"the" Mrs. Astor

Monday, July 30, 2007

But, we ahhhh like that....

God help us.

Just about everyone showed up for Scottie's playing of What Ever Happened To Baby Jane? and I fought off the calls to "dress the part". It was also the end of a 36 hour pairing of Leopoldo and myself. We needed to see if we really liked what the other was about, because we are opposite in so many ways. That, of course, works wonders some times and this is one of them. I dress conservatively and he is a fashion plate, so I bow to him. He is shy and sweet, while I eagerly greet the barbarians at the gates. We like to touch each other in ways that are not necessarily noticeable. We have learned to thrive on our differences and I mean THRIVE. Niether one of us ever thought this possible: that I would nod off on his shoulder during Baby Jane and have that viperous Gaysian, Connie Chung, take a photo of that (she so bad). And, of course, never, ever has there been universal approval of someone who wanted to be close to me by the very people who are close to me, but there is. I am a lucky person, always have been; but this time it is truly incredible. I bow again to him.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Although the A/C is fixed, this is what FernanDcute looked and felt like the other night.

As soon as Leopoldo arrived we took off on a club spree. First to Score to meet up with Thomas Barker and Carl of The Wire. At one point the new, straight (?) bartender delivered a quote from Auntie Mame; I shot back, "Auntie Mame says an olive takes up so much space in such a small glass" as he handed a martini to documentary maker and long-time South Beach resident, Andrew delle Plaine, and HE began the avalanche as everyone jumped in. When I told Andrew of our Mame party last Sunday, thoroughly drunk and animated, he shouted, "You and I will start a yearly Auntie Mame convention in South Beach!"

From there we hopped down to The Palace. At the end of one number, a fragile Geraldine finished her act and asked at this point what she looked like and one bitch yelled out, "A bunch of Kleenex." I ordered her immediate execution until I realized it was Tiffany in his other side as Henry. You don't eliminate talent like that.

Juicy had just finished a great bingo night where all the prizes were bags of sex toys; many were traded like playing cards or used immediately. Then the two of us flew off to Pasha for dinner before joining more of the gang at Halo.

Riley was going on and on about how there had been a handsome guy who--although not a midget-- was delightfully small enough for Riley to "tower over". So Leopoldo squatted down in back of him, but only seemed to get eyeball to eyeball.

Carlos, however, found a way to make Riley tower over him and Riley was very happy, indeed.
We live for silliness.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

It was Christmas in July last night, and even though it was about 85 degrees at 9 PM, we all joined in decorating. Of course, Ditmar drew on his own collection of classical wreaths and ornaments...

...and the front bar was a little more kooky and modern. But it was hot. This may have been the reason for Mrs. Stuyvesant-Fish's manic behavior. Having been away for eight days having God-knows-what done to her, she bounced into the party and immediately started with the "lemonades". After the tenth or so, I had to have her carried out; you do not threaten to call Immigration on Santa, no matter how great your social standing or money. (I doubt she will even remember, but I have a scandalous photo of it locked in a vault.) And I sent a polite note to her handlers to perhaps use titanium wrist restraints this time, like the one used by Carl Denim on the original King Kong.
A wise electrician told me years ago that air conditioners and refrigeration units of all types start to fail in mid-July, and so it was with us. It took days just to get someone to come and look at it, and shortly after it hit 91 in my office (while on the phone with all these companies) I had the first of two "spells", and not the magical type. At the second several customers jumped into action and put ice on the back of my neck and rubbed orange peels on the palms of my hands and wrists. These guys are the best. A glass of sugar and water got me on my way home. Summer in Miami; it can be deadly.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

I am devastated to learn from Leanne, a witch of The Salem Coven, of the passing of Shawn Poirier. I revisit a message I have always treasured from him:

This is what I awoke to today:At 2:59 AM, Shawn Poirier said...Greetings all, Myself and another Salem Witch are proud to say we actually had the Honor of meeting Mrs. Astor for an evening of decadent drinks and wicked conversation. It was a pure pleasure! Like a wicked autumn carnival. ( or should I say carnival of souls) the conversation hit with tilt a whirl camaraderie. With speed our conversation spun from the polite "first meet" chat which roller coasted into dizzying chatter, spiced up with words like, spell casting, Necromancy, "I would like a tequila shot with that," drag, nudity, and "Don't worry the bleeding with stop soon." Of course meeting Mrs. Astor was definitely the big E ticket experience! All in all meeting Alexis was the highlight of the evening. ( However the humpy beefy dancers in another local night spot did prove to be stiff competition!) Be that as it may, beauty won out over brute brawn. One of my witches and myself took the spent evenings "fun tally." The judgment ....One can see hunky dancers anywhere, but there is only ONE Mrs. Astor and she is in Miami. Thanks Mrs. Astor for making myself and the Salem Witches feel so very welcomed in Miami! Bette Midler has nothing on you! I hope to see you and your court in Salem for the Official Salem Witches Halloween Ball held this year at the Historic Hawthorne Hotel. Blessing to you all. I have to go for now, as the winged monkeys need to be fed. Shawn Poirier High Priest of the Salem Witches and new friend of the fabulous Mrs. Astor! For all the Halloween fun in Salem check out... www.witchesofsalem.com and www.festivalofthedead.com What will I wear to the ball? I threw out the Bathory gown just this year..... (Hmmm. I have to dig up THOSE photos.)

(Good Lord, be good to Shawn.)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

In My World....

..which amatuer go-go boys compete for attention...
...where gospel singers spin their words of faith on the street...

...and glamorous caffe singers dance on a railing...

...and I am likely to run acros a runaway bride...

...and drag queens seem to rule my life...

...and old friends pop up out of nowhere...

...and the sidewalk will become a surreal mockery of life...

...and the weekends ends with an "Auntie Mame" party amongst the closest of friends...

...I find peace in the arms of an angel from Mexico City, someone I ran into be accident, someone who has apparently saved me from the madness of this life I lead...

Monday, July 23, 2007

Maybe it was the calamitous thunderstorm that put me to sleep and made me rush for my date with Leopoldo. Or perhaps it was my stunning afternoon tea gown with a triple rope of pearls. It could have been the gracious courtiers surrounding him when I breezed into the room and snuck up behind him with a hug, as they gracefully smiled and all-knowingly nodded. But, really, it had to been Scottie's "Auntie Mame" party thrown at his bar at Twist. "Auntie Mame" not only is the cinema's bible to gay people, but probably has assisted more boys in coming out than the Catholic church.

Anyway, when we parted this morning to our respective jobs, Leopoldo said that we were now official boyfriends. I don't know that any dispensation came down from anywhere but that movie.

So, I put the blame on Mame.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Of course, last night was important to me for reasons other than bingo or birthdays. It was my formal introduction to Court of my new consort, Leopoldo. The entire Court bowed, curtsied, and gushed as this extravagantly handsome man was presented to one member after another. (Wearing vintage Versace to a Court introduction can never hurt in this town, especially when Versace's mansion is two doors down Ocean Drive. Smart move, my friend.)

I once wrote about believing in omens, like the day I opened the gate to La Casa and a swarm of yellow butterflies circled my head. Bingo was packed and there was not a table or bar space available. In the very first game, Leopoldo won and came away with a bottle of champagne. After getting his card validated he returned to the bar and we both looked at each other and said, "This is a good sign".

Every woman (and I suspect most of the men) were captivated. Later there developed and intense competition; not for Leopoldo (no one would be foolish enough to try that), but for his twin, gay brother. I don't exaggerate when I predict there will be duels for his twin.

He also brought friends of his to participate in a night of particular frenzy. Between the bingo in the front and the birthday in the back, at some point a lesbian became fascinated by Riley's nipple rings and started sucking them. Yes, right in the middle of the ballroom. Oddly, Riley didn't seem to mind.

It was a magical evening that went on until the manager had to lock the doors to stop any more people from entering.

Tonight, despite Queen Cabaret performing, I must stay home and rest. I must.

D-Bar officially opened with great fanfare for Ditmar's birthday party.
He is supremely proud of his signature room decorated like a parlor from the last days of The Hapsburg Empire.

It was a Ditmar night: everything was colored red, a sort of victory color for someone who has fought long and hard to get what he always wanted: His Own Bar. As expected the crowd was supremely eclectic, wildly amusing, and just way out there. It looks like it was the watershed moment he had been hoping for, because D-Bar had never formally opened until last night.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Come-Back Kid of South Beach, celebrity bartender Ditmar Perner, will be honored tonight to celebrate his birthday.

The night should be interesting. Ditmar's bar will be a crush of South Beach luminaries and the front bar will be filled with crazed bingo players as it is Juicy's bingo night. Maybe if I look harder I'll find a small storage room with Lesbian fortune tellers, Wonder woman in the meat locker, or a broom closet with an accordionist. It never stops to amaze me what I can run into. Plus tonight will be Leopoldo's formal introduction to Society (or should I say from Society). Whatever; that evil Mrs. Stuyvesant-Fish better not be up to any hijinks tonight.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

What is is about all these birthdays, one after another. Are they "winter babies", the product of cold nights after watching Johnny Carson?
There's been a general run on birthday cakes lately; it is our Henry P's (lower right) birthday today and his gigantic ice cream cake arrived late this afternoon. There are not many dedicated souls like Henry, who devotes most all his time to Aids charities. He's always been part of The Palace family, even though he doesn't work here any longer; but once a member, always one and the party will start at 7PM.
Tomorrow's is Ditmar's birthday party and there's another Saturday; I swear: If heterosexuals don't stop formicating in winter and simply just go to San Juan or something, I'll have to take the summer off.
(And I kept a big secret: I had a real, formal, "date" with Leopoldo last night who--since his car is being fixed--pedaled his Schwinn from Miami and over the Venetian Causeway for it. It was sublime. Tomorrow he will be presented at Court during the birthday celebration. Everyone who has met him so far has gushed and offered wonderful compliments; and for good reason.)

The Herald does come out with some fine tidbits now and then, particularly these two slide shows: South Beach, Then and Now and Club Life, Then and Now. I won't bother to mention how many of the characters I know in the second one.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Mrs. (Mamie) Stuyvestant-Fish clearly was not to allow me total social supremacy this weekend; she was out from Friday afternoon until whenever her "handlers" finally corralled her back into her rich pen. She corrected me on her drink of choice now; it is the Palace Lemonade--a concoction so lethal that it rumored to have brought down The Hindenburg.

In the meantime, I met a wonderful guy from Mexico City, named Leopoldo. I literally bumped into him and began a conversation that seems to have embroiled to something much more. He is not one of these "kids" I meet all the time; he's 45 and gorgeous. Who could have guessed?

Saturday, July 14, 2007

The Asian pop star last night was none other than Mothra, herself. As The Only True God, she flew around the room shedding good fortune.

Unfortunately, both Connie and I were so exhausted (drunk) that we couldn't participate in the ritual singing of the Mothra Song. We both ended up face down in the pillows. Mothra contacted me through telepathy today to say she understood and forgave us, and that, as long as it was for a Gaysian, she was proud to have been of service.

All hail Mothra, The Only True God.

Friday, July 13, 2007

I'm rushing like a mad woman to get to The Palace by eight to begin the celebration of our favorite Gaysian, Connie Chung. I've invited everyone who has a camera or computer problem to bring it to be fixed, and--if not--at least the laundry. We love Connie, I have hired one of the most famous Asian pop stars to attend in her honor. I'd tell you who it was, but then I'd have to kill you. More at eleven.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Well, what do you know; we just played the first game and it was not only more fun than we hoped, but I turned out to be right about the horizontal, vertical, diagonal play of bingo. So there; during the break I'm playing strip chinese checkers with Connie Chung.

I offered to return to The Palace tonight to help acclimate Juicy P. to the set-up and get things rolling, so to speak. I went all out and bought the deluxe, rubber-coated (sea air, you know) bingo cage. My lack of knowledge was eagerly pointed out last night by the pit of vipers called my friends. Someone asked a question about the cards, four of which you get for every drink purchased, and I said something like, "Oh, the numbers are called out and, if you get them in a row vertically, horizontally, or diagonally, you win." "THAT'S TIC-TAC-TOE", came the screams of laughter. Right, you fill the card.

So, pardon me, but I consider bingo the same type of pedestrian sport as bowling and karaoke. I don't know the rules because I don't want to know the rules. I do however like drag queens, and anything I can do for one makes me a lot happier that rolling a ball down an alley to knock over wooden sticks. Well, unless it's a Latino bowling league; maybe then....maybe.

Mrs. Stuyvesant-Fish popped in this afternoon to say she was fine and that she was taking it easy during this heatwave. She had just come from her doctor's who has one of these huge offices with a hundred employees, but the most amazing one described to me was the black tranny serving coffee, soda, and towelettes to the waiting guests. When Mamie got in to see her doctor, she asked, "And, just what is up with the hostess?" "Isn't she fabulous?", the doctor replied. Well, Mamie's high blood pressure is under control (she assured me after the tenth margarita) but she's taken to her bed to avoid the heat. This leaves me socially unchallenged, but--as Riley can attest--I've only ever wielded power for the good of mankind. Well, not all of mankind, just a tiny portion of it usually named Juan or Carlos or Miguel.

Well, off to bingo; I never thought those words would ever come out of me. It will be exciting, though, to see what happens when "69" is called out.

(Actually, I was proven right; it is a line of matching numbers. Those stupid friends; they are as lost as myself in this new realm.)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Ray's working tonight!!!!!

I just got out of a pool that was 91 degrees; now I know why the jaded people in this town have ice delivered for the pool. And, it was to be a restful evening, until I learned that Carlos switched with Ray to let him work the night.

That is a generous move on the part of Carlos, but a calculated one. He, like me, thinks this will open the night to Ray's friends, who ordinarily work during the day and can only come between 5 and 6, the time he gets off. 'It's a selfless gesture that may be good for the business in general, and fun for everyone else. Naturally, I will have to re-think my night, find a nice, preppy outfit (they love that), and stuff my pocketbook full of money (they like that, too). I am going to bring the carriage under Mrs. Stuyvesant-Fish's window, have her throw down a pillowcase full of cash into the seat next to me, and coax the dear lady to jump in, whereupon the four-in-hand will dash to The Palace and what awaits. Quiet night....as if there ever was one on South Beach.

I If it's Tuesday, there must be a Martini Night being given somewhere by Edison Farrow, and last night's was appropriately at Halo. A true professional and one of the most gracious hosts around, Edison greets everyone upon arrival. There still are people out there who do things the right way.

The night's special martini was one made with crushed basil and cucumber and--of course--a lot of vodka. At first it was unusual, but some grew on me, well enough to have three more. Now I can skip that daily salad today.

There were some faces from the old days of South Beach like Merle Wiess. She owned some wonderful stores before the greedy landlords who own this city forced them all out. Merle and her husband go out more than any couple in Miami, maybe even the Eastern Seaboard. They are fun.

Halo's walls subtly change colors through the course of the evening. It is all very modern, clean, and new.

Tiffany and I were chuckling about the thoroughly modern way of making sure a ruffie isn't slipped into a drink.

When he came back Kevin giggled, too, and said, "You just can't take any chances these days."

As soon as a place crowds up, my inner alarm goes off...

...and I left Jesse to his own devices. I hope he kept that look going. THAT look can get you something; the "gee whiz" one holds little water in this town.
Thanks Edison and Jason for a fun night and a martini that can legally fill in for a salad at lunch.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Few people can carry it off as well as he can; fewer people can make so many comebacks. It's like trying to stop a Panzer tank with a broom.

But, today is Ditmar's birthday, and he looks great at sixty three. A long stream of well-wishers filed into his D-Bar today even though the official birthday party won't be announced until tomorrow, when Southern Wine and Spirits unveils the invitation. I love formalities like that, because it is so like The Queen of England: there is the actual birthday and there is the official one. In the end, there's not much difference between the two of them, except Elizabeth would never were a white Speedo on a Saturday afternoon without pearls.

We had so many margaritas that it made me wonder where Mrs. Stuyvesant-Fish has been. The last I saw of the dear lady, she was hiding a silver butter knife up her gloves in order to cut through her arm restraints at "the home". I may have to order a rescue mission.

D-Bar has taken on the decor of something between your Aunt Sadie's parlor and a whorehouse, which fits right in with most of our lifestyles (at least those of us fortunate enough to afford luxuries like that). It's not easy being cheap on South Beach.

Halo was a welcomed haven from the outrageous heat on Sunday. They offered Happy Hour drinks between 3 and 6; to the best of my knowledge (and it is vast where drinking in concerned), only Twist offers that on a weekend and the difference between the two is literally like night and day. Twist is dark and cool, and there is a crowd which likes that; Halo is bright, airy, and cool. Halo's staff is very professional, brought down from Washington and recruited from Ft. Lauderdale. Before Ray started his Latino nights, we used to sit outside Score on Sundays, but Halo's A/C will counter that.
The manager asked by what type of crowd they should expect and I replied that it was the crowd that does not often go out; I call it The Edison Crowd: professional gay men and women, very well off, but not inclined to go out all the time or be hot and bothered. When Edison snaps his fingers they appear; otherwise you never see them. This was evident on Saturday night.

So I had a sun-filled, cool Sunday afternoon with the likes of Riley, Barker, and others. My big question: will the Latinos go there? Without them, life would not be worth living.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Carlos always goes above and beyond the call of duty to make a day special. 7-7-7 was no exception; he hosted a remarkable afternoon of drag shows, drink specials, and good time. There are very few like him.
But, the night belonged to Halo. It's grand opening was, indeed, grand. It was packed with every gay person in town, male or female; and it was a very well-heeled crowd. A branch of the same bar that is extremely popular in Washington, DC, it fought through the usual battles City Hall initiates and succeeded in making a usually jaded crowd say, "Wow". Good for them; they will be a welcomed addition to the family. In fact, since Ray had been put off the schedule today and, hence, his following won't be at The Palace today, I sent this message to The Court: "A Council of the Grand Order of the Established Nobility will be held today at Halo at 4 PM".

Saturday, July 07, 2007

City Hall is just two blocks from La Casa Astor, but the mayoral race is really heating up a half mile up Alton Road. No, Commissioner Bower did not make a sassy remark about how Commissioner Cruz seems to have lined up all the greedy developers behind him. And Cruz, who's way too above greeting the gay voters of this city, did not call Bower a fag hag.

Bill Smatt, alternately called a lunatic and bigoted and despicable by his neighbors, entered the race with great flair by announcing his run for mayor and hoisting a banner that reads, "God created Adam + Eve, not Adam + Steve." Catchy, isn't it? He also was quoted by the teaming press as saying, Miami Beach is communism," Smatt said.
When pressed as to whether he meant Miami Beach is a communist city, he replied, "Sure it is."

The City wasted not a moment to send city inspectors to issue summons (five by now) to take down the banner or be fined. Local channel 10 reported: " 'I promise you, when I become mayor, we're going to clean up all this funny business going on down there,' mayoral candidate Bill Smatt said about the large presence of gay and lesbians who find South Beach a welcoming place to live, work and party." (Thanks, Channel 10)

My favorite part of all the articles: the subtle way The Herald gave his address out to the community, 4760 Alton Rd. So that's Bill Smatt, 4760 Alton Rd, Miami Beach, FL 33140. So, if you want to send a contribution, or anything else, there it is as reported by The Miami Herald. (That paper does some good work, every now and then). OH, and by the way Mr. Smatt, it's one thing alienating the gay vote in a town with such a large proportion of them, but just what were you thinking when you mention the "C" word? Yes, Communist. Now, you've lost the Cuban vote. Let's see.....what do you think of Jews?