrs. Astor

Thursday, May 31, 2007

There are so many photos, but Wednesday night did represent the end of partying for me for a while. During all these events the original problems that troubled me, Ramon's health, KiKi's health, the incredible fact that Ramon can't get any financial help because Florida has cut aid so much that it turns people like him destitute....They still exist, hidden by the parties. Oh, well; more photos please.

FernanDcute's number involved some wild moves and...

...ended with a dramatic, opera quality death scene.

The whispy Thomas Barker, fresh from his escape with Carl to Mexico for the weekend was sexy in a hippy sort of way.

Geraldine, as usual, the star. I don't know if I would run if I saw this on a darkened street or invite it for a drink.

This is Rafael; he was the boy under my gown. If you detect a mischievous look in my eyes than you are wrong.

My dear friend Mrs. Stuyvesant-Fish showed up in costume: as Mrs. Stuyvesant-Fish. She's clever, that one.

Yes, that is Juan Carlos, a charmer in his own right, with Edward. Edward only visits us on Wednesdays and fortunately it was; he is probably the most handsome man I have ever met.

Juicy finally got a chance to feed; a girl's gotta eat.

As usual, some customers always get out of hand, but we did coax his pants down which lent so much more to his dancing ability.

Oddly enough, my beloved Ray didn't look all that much different than he normally does. (Love you!!!!).

The first pictures from the news wires have started to show up. I want everyone to see two things not evident here: my lace mantilla on top of the tiara and the enormous amount of jewels I wore, prompting one sarcastic bitch to say, "Didn't they go own the the Atocha in 1622?"

The dog in the background says it all. He was mesmerized by my dance.

In the end, all things on South Beach degrade into the pit of hell: mindless sex. There is no regard for social position here; it is the pleasure of the moment.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Before anyone gets the wrong idea, I am not mocking the present Duchess of Alba; I ADORE her. Pictured here at her stupendously fabulous Seville Palacie de las Duenas, she is by all accounts a woman who enjoys her life, is very generous, and--quite frankly--likes being a little kooky when you can do that and no one will raise an eyebrow.

She possesses so many inherited titles that it allows her a special seat behind any king or queen. And, yet, she seems to have fun. Her palace in Seville is the center of town. And, of course, all I know of her is from the pages of Hola magazine the many, many Spaniards here in Miami who worship her.

So although my presentation of this exalted, great, fabled, and almost sainted lady may seem a bit fun and rough, it is done with the greatest respect I could pay to her. (Hey, I've already educated several dozen young boys to her greatness.)

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

You try to remain dignified and tasteful in this town and it is snatched out of your mouth like the last bone in a pack of starving dogs. I realized, now, that there is no way I can retreat from my appearance as The Duchess of Alba, but thought my trappings might have been a little safe from the press.

Tantalizing images of segments of my outfit for tomorrow's South Beach version of a fancy dress ball kept appearing in local fashion magazines. Can you ever trust these queer fashion consultants? These are heirlooms that should be accorded respect (especially those pumps--oh, baby).

" have sooooo much to tell you but am afraid to put it in writing... can't wait to see you!!!!!



P.S. Ask me about the watermellon shootings, the "retro" night, Wednesday's "surprise", Riley's Birthday... MY GOD.. this coming week will be a week to remember...


I wake up to this in the morning. It makes me want to hop on the first plane for Newport; although I did awake a little earlier and went to "the drag box" to take inventory--just in case, mind you. One might have just awaken next to a gypsy with a crystal ball and in that ball you saw clouds because with a prediction like above there will be many cloudy things: nights, performances, hairdos, boys.

There must be a boat leaving somewhere. I've escaped before: Pompeii, Paris, St. Petersburg; I can do it again.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Thump, thump, thump, thump...I opened my eyes and it was still dark, about 5 AM. Helicopters and not from the beach manning some unfortunate Hatians trying to get to shore; these were directly overhead. I grabbed a cloak, checked under to covers to make sure there wasn't a poolboy there, and went outside where I found way to many search lights, police dogs, and running cops to do anything but look through the gate. The next best thing: run in and put on gay TV station WSVN because they report everthing with a hesterical touch to it.

Two men had been shot dead outside David's Cafe II off Lincon Rd. and all the witnesses being held had seen nothing at all. Even more odd was WSVN's saying they didn't know if these people were from town or not. Firstly, this is hip-hop weekend, over six hundred people have been arrested, and this should not have been a surprise. Secondly, anyone who lives here knows you are more likely to succeed at crime on the lawn of police headquarters at 11th and Washington; there's usually one sleepy, old cop behind the bullet-proof glass. David's is a sort of Cuban donut house and there are more cops sipping coffee than you will find anywhere else; you never do anything around David's.

That done, the weekend seems to be lessening in intensity as more and more went to Cancun and The Dominican Republic. The days were civil and we actually had a fun time in the afternoons playing the latest Beyonce (you can tell Ray worked) and watching Ray's Latin kids dance and sing. I spent this afternoon with more established members of society like Mrs. Stuyvesant-Fish, Mark, Edison, and his boyfriend, Nestor. There is always lots to gossip about, especially with a new club, Halo, opening soon (as can only be expected, they are delayed by The City). Oh, and I tried on the Duchess of Alba gown and practiced "sweeping" in a room. Still, I don't know.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

I somehow survived the "last grand parties" only to be informed that next Wednesday is the "last grand party". This is what happens when you don't have staff; the flow of information is hindered. Oh, well; it is Ray's "Turnabout" party and I love Ray more than I love getting into a dress, so I'll do it.

My last "Turn" put me as Martin Bormann's Bunker Babe. I do remember having a ball as the Russian tanks circled above.
When asked who I was "going" as this year, I responded: The Duchess of Alba, one of my most admired ladies. "Oh, The Duchess that Goya painted?" "No," I replied, "The current one, Maria del Rosario Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart Silva y Falco. The current duchess owns more titles than any other noble in Europe, is a Grandee of Spain twenty times, possesses two palaces, and is often seen in the pages of Hola magazine attending charity balls with one of her six children. Her home, The Palace of Liria, is remarkable for its art collection.
If I have to put on a dress, it is going to be a good one. I was pondering out loud yesterday at Ditmar's bar in Score about the possibility of actually performing a short piece and how I would need castanets when another person at the bar replied, "Oh, I sell them at my store (Tootsie's Nail Salon on Espanola Way and Washington)." Only on South Beach.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The last. grand party of the season takes place tonight at The Palace, and it has been a long season, indeed. Juan Carlos has engaged the fine and rich merchants of Absolute vodka to sponsor it, and they are very generous. The most intriguing of their contributions will be the "Absolute dancers", apparently hunky boys who can dance and pour at the same time. I adore talent and enthusiasm. And although I personally prefer Stoli, there can be no dismissing the fact that back in the early eighties Absolute was clever enough to cash in on the Russian invasion of Afghanistan and grab the American market. In addition, they were one of the first companies to take ads, big ads, out in gay publications. By the end of the eighties there wasn't one gay man who asked for anything else.

There will be one, more event tomorrow before The Exodus begins: the massive departure of just about everyone who lives on South Beach before "Urban Beach Week" arrives. If you are to believe the predictions, at least 300,000 will storm the gates of a town with less than 100,000 residents and only 300 or so police officers.

There was a call from the bleeding hearts who don't live here for the police not to arrest so many drunken partiers (1,010, most for DUI's). Maybe MADD should be here along with the ACLU. But, I have convinced a small group of loyalists to join me to keep The Palace open as long as possible (the owners and managers are fleeing); there is no reason to not try entertaining everyone who comes here and make money. In the end, a carriage will be waiting to carry me and those guys away outside the back door.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Yes, this is Andy having a lime sucked out of his mouth by Geraldine; this is my world. I give up on the rehabilitation thing. Sin is so pervasive here that it nips at your well-turned ankles as you walk down tony Lincoln Road. I declare myself fully rehabilitated (since no one else will); anything I did last week was magnificently eclipsed by what I did this past weekend. There is no hope.

I was seeking a quiet afternoon on Saturday and went to Twist, where I ran into my favorite Gaysian, Donnie. We watched videos, including one he brought "300". I was mesmerized by the cinematography and afterwards he asked if I wanted to accompany him to The Palace. I said, "Well, OK; for five minutes." Who was I kidding? Just what can be accomplished in "five minutes". We arrived at the beginning of the drag show and I was amazed at how just about every gay socialite on South Beach was there. Nine shows later I was just about through saying "hello" to everyone when FernanDcute started to whip the crowd into a frenzy. Some DJ's have that power. Boys were gyrating on the floor, on chairs, on tables, on the bar, and on each other. And these were not just The Kids; members of high society like Lady Simpson were on the bar throwing ice; Mrs. Stuyvesant-Fish was cradling a tempting (if temporary) Latino in her gloved hands; Riley had his shirt off and everyone was fingering his nipple rings. Yes, things were out of control and that really bothers me, so I ran. I ran right into the back bar and into a little pond of Latino fishies. There is no hope in this town.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

KiKi visited me at The Astor Rehabilitation Center and his sardonic humor was in evidence by the gift of rum cake he brought. He suggested I leave and seek a quieter spot to "rest", a cute little hotel in Purgatory, otherwise known as Mid Beach.
He handed me this invitation and suggested I could lend my talents judging the doggie drag contest. "Am I to become the Paula Abdul of the pampered pooch set?" "Do you want to be set upon by villagers with torches and pitchforks?" Alas, without Jeremy all order has disappeared.

"Well, I guess there are worse fates," I sighed. "Yes, being bayonetted in a basement is one," he quipped "Being married to Prince Phillip, another." We looked at each other and laughed.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Good old Riley. He plea-bargained me down from Corruption of a Minor to Grand Social Mischief. Plans to lock myself into a convent went by the wayside, too; this is Miami Beach. All I could find were Jewish Homes for the Aged and the prospect of listening to Aunt Yedda’s constipation problems drove me to a known entity: The Astor.

I wasn’t the only one who got into trouble this week. Earlier I was forwarded an IM from out favorite Gaysian, Donnie Chung. It read like an AP tickertape from Shanghai: “(He) so funny….he get drunk…he go to jail…” Good Lord! That was a handsome and loveable friend of ours. He drove up Collins Avenue drunk, ran through a fence and nearly into the 23rd Street canal. Seven tickets and a DUI landed him in the county jail downtown (hereafter referred to as The Love Shack). He told me that the gay guys had taken over a section of the holding pen and, although he didn’t mention lace curtains, you could get a good idea of it. While there, he met a good-looking guy and they became fast friends. The guy’s mom bailed him out and then he bailed our friend out. This is one of the most fantastic love stories ever! The entire town is abuzz about it, and it should neatly take eyes away from me.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

No better example for being "put away" existed than last night. I blame it all on Riley because, since he got out of school, he has forced me out every night. The gang has taken up the east end of Carlos's bar for four nights. But, last night Dr. Brad brought his son and daughter to the bacchanal and I was a little wasted when introduced to the son. Before Zeus knew it, I was making out with the boy in the middle of the room. Brad told me today his son asked, "Did I get out of line?" Dr. Brad--ever so Brad--replied, "Define 'out of line'".

There is not one person more interested in a Coming Out Party than me and my group of social criminals. It was just that he "came out" so violently; it was so much, much fun. Yes, "Define Out of Line". (All of us!)

Who was it? Job who said, "Forgive him for he knows not what he does?" Ah, but those pouty lips mixed with the huge, untouched (until last night) basket. As Ken Russell once wrote, "Hell will hold no surprises" for me.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

On a more serious note, one of our best friends and someone I see just about every day, Kendall (on the right) has been working on some fabulous projects for the Miami Beach Cinematheque. And since he is such a good friend, it was easy to snag a photo of him and Francis Ford Coppola the other night at the start of film tribute to the great director. (Ken also owns one of the best collections of movie posters I have ever seen.)

The Cinematheque is one of those South Beach gems located on Espanola Way (the site of that great block party for the Gay and Lesbian Film Festival two weeks ago). It is a cozy theater which presents an amazing mix of films, old and new, that most of us would find difficult to see. For instance, this coming weekend is The Sicilian Film Festival, which sounds quite sexy. (Note to self: Get out and review the Baron von Gloeden picture books.) Shortly thereafter there is The Brazilian Film Festival.

But nothing can compare to the monthly lecture and viewing put on by the irrepressible Shelley Novak. Next month she pays homage to one of the greatest directors of sleazy horror films, Curtis Harrington. Along with Roger Corman, Curtis's work was never truly appreciated during most of his lifetime. "Queen of Blood", "Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet", "Who Slew Auntie Roo" were just some of his films. Mine and KiKi's favorite: the late seventies "Devil Dog, Hound From Hell". We howl with laughter every time we watch that German Shepard hypnotize his victims. See? There is a serious side to life here after all.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

I met two boys (no names) on Sunday. They were having SUCH a good time. I intoduced myself and we talked about how fun the day was. I asked if I could take their photos and they were, "Oh, of course". After the first two, I asked if they were boyfriends, and they looked at me as if I has just landed from Outer Space.
They said, "No, we are not BOYFRIENDS. We are just friends.

Call me old fashioned, but I wish I had a "not boyfriend" like this.

Monday, May 14, 2007

It is still incredible to me that not one person believes that I am retiring my position and that this was the very last weekend I would host a two-day bacchanal. This last fling was for our lawyer friend Rob, and he proved that a room of lawyers could be a wild and fun thing.
His secretary eerily reminded me of Charo.
As usual, Thomas Barker was in the middle of everything. I spent an amazing afternoon with him today. It was strange; we had had such a great experience planning Rob's party that we needed to talk today and, boy-oh-boy, did we ever.

Two more of my military brats: Mickey and Carlos, Coast Guard and Air Force.

No Miami birthday would be complete without the birthday boy being treated to the sensual delights of The Tango. The Great Seductress herself, Geraldine, sang and demonstrated what a dance of lost love mixed with found momentum of sex can do for a soul.

In a prime example of why I have to leave this crazy life, she later danced on the trunk of a car on Ocean Drive. I need to get off this Merry-Go-Round.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Abdication can be a "good thing". I had a wonderful afternoon with KiKi yesterday and made him spaghetti and meatballs. There was no cheese, though, as I agreed to put him on a diet; that means no cheese, no cream sauces, no pate'. He's taken it in stride and is still the only dog I know who likes spinach. After lunch we played a hand of canasta. I think he tried to cloud me with a discussion of politics during it; KiKi said he thought The Balkans would always be a problem and, while I agreed to their tragic history of mischief, countered that now the real problem are the Chinese. KiKi reminded me of my jaded past of both Japanese and Chinese boyfriends and said that I was certainly not one to scream, "Yellow Peril"; at that point he won the game and I suggested we have a half hour power nap.

Later I just had to poke my face into The Palace; as a newly dowager it seemed not inappropriate. FernanDcute was absolutely marvelous as Donatella Versace. There were some snide comments about my abdication, the most important of which was, "Did you keep the jewels?" I gave him A Look. No dowager leaves without the jewels, even the ones they can't see. Even though Lake Okeechobee is down to about three feet, I have so many jewels sewn into my corsets that I'd sink and drown if pushed in.

I have made it a point (jewels aside) to have handed over to Juan Carlos I everything but one. He has been given titles, court jesters, food tasters, crowns, and enough hangers-on to sink the Bismark. The only little thing I kept was The Imperial Guard. I retain Ray's Latino "rear" guard and the remaining members of Jeremy's "top" guard. Carlos is too likable to need them; and, well, you never know...

Thursday, May 10, 2007


I'm so glad The Queen was here this week, because we were able to discuss this touchy subject. I respect Her adherence to history and total fear of "the daughter-in-laws". I, however, have no such nightmares.

For some time I have been helping out lovable Carlos develop his ideas for the club and last night was the fruition of his dreams. It was so fun for me: I had a great time while knowing that I have formally stepped down from the night scene and left it in such capable hands.
I know is might seem a little scandalous to announce an heir-apparent and then abdicate immediately, but these are trying times and they demand immediate solutions. I have been consumed with the knowledge that I am neglecting KiKi for the entertainment of a hundred fools, and I need to spend time with him in his final days. Never far away, I will always be there, hiding behind the curtain (with a camera)

The evening began with great promise and never disappointed anyone; FernanDcute, Juicy Pussy, and Geraldine were set to make the night a class act.

It was original 7th member and "top" guard Andy's birthday and while FernanDcute announced the celebration, you could see Geraldine motioning in the background.

Juicy was coming out with the huge cake while everyone sang "Happy Birthday". It was a perilous walk I took many a time with a cake wondering, "What would happen if I fell...?"

I never wore heels, but Juicy did and tumbled against the wall with the cake. She was mortified.

I immediately grabbed the situation in hand and announced that, "If anyone wants cake, they can lick the wall." The moment was not lost on anyone; it was wondrous!

One, lone candle was erected on the defaced cake and we sang like Brits in The Blitz.

Ray's crowd of well-heeled hooligans all turned out, too. I realized in a moment of past glory that, in the absence of Jeremy and his guards, I had come to depend on Ray's squad of rear-guardsmen to defend The Palace. All these guys know how much I adore them for their loyalty.

In the glee of the moment I used my final moments in command to issue an edict to Ray's boys: Take that girly boy named Chanel and haul him off to dance for the crowd.

Neither Chanel nor his buttelicious behind, disappointed the crowd.

Giving up Absolute Power is absolutely difficult.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Southern Florida, known for its blue skies (sometimes even when it's pouring rain)
looked a little more like Los Angeles on a bad day. 911 was inundated with calls as the smoke filtered through ventilation systems and set off alarms. And this "sub-tropical" storm coming from the northwest? Don't expect much, they say.

So, I decided to meet up with Jesse and catch up with his life so far down here. (I know I've been preoccupied with final events of season.)
As usual, Jesse was in fine spirits out in the comforts of Edison Farrow's crowd (we just didn't spend much time in the outdoor garden of The Sanctuary Hotel because of the smoke). He's taking his real estate classes, but having trouble finding his way around. We had warned him of that. Driving is also a problem, a known one that stops many from driving altogether. (The last thing some of these people on the highways drove before that beat up Toyota pick-up was a donkey and cart.) I cautioned patience before running home and reminded him that The Season is over and things will calm down (except for the storms, of course...) Still, he exuded enough hope to allow me to make my way home early and I left him in the handds of some NJB's (Nice Jewish Boys).
Walking down Dade Blvd. in the haze, I really wanted to be wearing a caped coat and Sherlock Holmes hat.

I came home about 4:30 and the sky seemed as clear and brilliant as it had been all day. Several calls came in and I realized I had to visit the crowd at Ditmar's Score. When I stepped out of the house at 6:30 the smell of burning wood was incredible, and it was a distant smell. I ran out and photographed The Flamingo, only six blocks away and it was eveloped in smoke; the whole town was.

Florida was in the vise of a natural pincer movement: Fires from Georgia to the Everglades had broken out and an unusual "sub-tropical" (meaning it probably won't be named Andrea) was head down the east coast eroding the beaches and threatening homes. The great hope is the system pulls over land and puts our the fires and give us a little to drink. Lakes in mid Florida are drastically low or empty.

God knows that tornado in Kansas was a monumental disaster; other areas like ours are just starting to act up. Nature scares me.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Lahoma van Zandt, legendary entertainer of yesteryear, master of the sock puppet, and avid postcard collector is celebrating her birthday with a week of well-wishers flocking to her new digs on Lexington Avenue. She doesn't get out much anymore, but all of us will remember the selfless energy she spent making out nights endless fun. Whether jumping up on the statue of Ghandi for a photo or serving donuts at one of Michael Alig's "outlaw parties" at midnight, she did what she could be make our times together memorable. I wish I could be there; happy birthday.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Misc. Shots of the Week

I was all set to have myself tied to my bed today in order to rest (I have developed a clinical addiction to Wrestling Rooster Women), but was just informed that it was me who moved up Latino "Night" to 4 PM today and it would be the height of untoward behavior to not be there. Oh, well; one more afternoon won't kill me and, although it is not polite either to have a favorite child, everyone knows Ray is mine. We have had in-depth talks this week about how bad it is to give a cop a bloody nose, and Ray knows I cashed in practically all my chips to keep him out of the Big House where he would have been a handmaiden to some big goon and not my pet anymore.

I didn't really figure out what the guy with the bird mask was up to because I long ago stopped questioning erratic and bizarre behavior. Then there was the glitter hula skirt, too, that could have raised an eyebrow in Iowa.

And speaking of exotic birds, Geraldine informed me this morning that she and FernanDcute are performing at the closing party of the Gay and Lesbian Film Festival tonight at Parrot Jungle. Ah, yes, that is what I had promised Carl and Thomas to accompany them to; for the last day or so I have been trying to remember just what I agreed to in some haze this week.
Wrestling Roosters, bird masks, parrot jungles, and flameco lessons for flamingos. There's a link here, somewhere.