"the" Mrs. Astor

Sunday, January 27, 2008

When you live on South Beach you must be ready for anything, especially of the visual nature. Sometimes, though, you can be caught off guard.

As I was preparing for the annual Dachshund Winter fest on Saturday morning these two lovely, young draq queens stopped in with their boyfriends. Things like this cause me endless happiness, particularly when it happens at 11 AM in the morning. Society pillars like Mrs. Stuyvesant-Fish and the upwardly mobile Baroness Seitzinger would undoubtedly have been appalled that such outfits were being brandished so early. The tots had driven down from Tampa to parade around town and no doubt raise eyebrows amongst the highbrows. All great fun, and I ran into them several times at the dog fest.
I heeded the warning.

And, what can we say about the purse one of them carried? A little edgy and perfect for a serial killer trannie, it still seemed perfect--even before noon.

Friday, January 25, 2008

I've been totally absorbed by the enormity of the dog attack on Ramon to really focus on much else; I brought back KiKi to his household because I knew Ramon wanted his company in a time of need (not because I thought it was best for the two of them). But, then, I--as the great controller--have lost control.

As always--in a time of trouble--one seeks a refuge, often totally removed from reality. So, Mr. Astor accompanied me to bingo tonight; he's been a soothing support through all of this. Tonight, our great, wonderful friend, Frankie, won the first bag of sex toys. He traded the bag--containing a tongue-ring dildo, a cock ring made out of sweet tarts, and a rather other-worldly penis cover/tittilator with a tourist woman for four drinks. (We all have our price.)
Juicy worked the crowd with a country/Madonna look.

She was great.
Jaimie and Frankie took off on their scooters at the end of the night. We took off back to our house, having had a fantastic time laughing--the most important element in saving yourself from reality. I hate reality.

Friday, January 18, 2008

The King is Back

Many would have run at this sight; was it a wild wolf, so common on South Beach, or a baby polar bear about to charge at you for that Coca Cola in your hand?

No, it was just KiKi playing hide-and-seek in his old stomping ground.

I engineered a rescue mission to take him from the confusing and lonely situation he was in and, after sniffing around a little, he settled back into a life he remembered very well. (We just shared some spinach and artichoke dip from Epicure while his meatloaf--and ours--bakes.) Everyone who's ever encountered KiKi knows his knack for snarling and snapping, exhibiting an attitude much larger than his portly, little frame. Yet, he took to Leopoldo immediately, kissing his hand and engaging him in a noble bow; when I left for the office this morning he howled at the door for a few minutes until Mr. Astor took him into his arms and hugged him. I now have the two most important beings in my life next to me--for a little while.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

On Friday the 31st Art Deco Weekend begins with this year's event themed around Broadway musicals of the 30's and 40's and entitled "Anything Goes". There was never a more appropriate title for a South Beach party.

This year's new treat is "an interactive performance station" where anyone can sing their favorite Broadway song and be given a DVD of it; I can only imagine how difficult it will be to get Matty May off the stage, or Andy for that matter. After about fifteen Kettleone's even Jeremy might be inclined to sing "Annie" and Mrs. Stuyvesant-Fish and I will sing "Buxom Buddies". I can't picture Riley singing, but as a star tap dancer in his childhood we expect him to be gliding across the stage like Nancy Kerrigan across ice. We'll put them all together on a DVD which will outsell the one of The Countess's native dances, currently the hottest in the Berkshires.

Ocean Drive will be closed for three days of fun, more circus than history, but fun. If it doesn't rain, that is; Art Deco Weekend is cursed in that way, so they move it every year in the thought that they can fool Mother Nature. We'll see; I can hear Riley's taps now, rain or shine.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

I had thought the ship of state would be sailing a calm and steady course after the holidays. Leopoldo and I celebrated our six month anniversary yesterday, a great number of events were being planned in a coordinated manner for once, and--well--things looked great. Then two days ago, Ramon (the "ex" with whom we shared a generally good relationship and finally had secured a great job) was mauled by a pit bull allowed to run loose in Flamingo Park. What infuriates me is that those dogs are illegal here and, yet, owners are allowed to walk them around and even set them loose. The authorities here will maniacally obsess about how you place your chairs or planters, how loud your music is even at 6 PM, but won't protect the population against unlawful attack dogs kept as pets.
So, in between going back and forth to the hospital I am now the nanny again to Lucy and KiKi. The poor things; they know something bad has happened. I can see it in their eyes.

The the old man himself, the Great KiKi, still chugs alongs at 18 years of age. He always has kisses ready for me.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

A relatively quiet week ended in drama, everywhere; but this is South Beach. Would you expect anything else? Ditmar was fired for the twentieth time today and his bar pad-locked; a bit dramatic, but this is South Beach. As far as that story goes, I can only say: How many times can you attend La Traviata and NOT know that Violetta is going to die in the end.

But the biggest story to grab this town by the throat was reported to me early this afternoon by my fellow member of The Silver Fox Club, Michael, who has worked on the super-exclusive Fisher Island for many years. The scoop was that the uber-rich, New York lawyer, Jim Ferraro had caused the scandal of the decade--at least on that stratified island. Ferraro had reportedly paid nearly $300,000 (The Herald reported $100,000, but I believe the people who work there) for his wedding to his Cuban, Va-Va-Va-Roooom girlfriend,Patricia Belinois, flew down on his personal jet, went through the whole affair, and when the priest asked, "Do you take this women for your wife?", said,"No, I can't."

Gasps were followed by pandemonium. You have to just imagine the energy between the Italian side of the family and the Cuban. (The idea, alone, is erotic.) Fist fights broke out and, for the first time in memory, Michael reported that security had to be called in.

It makes you feel warm inside. Why do I hear The Countess de Lava moaning, "l'amour, l'amour; tu jour, l'amour."

This is South Beach.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

I'm intrigued by the eyes of Tiina (from Finland) and Pressi (from Bulgaria); they could have been separated a birth.

Things have deceptively turned quiet in the days after New Years, but Art Deco Weekend is set for next weekend at the same time 4,500 gay men arrive into town for the yearly gay cruise from Miami (most leave from Ft. Lauderdale). We were bouncing around ideas for naval themes as well as planning The Palace "float" for the Art Deco parade. We centered around the idea of an "I Love Lucy" theme with Leopoldo being Ricky Ricardo. Oh, dear; more planning. Where do I possibly find a conga drum, or whatever that thing he played? As for the naval party, Geraldine will do the famous Titanic number where she climbs a ladder with a Titanic life preserver, throws the jewel over her back, takes out a chunk of ice, pulls out a pair of swim flippers and strips into a wet suit. When asked what we could do to compliment the act, I suggested sailor caps and the Oriental Trading Company came to mind. They always seem to have what I need, although I was told it was created by a guy from Nebraska, not Shanghai.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

I spent the afternoon tooling around on my new bike with Leopoldo; we zoomed down the beach walk to Smith and Wollensky for a light lunch at the outside bar and then mounted our steeds and explored the new and renovated buildings of SoFi (South of Fifth). This was a whole new experience for me as my memories of the area were limited to the occasional peek out the curtain of a carriage window as we galloped though SoFi with Pimpernel to Smith's. We rode up back to Lincoln and stopped by Halo to make sure Al was there and that the air conditioning was working because we were a bit warm and thirsty by then.
Just when I lamented not having any photos of Alan and Darren's fabulous party at their condo in the Tides, some magically arrived from Darren. This is Diana, a stunning woman who has worked for The Tides for many years and who--when I remarked that I loved her Doris Day hairdo-- corrected me with, "June Allyson".
A very, very happy couple.

J.J., D Bar's indispensable manager, with his wife and Ditmar.

Acting up towards the end of the party. The couple on the right are from Newport (there are a lot of them around this time of year). What a grand event, crowd, and apartment.
Thanks Darren and Alan.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Alan and Darren

I first met these incredible guys a couple of years ago; we wanted to make them feel at home and did simple things like moving tables, etc. Darren is a doctor from Boston and Darren is his quadriplegic boyfriend; despite the hardship evident, they were always laughing and drinking up a storm. In other words, they fit right in. And, they always said The Palace was the only place in which they felt they had friends.

We were so happy to run into them after Christmas and they invited us to a party in their condo in The Tides, so conveniently located next door. Sadly, I did not bring a camera because the condo was fabulous, the crowd fabulous, and enough Pucci, Gucci, and Fucci to make your head spin; and the friends came from all over (and good zip codes, at that). I had invited them to come see the last performance in 2007 of Geraldine's Wonder Woman, and that's when I took this picture, all of us eagerly awaiting Wonder Woman to run from the beach, jump on the sea wall, and do her spectacular feats. Fun, fun.

At their going away party last night in D Bar, Alan and I were talking about Newport as he has a house there, too. I told him of the work of my sister, du Barry, and he thought he knew her. I mentioned that, among other things, du Barry sat on the Black Ships Committee and arranged their ball. That is when ships of the Japanese navy sail into the harbor and elegant parties and celebrations are held. Alan said he knew it well as one year his was all dressed to go when he got a call from the servants of Mrs. Auchincloss (Jackie's mother), and his patient, that they thought she had expired. He rush to Hammersmith Farm and confirmed she had when suddenly Jackie walked into the room. Alan offered his condolences and he could hear the fireworks going off over the harbor. Jackie Onassis softly said, "It's OK. This is how she would have wanted to go: Her doctor beside her in a tuxedo and fireworks announcing her way to heaven."

We all couldn't imagine having had the luck to stumble on a story like that. See you in six weeks, guys.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

The tabloid headlines said it all: "Mrs. Astor and Mrs. Stuyvesant-Fish Caught In Less-Than-Respectable Gin Hall". It had started so innocently; I was passing out charitable literature to barmaids and Mrs. S-F was simply passing out. The word, Slumming, was mentioned.
Mr. Astor immediately came to my rescue and brought things back in line.

When Mr. Astor, though, mistakenly mentioned a certain manoeuvre I action to please him, Mrs. S-F--not easily mortified by any stretch of the imagination--fell into a dead faint. I checked the available exits and guided Mr. Astor to one.

We ended up safe at The Palace with the ever-present Baroness Seitzinger. The dangerous cold front that swept into Miami allowed designer sweaters, leather jackets, and furs to be paraded around. As much as Miami complains about temperatures plummeting into the fifties and even forties, they actually wait for those two days to come in order to drag out the fashion heavy artillery.

The Baroness is such a hoot. I knew I was back on home turf when she gave me a Royal First Aid Kit, "for all jewelry accidents", referring to my gash received from Mr. Astor's diamond ring last week. They are sort of occupational hazards in any palace.

In the end, all had returned to the old world elegance we have become so used to. Revolution?

What revolution?

Thursday, January 03, 2008

The NYE Dinner

We ended the year dining with all our friends, taking over the old outside bar for a lavish, private affair. Henrietta was--as always--the star and complimented us by saying, "I've been invited to many venues tonight, but prefer to spend it with my friends." Ah....
There was some serious jewelry being paraded around, and I can't believe that The Baroness Seitzinger again out did me in that department. The nerve, with her prancing around in all that jewelry with that purchased title of hers and still thinking she'll get "...an H.R.H in front of my name."

The crowd in front of The Palace was immense and very, very happy.

And, to the surprise of everyone my housemate, Bob (always a generous person), picked up the bill for the entire room. Now, that's style.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Our Friends, Old and New

We ended one year and began a new one with the same bunch of friends; we have forged a great group, loyal to each other and dedicated to fun.

Darren, the Bostonian who is paralyzed, said we make him feel like he has legs, and loves The Palace; we love him, too. (That is the Baroness Sietzinger's pinky ring, by the way.)

You've got to give her credit; some girls couldn't pull that hat off.

Wearing the, now infamous, Fleur de Lys ring and smooching James.

The Family; we spend every Christmas with Terry's sister, her husband and children. For all the drunken, political arguing, they are fun and sweet. The Baroness Sietzinger and Deon being way, way too much.

The only thing artificial about our Christmas every year is the tree, but it is fabulous.

The Weimar Republic revisited. It is fun.
My baby, Raymond.

J.J. is hot. Today a drunk called him a "Fucking French Whore" and J. J. floored him in the middle of Ditmar's bar. That was one of the hottest things Leo and I ever saw.

Connie Chung. "She so bad", but is so very, very nice.