"the" Mrs. Astor

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Today we finished Leopoldo's move in with me; The Journey now begins, as he says.

The City is engulfed parties, not surprising since that was always the plan; but both of us are a little tired. Maybe it would serve us well to stay home for once. Maybe I'll get another call asking, "Where ARE you?!!!! Just to be save I'll put on something pretty; you never know.

As the year ends I thank the wonderful friends and customers who are my family here.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Fun times and they continue to build up through the weekend. Meanwhile, Leopoldo continues the move in; he moved into my heart a long time ago, and it is just the period on the sentence now. Last night we got one of the most touching compliments ever. A paralyzed customer who every now and then wheels up with his boyfriend came in and, of course, we all greeted and made him feel like a part of The Family. Queen Cabaret fawned over him as did we. Late in the evening, he put his shaking hand on Leopoldo's wrist and said, "You two make me feel like I have legs." We both cried.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Xmas at La Casa

Every year I have Christmas Eve and day dinner with my housemate, Terry's, family. There's no need to go into details; I am just obligated to attend. They are like any other family you wish would stay home (I managed to excuse myself and go to bed when they started to drunkenly argue politics with Jeremy; Terry turned to Leopoldo and asked, "Do you want to go inside, discuss the latest Gucci line, and have a cookie? We all have our escape hatches). Every year Terry comes up with some new ornament like the disco ball on the front lawn with the spotlight that makes it look as if snow if falling on your home; this year it was this fanciful chandelier.
I had told Leopoldo that he would immediately bond with Terry. How could they not? They are both in the fashion industry, both card-carrying members of the Fashionista Party, and both take up more than their fair share of closet space. But, that's why we love them; they are fun.

Leopoldo's "fun" ring was a ruby with a gold Fleur de Lys on it imported from the mines of the Tsars in The Urals. Well, actually it was by Betsy Johnson, who probably gets it from China. Still, it made quite a statement at The Palace when I entered the ballroom. (Those bitches can be so jealous.)
Mr. Astor made me so happy that magical day but, in fact, he does every day. I stayed over Miami last night to awake at the crack of dawn to start moving the rest of his clothing and art work to my place. The time has come.

And, I would be remiss in not complimenting him on his napkin arrangements. There is a lot of talent in that man.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The price of my favorite drink at The Palace, a Stoli Blueberry and soda: $8.00
The price of another favorite, Gnoocchi and Gorgonzola at The Palace: $13.00
The price of spending Christmas with Leopoldo and Henrietta at The Palace: Priceless
So ended the magical Christmas. A ride on the new bike, a holiday luncheon by the pool followed by an afternoon with Henrietta, Mr. Astor, and many, many friends. It was about 75 degrees and simply gorgeous, tropical weather (and I had a stunning new outfit given to me by my baby). It doesn't get much nicer than that day and I am grateful to have finally reached this point of happiness.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Royalty Arrives

OMG!!! I'm all excited. I just received a call from Henrietta asking if I would be at The Palace at five. I replied, "I will be anywhere you want, at any time." She said, "I have something special for you." I am AGOG; what a magical day this is.

Wow. The parties have been raging for a week and it really doesn't start until tonight when shopping and family are quickly disposed of and drinking and dancing on table tops return with a vengeance. Tonight is Miss Jackie Wilson's birthday party at The Palace; that very, very special woman will bring some of the most interesting characters out.

I'm embarrassed and shocked by the avalanche of Christmas presents showered on me by Mr. Astor: two rings (one serious, one fun), Versace glasses, a white leather wallet, shoes, a belt to match, numerous articles of clothing, and--the killer--a new bike. I had already told him that waking up next to him every day was enough to make me happy, but he is, of course, a shopper of notoriety.
I got this gem from one of our most adored customers, David Lee Johnson. A more charming and gracious gentleman would be hard to find, and he is a avid photographer who has supplied us with wonderful videos of the madcap activity at The Palace. When I see his ever-smiling face I have a warm feeling flush through me; sort of like when I see Leopoldo enter the ballroom or know Jeremy and Riley are coming to visit. I feel very blessed with the friends I have.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Peace In Our Time

The gracious apology from Newport is totally accepted. du Barry agrees not to invade Worcester and I agree to not invade lower Alabama. It was all so silly, anyway; we all like dressing up every now and then. I've always said that if all the members of the United Nations put on dresses and picture hats that there couldn't be any wars. So--in a way--I contribute to Peace in the World every time I don a short, sexy number. Do I hear Nobel Peace Price?

Friday, December 21, 2007

du Barry Has Some Nerve!

The cable that came today read:
"Doll, When is enough....... I know Mr. Astor loves you in drag but you have gone to far. There will be a meeting of the Countesses in Lenox Trancelchusettes To further discuss this mater. A decision will be send to all Parties by the New Year.......Countess du Barry". She is undoubtedly hitting the cooking sherry again, no doubt put up to such shenanigans by her partner in crime, Bedelia. Not only do I have a dossier on du Barry's long, long history of drag (albeit most for charity), but most of them are not very pretty; the Council of Countesses would be very amused. And that other witch from Trannsylchusetts can't stop performing jungle dances in rustic taverns long enough to take care of Castle Bedelia and her subjects who are rumored to have raided her wine cellar.

When I dress in public, it is to increase business and enjoyment. Making Mr. Astor happy is just a nice side line. They must be both hitting the bottle. NO ONE antagonizes The Great Southern Court at the start of winter; it's going to be a long, hard winter up there this year.

In any event, here are more pictures of our friends, who are one amazingly loyal group of guys and gals.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Christmas at The Palace

How can you NOT get that warm, holiday feeling when you are wearing Ferragamo heels, clutching a Gucci purse, and wearing a cashmere mini-dress while pretending to actually like that middle class Christmas tree? Yes, there's a war going on and the economy is about to slip into the abyss; but, I spotted a table-top over there that will be just glorious to dance on as everything goes down. Thank God, that purse was filled with drink tickets; it just would be Christmas without them.
Good friends gathered, toasted, watched the drag shows, drank some more, and solidified the the fact that we are the most fun venue in town.

I was glad to contribute to the fun of the evening, here with Stephen and le Compte la Mot. Tonight everyone was asking for another appearance; that is just not possible. (Well, it is; especially when Mr. Astor likes it so much. We live in a wonderfully complicated world.)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Well, I'm as ready as I ever will be for tonight; I practiced so much and got Mr. Astor so horny I should be locked away with Mrs. Stuyvesant-Fish. But, it was fun. If I survive tonight's performance I make a solemn pledge never, ever to go in drag in public again. In the privacy of my home, yes, but never in public.

There are other matters, too, in the up-coming days. Barker's final fund-raiser this Friday at Score should put us over the top in the monies needed to keep that wonderful organization going. The next week will be hellish. On Christmas night we will host the birthday party of Miss Jackie Wilson, a charming queen entertaining now and then. Geraldine will host a Locals' Night on the 26th and Juicy's bingo will mark the resumption of Lesbian Nights on Thursdays. On Friday the 27th we will host the last "Turnabout" night of the year (oh, dear; what did I say about not getting into a dress again--in fact I tried it on last night: Natasha, from Boris and Natasha, I think was the theme. Oh, my.) On Saturday the 28 we will host a "Best In Show" for every one's pets and Sunday will be a disco party called "Last Dance".

If there's anything left to us, we will celebrate New Year's Eve with a great seating of all our Palace friends. Then I will fall into the arms of my Latin lover, Leopoldo, and sleep...at least for a few hours. On New Years Day we REALLY start the party.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I'm sitting here, during a sort of break, wearing a red cashmere mini-dress, long, black satin gloves, a girdle, a blond wig, and Ferragamo satin, rhinestone high heels "rehearsing" for tomorrow night's premiere of "Burghie, The Duchess of Pork". Leopoldo adores me in a dress and high heels; what you do for love... I don't know how this happened, but it sure is fun.

Monday, December 17, 2007

I passed this thing on the way to the bank this morning and thought, "Is that a Tiki Hut?" Later, I got a grip and realized that I was way out of touch, as usual. Leopoldo--My Mr. Astor--posed under my mistaken "hut"; he could have made it anything he wanted for me.

It is the time of endless parties, and no matter how you try to put yourself above it all, you will find yourself sucked in to the abyss. I made a very special exception to the NO PARTIES edict for Captain Marc of the Poles. Firstly, I have always adored Poles; secondly, Marc is one of the most gracious gentlemen in town. Mr. Astor and I would have scaled fences to attend his party.

Again and again, the forces of Queen Cabaret propel our nights into a realm most never expect or experienced. I, for one, stand proud that we have a cabaret like them. Tonight we are joining Captain Jeremy to attend the grand holiday party of the great Thomas Barker; then we attend the Twist benefit for The South Beach Aids Project. It never ends.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

We could have torn up the town last night, since today is one of Mr. Astor's rare Sunday's off, but we didn't. We went to Twist where Carl was vocalizing his concern about being thrown out of The Palace while attending a drunken hazing by the owners and I piped up that I had been thrown out of Twist on a New Years Eve years ago and Scottie threw in his two cents about being thrown out of The Deuce. THAT'S quite the topping as The Deuce is the biggest, dirtiest dive in town.

I did get to see Juicy P. perform in a couture black, beaded gown that Leopoldo designed and made years ago in San Francisco; it gave me a warm feeling to see art being relived. We are going downtown today to buy fabric for the Burgie number. There seems no way Leopoldo will allow me not to perform "Clumsy" for him at the Christmas party; I've been practicing for him privately and that only seems to make him hungrier to see me in heels again. A woman, even one of such social magnitude as myself, has to do what she needs to in order to keep her man happy. Late last night we attended the Christmas party of Captain Marc of the Poles; there were so many elegant lesbians there I thought I was at the launch of She Magazine.

We will arrive at The Palace in winter white early evening wear today at 5 PM. It is no time to be laid back; Season is about to begin.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Mr. Astor

Home and safe (not padlocked-in like Mrs. Stuyvesant-Fish) on a Saturday afternoon means only one thing: Mr. Astor is working and I will wait for him before going out; there's no sense, otherwise, if I'm going to have fun. Mr. Astor paints my face with long-forgotten smiles and leads me in crowd-pleasing dances. He inspires me to look at flowers, and I spent an inordinate amount of time watching flocks of wild parrots circle Lincoln Road an hour ago, thinking of him. He now dresses me; as he said, "You can't look anything but The Best". He comforts me during my periodic panic attacks and calls my office every morning to make sure I took my vitamins. I seriously judge evey need to leave the house without him; yet, he is the best cheerleader for my hectic social schedule if he is not able to attend.
He is the best thing that ever happened to me.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Times flies, especially after a weekend like last and then Mr. Astor having two days off in a row. I don't know which took more energy, but I know both were equally wonderful. Much is the same, though...

...the rainbow flag is still raised every day and, oddly, we are the only business I know flying one in such a gay town. The City once tried to make us take it down and we fought them. Then Commissioner Gross stood up at a commission meeting and asked, "Don't we have better things to do? Let them keep their flag" and passed an ordinance allowing The Palace their flag.

Good times; good friends.

The patio still raged with fun.

New York friend, David, and Leopoldo's co-worker, Jimmy enjoying a Saturday drag show; boy gone wild.

Some said, "It just ain't right" regarding Tiffany's first outfit. I said, "Just are too little sequins and too much booty."

Queen Cabaret continues to entertain our crowd with their outrageous shows and look.

...and just in case you were wondering where Sally Jesse Raphael was.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Artist Jaume Plensa's crouching man--our gazebo--came down today. We had all hopef it would become permanent; alas. For one week it attracted attention and invited glee. And, of course, it wasn't made of wood, but of cast steel clamped together. Perhaps I should have actually touched it that first night, but I've never been a fan of reality anyway. A gazebo is wooden.
Jeremy and Drew joined me for one, last "ride" on the gazebo.

We all tried to figure out some hidden message, get one of our computer nerds to load in every letter, and make something out of it. In the end, our glasses became empty and more pressing needs had to be attended to. It will always be an astounding memory.

As we left, Drew point out that if you stood at the opening and looked up it was really Dolly Parton; it was hard to argue that point and made no point to do so

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Team Palace (me, Carlos, Alberto,and Ray) turned out the crowd yesterday and by 8 PM Thomas Barker was over the $8,000 mark--half of the goal of $15,000 by December 21. It didn't hurt that people like my housemate, Terry Z, didn't go boating and instead threw in $500 to the effort; everyone who attended that Saturday afternoon love fest should pat themselves on the shoulder for being so good and generous. Mr. Astor works all day today, and I am taking the day of madness off. (I think).

I have to rehearse my new act--thought up in a haze--: Burghie, The Duchess of Pork.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

The lights have dimmed (well, not at 4 PM; but we can imagine). The audience is hush (well, not really; not with that much liquor). And the curtain is about to go up. That's true. The fund-raiser is about to begin, and the loyal, well-heeled crowd of The Palace are stepping out of their carriages now. Satin slippers and silk caped are gracefully gliding up the staircase. Gloved hands whisperly wave and curls are toyed with.

Another show is about to begin.

Friday, December 07, 2007

The South Beach AIDS Project is in trouble. Unlike other organizations, SoBAP doesn't give fancy-dress balls and have celebrities appearing at black tie functions; they just give free help to those in need. Unlike other "charities", they don't pay themselves handsomely, attend foreign conferences, or buy themselves mahogany desks; they have an unpretentious office on Washington Avenue above a juice store. So, when a group like that finds themselves in a financial bind the best thing to do is call, who else? Thomas Barker.

The indefatigable Barker took up the call for help and gathered the town's clubs together for a fund-raiser. Good ol' Barker; he's transformed from a paid party monster to one of the most effective fund-raisers around.

Tomorrow, The Palace leads off the effort with benefit drag shows and pledges and money has already started to flow in from mine and Barker's requests. The Great Northern Court of The Countess Bedelia has even opend its treasury already and many members of our court have stepped forward, including the girls, who are donating their tips. We are all aware how tiring the mayoral campaign was, but now is not the time to rest; and--as I have seen before--The Palace patrons always seem to come through. They, more than anyone, know how fortunate we all are to live this splendid life in paradise and now's the time to be a little thoughtful of others.

In other words, Be Ready To Open Those Purses.

It is very, very late after a marathon bingo night. We met a gentleman with homes in Miami Beach, New York City, Puerto Vaaharta, Boston, and Las Vegas. His "business" was in Vegas and his mother in Hew York. We had a riotous three hours together after bingo and prompted Leopoldo to remark about something I've always noted: The Palace is a social place with a great interaction of society, gay and otherwise. It is all about fun, gossip, and drinking. Not necessarily in that order.
Entertainers can be such a threat; they exude beauty and glamour and are only after one thing.
Carlos interviewed Mr. Astor for a fashion interview with Spanish TV; unfortunately I couldn't understand a word, but I did figure out they were talking Mrs. Stuyvesant-Fish and her lack of clothing on that Sunday so soon gone by. I thought all the drama had left our lives...

...until I awoke yesterday to find that our mysterious neighbors (sometimes speaking Russian, sometimes Portuguese, sometimes Spanish) have started to paint their elegant, 1925 home turquoise. I have nothing against turquoise inside a home--my living room is (prompting one way once to remark, "Ah; Queen Victoria meets Key West")--but on the outside, I say, "No, no, no...). Alas, they frighten me too much to complain; have you ever made the Russian Mafia mad?

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

It's late and we just got back from a very fine evening at The Palace given by Carlos for the locals. Leopoldo commented about how such an evening is fueled by gossip; I say, "What else is a locals' party for?"
If it's December, it is time for evening dinner parties by the pool. Throughout summer and fall it is very difficult to enjoy yourself here for any length of time because of the humidity, mosquitos, and rain. Come late November that all ends and the nights are glorious for party-giving. Here, some of the guests to meet Ditmar's new boyfriend from New York gather by the sweet little cottage, poolside, in back of the main house.
Ditmar's property is one of those rare parcels that is two lots of land; the back yard is full of paths leading to private sitting areas, dining alcoves, and--of course--the pool area. It was warm enough for some to even go into the pool at ten PM.

Papa was dancing with a talking skeleton purchased in Austria; perhaps this is a product of the rather cynical attitude of the Austrians, but it was fun. The skeleton talked throughout the performance uttering things like, "I used to be beautiful" and "Life just keeps dragging on". But, my favorite part of it all was this photo of her bony hand on Papa's crotch; Mama was serving slices of ice cream log at that point.