"the" Mrs. Astor

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Why do I see a very funny movie being made with Pope Bikes? I don't know what amuses me more, the whitewall tires, the papal crest, or the convertible top, convertible being the operative word. Maybe Mrs. Stuyvesant-Fish and I could try to run each other off the social road with them. I'm on self-imposed lock down with no phone and the gate locked, so I guess I have not much more to do than wonder about things like this.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Happy Times

More photos of Leopoldo's birthday celebration.
Almost one year ago, I made a wrong turn while in a hurry and bumped into him; it's been a glorious journey ever since. What made the forces line up to make that happen, to meet such a handsome, generous, sexy, kind, and intelligent man (and, one who adores me in a dress and high heels)?
Sincere thanks to Twist's owner, Richard Trainor, for turning over the bar for this party; in the ten years I've known him, he has always been a ball of energy and fun. We also thank his GM, Valentino, for all the work he has done to make these parties elegant and fun.

Doctors Brad and George prescribe love as the best medicine (if that isn't enough Vicodine will do).

My fashionista.

The endless input and energy of Luis helped me through surprise bumps in the night.

His boyfriend, Steven Stewart and designer and entrepreneur, Phillip Morris, lent a helping hand and inspiration.

"Darling Je Vous Aime Beaucoup "

Real club stars, Geraldine and DJ Leo.

And, as always, true, blue Jeremy.

The gang. Most of us have been hanging together for three years. Great friends, great times.

Friday, June 27, 2008

All the worries seemed to evaporate in the final hours of Leopoldo's party. I kept saying, "Don't worry about the actual performance of the number. I have it completely rehearsed in my mind." And even our driver remarked, "You have everything detailed out to the minute. How do you do that?" Well, you do it because that is the only way you can get it all done: split-second timing.
The crowd was more than anyone had anticipated; the owners of Twist seemed to be in total glee. One person came up to me and said, "This is like the old days; everyone is happy. The (other place) is stupid for giving this up." Indeed, yet things change and evolve. I can testify that we are happier now than ever before, because you make the best of every thing that is handed to you (and we have). As long as I have a pair of T-straps that are comfortable and that Mr. Astor likes me to stay in, what could be wrong?
At the end of the evening, I was photographed in a triumphant pose as I finally witnessed the etched name of Mrs. Stuyvesant-Fish being sand-blasted off of the Social Register. Oh, it won't be for long--to be sure; that name has been on things here longer than barnacles on a rock, or crust on a crown molding. She has a way of coming back. Still, once again I was secure in the only thing that matters now: Love (and the fact that I could have been on The Titanic and secured a seat in Lifeboat #1 with ease).

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The day is here, the moment almost. After a week of feverish preparation, interminable shopping, wacky hat-making, painful shoe-squeezing, and frantic wig-brushing, Mr. Astor's birthday is here and the celebration is about to begin. In a scant three hours or so, I will submit to the only request Leopoldo had of me for his birthday: a performance. It would be oh so easy just to go shopping for a present, but I guess--if you really love someone--you give them what the want. A return to the stage is not the best choice for a woman of my social magnitude, and Mrs. Stuyvesant-Fish said she would be on hand if only to have me drummed from the garden club. But, then, there's not a little bit of jealousy there; since her husband long ago chose death to dealing with her scandals, Mamie has only her charitable reading room students to keep her company.

If Leopoldo wants a performance, then I will give him one no one will soon forget.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Concern about flood waters rising along with the price of everything, Big Oil raping a blind country while its partners in crime, The Bush war criminals and profiteers, grin knowingly, and surely the beginning of the end, food riots in Milwaukee, can all be finally put aside. The announcement that Versace has teamed up with Lamborghini to produce the Lamborghini Mercielago has put all worries to rest that there is any hope for this world.
That said, the only thing left is to give a party and, the party is titled, "Style Is Timeless". I am honored to host a birthday celebration for everyone's favorite fashionista, Leopoldo, this Thursday at Twist, 7:30 PM. The question that has been popping up way too much lately is, "What do I get him?"and the answer is "Nothing". He has looks, charm, and a wardrobe that could start a upscale department store in a mid-sized city. We will just get together again, drink a lot, and forget all the things mentioned above (at least until Friday morning).

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Good Fences Make Good Neighbors

Four homes away, a neighbor had a rude awakening last week when a truck mowed down their nine-foot ficus trees and an iron fence. More than leaving a gaping hole, the truck exposed something the homeowners probably didn't know they possessed: grand kitsch. We knew the pool scene because, after they moved in a short time ago, we didn't hesitate to peek through the bushes to take into the pool area. What amazed us was that with all the money spent on expensive pool furniture, they felt it necessary to cement their idea of elegance with the statue of David (and not just one, mind you). Traffic now slows down to get a glimpse of this mini version of Hadrian's Tivoli palace.
From the glory of Rome Removed, we head back home and get to pass Disney Reinvented. The brightness of the morning sun almost lets the color of our immediate neighbor's home appear cute and tropical; it isn't. It is a deep bubble gum green with brick red trim, straight out of The Magic Kingdom (including a fake waterfall in the back yard. They lead a rather mysterious life behind that formidable gate; when they are home a wide variety of languages waft over the fence. We avoid each other.
The wheels of planning began to spin yesterday in final preparation of Leopoldo's birthday this coming Thursday; invitations arrived, thoughts of what to present began to form, and outfits organized for the very special performance by Hildegarde and--perhaps--a return of Burghie, The Duchess of Pork. It will be a busy week.

Friday, June 20, 2008

This is the Miami school board; in a saner part of the country they'd be working the full length of their abilities such as a counter person at Dunkin Donuts. They just found out that they are a quarter of a billion dollars short of balancing the budget, as mandated by law. There mustn't have been a dry eye in the house as they met all week point fingers, pass the blame, and slash what they could. Teacher assistants, office workers, and physical education instructors had to take the first hit and bus drivers were about to take the next when one of the board members realized that there would be no one to drive the buses; set aside for now.
This is the Superintendent of Miami schools, Rudy Crew; he makes a half million a year. Despite calls from his resignation (assuming that he should know what he spends and whats coming in), he's sitting tight and ordering another taco. The school board members took a stand, too, on Wednesday; they voted not to reduce their salaries and instead approved a motion to raise the cost of a school lunch by fifty cents.

Every day I awake, I count it as one more before Miami is taken over by outside forces and away from the hands of these idiots and thieves

Thursday, June 19, 2008

James Brown Is Dead...

...and so is Tim Russett. One day after he was buried and eleven after he died on the job, we awoke to yet another tribute on him on CNN. Surely he was a good man, and a brilliant journalist, and Sunday will never be the same...but he wasn't Abraham Lincoln. I doubt by the deep mourning MSNBC is exhibiting that it will ever be the same; will Keith Obermann even take off the black armband in one year, let alone move on to purple?

The truth is that I've been watching too much CNN and not enough Animal Planet. Floods, war, and economic collapse are affecting out lives to the point that mindless entertainment is sort in the evening. How else could I explain the watching of movies like Clueless and Night at the Roxbury; the most sophisticated movie we've watched has been Death at a Funeral. And--for us here in the Sunshine State--the fun is just beginning; hurricane season is here. We will attempt to steady our course and engage in meaningful discourse tonight: we are meeting Mrs. Stuyvesant-Fish for drinks, or as her inquiry this morning stated, "...libations this early evening." Sure we will, Netflix won't be sending another mindless movie until tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Mr. Astor is a party animal. I didn't create this; instead, I awakened the inner monster. After a frivolous afternoon at Score celebrating a belated birthday for the vivacious Cosette with Pimpernel, we should have simply gone the block and one half home where I was prepared to cook a sumptuous dinner. Instead, Leopoldo did his best Dawn Davenport and demanded cha-cha heels and a trip to Twist; as usual, I don't know how to say "no" to him. We cavorted with the owners and patrons until some point I don't remember; you know, don't remember leaving but left, don't remember going home but did, etc. Then this morning we awake to find we have lost our wallets. The horror! Cards were cancelled, but I told my honey I would continue to search for them as it was a most unlikely situation. After he left, I did my best Hercule Poirot and noticed something strange: My clothes were in the kitchen and I never take them off there. Furthermore, there was another pile of clothes beside the door. I opened the door and saw change on the ground and went into the back yard to find not only more clothing, but two wallets.
"Where did you find them?" Leopoldo asked from work, answering my text. "Uh, did we go swimming last night?" I asked, "Because there's a story in the back yard." "Oh My God! Yes, we went skinny dipping; I forgot." "So did I, but everything is here."
The camera holds many truths.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The legendary entertainer from days gone by, Lahoma van Zandt, has startled New York society by announcing last weekend that she was off to China (she left yesterday). It wasn't the trip that caused audible gasps, but that she was still alive. Most of us know, of course, that Lahoma is alive and living the reclusive life of magazine editor by day and sock puppeteer by night. Gone are those wild days so vividly caught on YouTube over and over and the stay-overs at the crumbling townhouse at Five Ninth (now a swanky restaurant). Everything evolves or dies. The last email I got Monday morning was to look out for her to be stopping a tank in Tianamen Square while wearing a signature tube dress.

I just wonder if the Chinese are ready for her and why she chose Beijing to launch a comeback (those crafty Chinese must be trying to lure her into a line of Lahoma dolls).

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Fetish Night At Twist

Leopoldo came across the leather mask during our Tuesday morning Spring Cleaning. "Just WHAT is this?" he asked. "Well, dear, that's a leather mask; and Mommie used to wear it for special costume balls,"I replied. And how appropriate it was, finding it that day, because Twist's Fetish party was just three nights away. It was like Heaven opened up the trunk and said, "Here it is, put it on and go."
When Twist throws a party it pulls all the stops and never presents a half-assed adventure.

It was late in the night and, while most of the boys' eyelids were starting to droop, a fresh pack of girls was just arriving on the scene.
Three words: Out Of Control

Friday, June 13, 2008

Fetish, Anyone?

I know it is a Friday night, but--quite frankly--every night is Friday night here on South Beach, indeed it can be a New Years Eve if you are not careful. So, baby is all excited because it is Friday The Thirteenth and, I keep saying, "Why the bother?" As I speak, the boots start flying out of the closet like Emelia Earhart's foot wardrobe. The gleeful look of anticipation makes all my advice to avoid such an event senseless; I must go with the flow.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Ah, where does the time go? Karaoke night here, fetish night there; it makes the typically slow summer nights slip by fast, greased by bottles of alcohol.

And, speaking of being greased with alcohol, the relentless Thomas Barker has planned another fundraiser for SOBAP, the struggling AIDS agency with little government help. SOBAP focuses on prevention and education and, unlike other "charitable" organizations, doesn't operate from a fancy office or pay itself fancy salaries; they struggle along with the help of people like Thomas Barker. In his second effort for SOBAP, Barker has again recruited the town's bars and the generosity of Absolut vodka to assure that 100% of every dollar donated goes to the organization and, that is a remarkable achievement in the world we live in here. His three-day extravaganza should tickle the feathers of the town's party people and benefit a good cause.

Good, old Barker; if he's not raising money for SOBAP, he's doing it for Equality Florida and if he's not raising a glass of Grey Goose at the opening night of a new promoter, he's passed out at brunch. When it comes to drinking, you couldn't hire a more well-trained professional (and, those organizations couldn't find a more dedicated professional).

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Queen Cabaret continues to dominate the Sundays as they exist here on South Beach; Sunday has always been a hazard of the lifestyle of its inhabitants. This is good, clean fun, and as abominable as that may sound, it is the place to have some blood rushing (if you have any left). Geraldine and FernandDcute hammer out a wonderful array of performances to amuse the crowd, and there was a fierce crowd, indeed.
I'm not one for those wacky conspiracy stories, but I did photograph a UFO above FernanDcute's hair. I swear they were trying to read her mind; I even felt a force field of some sort just as my third Mimosa was being served.

Guests are never left wanting for attention or food or coffee. These are experienced girls.

A little story: The first gift I gave to Leopoldo was a strand of pearl rosary beads I bought in an antique shop in San Juan. Upon visiting the cathedral a hub-bub started when the bishop of San Juan got out of his car and started greeting people on the steps. I approached him and asked him to bless the beads, which he did with great glee (they were expensive). After the second week of going out with Leopoldo, I gave them to him (he's Catholic), and when he wore them out the next night, Ditmar asked him where he got them (Ditmar is a dollar queen). Leo said I gave them to him and Ditmar replied, "No, darling; they are not a gift, they are a loan." They were a gift.

What would a Sunday be without Yma Sumac? Would someone please tell me.

Every room has to have a Las Vegas showgirl...

"Crazy" by Patsy Cline was never interpreted so well...

It is difficult to describe how much fun The Queen Caberet bestows upon this town, but a visit to Gem on a sultry, summer, Sunday afternoon can clear that up. They put so much into making your afternoon a memorable one, that you wonder just what do they reap from it.

On my days off, I like to spend quality time with ladies of quality. Not all of us are nuns, but we preach a rather familiar sermon: Have Fun, For Tomorrow May Be Boring.

Known "ladies about town" did not hesitate to don a bonnet. It's a small town.

Good Lord: These mostly masculine men were transformed into another being with a simple hat.

There were, of course, ladies who exist only to travel from one train depot to another. They are amusing and tolerated for that.

Miss Decker only had to be warned of the imminent threat of Zeppelin attack to look up for the camera. Danger comes from all sides in this life we lead.

The Baroness Seitzinger had reached a new goal (with that purchased titled and all). She brazenly announced, "I don't care if it was purchased, or not! My mother worked hard for that." And, for that, we welcome more her more for she opens up road after road of travels down a path gone right/

Some where in the darkness of economic chaos and government obstruction, we found what has been there for nearly a year: Love.

We bet on The Derby, we bet on the next person to hit the floor at 4 PM, but most of all we bet on ourselves; and we won.

In the end, we were waiting for a carriage with our bags and our handsome man.