"the" Mrs. Astor

Thursday, February 28, 2008

The temperature plunged into the 40's last night and, as I have mentioned before, the cold-blooded residents of Miami run--right to the fur vaults of Bal Harbour. Since this type of weather occurs only two or three times a year, it is impossible not to make the most of it, and the fur (and leather) was flying last night. The Great Northern Court was delayed at the Boston Airport, but--as we all know--the show must go on. And the star, of course, was the great Henrietta wearing (PETA will kill me) three furs of various style and make. She has to be forgiven as she is from another era (she also had enough jewelry on to open a boutique). The new owners took time to chat with her and got their first glimpse of SOBE glamour and, as usual, we all trotted over to Twist where Henrietta holds HER court. By thee time Terry, Leopoldo, and I left it must have been 30 below, but we couldn't feel it.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Tllhe 15th annual Shelley Novak awards took place at Score on Monday night, and although I protested that I was too tired to attend an event that is notoriously late, Leopoldo dragged me (oops) kicking and screaming to it. All for the better; it was well-attended and quite fun.
Tiffany on the left will always be one of my girls, but I've also always had a special place in my heart for Helen Swan in the middle. Why, even just the utterance of her name brings a smile.
And this lovely creature has to be given a prize if only for finding the best use for old Wire Magazines since the canary cage was invented.

Of course, the very mysterious Anita Face was in attendance.

When I saw this image all I could think was that is the hybrid of "The Women" and Zsa Zsa Gabor's "Queen of Outer Space" (perhaps a good idea for an upcoming Queen Cabaret skit).

An Miss T. la Rouge came wearing one of her signature puppet masks. You have to hand it to some of these characters, like Will here; the spookiest thing is that her lips move when she talks.
And, there is no rest in sight. Tonight the entire Great Northern Court arrives du Barry from Newport, Bedelia from Transylchusetts, Officer Brian from Boston, and even The Bishop has docked his yacht at the Miami marina for a few days visit.
No, there will be no rest for a week or so, maybe never.

Monday, February 25, 2008

I promised Scott Simpson, in self-imposed exile in Cleveland Ohio, that I would pick up the pace of posting; it is so easy to drop the pen when you have someone like Mr. Astor to play with. However, tonight we are called out for the Academy Awards of Drag, The Shelley Novak Awards. Of particular interest for us is the opening show of one of the the nominees, our very own Geraldine and her Queen Cabaret.

As a card-carrying member of PETA, I could not entertain the thought of attending while dragging (oops) a mink or even an ermine cape as I enter. But, I can assure the public that the bigs guns, the big jewels, will come out tonight. As a young society girl I had always heard that the older you get the bigger the gems become, and it is so true. One only has to look at The Baroness Seitzinger to see that; in that case I would add the more you spend for your title, the more you spend on your jewels. Mrs. Stuyvesant-Fish is another example, but she just keeps losing her rings during those romantic moments in her reading room. Oh, well; it is Miami Beach, after all, and if you can't wear it, flaunt it, and lose it all in one evening, you deserve to be in Cleveland.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

EXTRA, EXTRA: Palace Sold

I knew it was coming because all the signs were there, and a person in my position understands why questions about contracts and such are required. The Palace has been sold, and the new owners take over on Monday (it was their expressed desire to have it by Winter Party next week). In the end--whatever happens to individuals working there--it is the best thing that could have happened. Current owners Doug and Henry were overburdened with other businesses and there was a distinct neglect to the place. The new guys are from Michigan and, as they own a condo two blocks up, are very familiar with the place. Like all new owners, they want the team to continue their work (it is later down the road that changes happen in this industry). If they can realize during the coming weeks just how much this "team" works to make The Palace the "Happy Place" perhaps they will be happy enough to continue Court. If not, Court will be moved.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

We had some fun over Mardi Gras with beads. In fact, both of us agree that we have fun any time we are together, a type of cement of love. No matter where we find ourselves, no matter how big the hangover, no matter the tense situation; we look at each other and find a way to laugh and--indeed--we are always laughing, trading jokes, and jabbing each other in the side.
Some of us, however, chose to use the beads to immitate one of great heroines of all times...

...a great classic who never deviated from her ideals, as iconoclastic as they were: Louise Brooks.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Mr. Astor dressed me up in my plaid boat shoes yesterday, a clever move as he knew I had been wanting to dash over the the beach for several days and would never do it in a pair of Ferragamos he purchased for me. Thus freed, I made it over the the begininings of the Southern Wine and Food Festival which begins on Thursday.
From as far as the eye could see to the south on our magnificent beach...

...and too the north, the grand pavillions of the Southern Wine and Food Festival have been taking shape for many days. Long-sold out, the festival is an orgy of food and spirits from the best dealers and restauranteurs in South Florida. From the Grand Tasting at $205 a ticket to the grand dinners similar to the one at Casa Tua at $2,500 a head, the event has been sold out for six months. In a town of conspicuous consumption, it is the road to heaven.
Soon these tents will be filled with the likes of Rachel Ray, Martha Stewart, and Emeril La Gasse.

Under the brilliant, winter sky of South Beach the rainbow flags of gay beach ferociously flew over a landscape given over to frivolity and pleasure. There are so many other, malicious things one can be given over to these days.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

"...Please no Fan Fare.....du Barry"

So ended my sister's cable this morning announcing the fact that she and The Countess Bedelia would be arriving in Miami on the 28th. With accustomed nerve, she requested something that she could not help but capitlize in her sentence; the only thing missing was italics. With little fan fare, the two of them are no doubt already packing trunks and retrieving jewels from their vaults. Stepped-up security measures will immediately be put in place and the village children will all get a bath the night before they arrive with no fan fare. Oddly, they always choose to visit during momentus occassions like the Superbowl or Halloween; that week they will just happen to be in attendance at Court for Winter Party, probably the most attended gay event of the year. (They will have just missed the Food and Wine festival, which is good for me because I want to sample as much as possible with little fan fare.)

Fortunately, Leopoldo has been busily adding to my wardrobe and focusing on jeweled outfits. If there's going to be no "Fan Fare" with this visit, I may as well sparkle a little more than usual. (God knows that the greatest fan fare of all, Mrs. Stuyvesant-Fish, will no doubt be lurking behing every bush and buffet table that week.) "...Please no Fan Fare..." She's hitting the bottle again.

Leopoldo and I had a very intense talk about our relationship tonight (although this is a photo of two drag queens, not the intense manly relationship I have with Leo). Leopoldo and I have progressed to a a level of relationship that many others do envy. That is a dangerous flash point in this town, but we have a steady partnership that truly can't be easily copied; we will keep it that way without arguing about who is wearing the spaghetti straps.

No, we just needed a reason to post another picture of Thomas Barker and Geraldine. We had a great night toasting Scott Simpson while lamenting his imminent departure. (Any excuse to drink, some said.)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Yesterday we said goodbye to our little Henry as he returned to New York after years of devoting endless time and effort in his charity work. His loyal group of friends are some of the most creative and devoted customers. Tomorrow we say goodbye to Scottie who has accepted a position at a new club in Cleveland. Who knows where Jeremy is or what he is doing in South America.

We have always taken our band of friendship for granted and today Scottie bemoaned that loss, but things change and people move on, even from this island in paradise. Thank God for Leopoldo.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Sunday was one of those rare days Leopoldo had off and we began the day the way we would ned it: By Being Silly.
Our day on "the boat" started out fine. Bob bought Terry the craft early this year and it has two bedrooms and three baths; it cost more than the house.

It was too windy to take the sailboat out; we chatted with equally frustrated neighbors and took advantage of the full bar on board. I kept an eye on Lifeboat #1, but the boys were too into the vodka to worry about the icebergs I saw.

Leopoldo was Thurston Howell III and I was Lovey.

At the end of the evening I looked up to the sky and saw balloons wearing Mr. Astor's signature, designer glasses. He is everywhere in my life.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Talking About Bad Girls...

Just when you have thought you've seen it all... For Geraldine's birthday we employed the talents of the great Thomas Barker to "do" her. Yes, that is Thomas on the lower right, with the knowledge that looking and feeling so good in drag will never rest, now. The town was brought to its knees yesterday with that performance.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Countess Bedelia has prodded me to post something about the week. Who knows where the time goes when you have someone like Mr. Astor on your hands? In addition to being just as much of a social Godzilla I am, he can drink me one-to-one. Plus, he likes to eat as much as I like to cook, so I'm constantly thinking up new dinner ideas. There is also the clothing situation; we are continuing the sorting out of the move and all that came with it. And I got a threatening letter from Mrs. Styuvesant-Fish about the quip of seeing her knee prints int he sand. Who else wears knee-high paisly stockings? Tell me that!
There was just no way we could turn down the invitation by Edison to attend a glamorous little affair at The Astor. This Deco gem is just a block down from Twist and three blocks from The Palace for those who like to be in the thick of things and can't fork out $500 a night at The Countess's favorite, The Victor.
Juicy landed herself a big one on Thursday that just about everyone man or woman wanted to mount. Some people go fishing for the the big one and some to bingo.

Donnie had everyone in stitches with an old passport showing that he was indeed a Connie.

And, obviously, the Donatella Versace look is just not easily going die its deserved fashion death. Golden Blonde also looked like she had a little work done and was still quite fierce.

Last night Mr. Astor decided to "nap" after dinner. When I went into the bedroom to check up on him I found him him in pure, classic Leopoldo: expensive, see-thru shirt, designer glasses, one of his many diamond pinky rings, an outrageously pricey bottle of wine still in his hand (probably from under the bed), and a bracelet of some sort wrapped around the bottle. It didn't look like a Bulgari; it even had the look of, well, never mind. Good fun; good times and all is well.

Monday, February 04, 2008

We would be remiss in not mentioning the annual Doxie-Fest last Saturday. Hundreds of dacshunds and their wacky owners gathered across Ocean Drive in the glorious winter weather of South Beach. I have no doubt that the little weiner dogs are special and that they certainly are treated as equals by their human companions.
"I see the mark of the werewolf on your forehead...." No effort to entertain the dogs was left unexplored.

Mod outfits have made a great splash. They are apparently recession-proof as they provide endless happiness and optimism.

I met Weinie nine years ago when he was just a puppy at The Van Dyke. He wears this outfit every year to the delight of the crowd.

Every year the daschunds are treated to a special odor fest.

A wide variety of odors are offered. I've never actually taken a whiff of squirrel tail; Latino tail to be sure, but not squirrel.

Isn't it the truth? Many of us were tempted to get on our knees; I had already recognized the knee marks of Mrs. Stuyvesant-Fish there.

The new mayor announced--complete with cue cards--that as someone who was also born close to the ground, she was proclaiming the dachshund the official Deco Dog.

The Unsinkable Mattie Bower, the mayor of The People, of course led the grand march--complete with accordian player--of the weinie dogs. This is one, kooky city, drunk on its ability to constantly amuse itself and confident that tomorrow will bring a more entertaining event.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

We revisit Mario in his chainmail; The Crusades were never so fun.And, talking to the fishes was never so eloquently put: Fifty years ago an emerging character name Henrietta came out. Her uncle owned the most popular restaurant on Miami Beach, Mario's, and was an associate and neighbor of Myer Lansky. She shared a great story, as she always does. At the age of sixteen she was constantly harrassed by an Italian geek who pounded on her door exclaiming his love for her; she complained to her uncle and soon the visits stopped. One day, she told us, she was in the back yard of their home on mid-beach and remarked that she was happy the guy had stopped coming by and also that she noticed the garden had been redone. "Don't dig too deep", said her uncle. We all ghasped, laughed and wondered if the body was still there.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

I've been carried away by dachshunds, drag queens, and a devoted husband. But, Mr. Astor and I summoned up the strength last night to accompany our beloved Henrietta from The Palace to Twist for the infamous Warsaw Ballroom party. The Warsaw Ballroom was probably the reason I moved to Miami. It was the first place I saw large numbers of Latino boys, and I liked it ( a lot). I hit the accelerator and never looked back, and I am now married to the most handsome Latino in town.

It was a bit surreal with nearly naked boys rubbing against--I won't call them midgets--height-challenged guys in green wigs,.

I am so glad that chainmail is making a fashion comeback; I remember the good old days when gladiators would knock down the door for a date. Only Mario can pull off this look so effortlessly, but again, I'm singing the praise of a Latino. My fate was sealed when I walked in the door of The Warsaw Ballroom in November 1989.