"the" Mrs. Astor

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Our attendance at Edison's birthday party in the Fountainbleau was our first since it's billion dollar renovation. It's always been glamorous and over-the-top, and there was no disappointment there. The hotel seemed packed as was the birthday party in the hotel's LIV nightclub. To my utter surprise, drinks were only $14, a sharp decline perhaps spurred on by a new reality most businesses have had to adapt to; at those prices you couldn't help but have more.

I've always loved the Fountainbleau and its neighbor, The Eden Roc; they embody the era of 50's and 60's Rat Pack, fast and furious glamor. It employs over 2000 people, has the largest butchery in Florida, and farms its own seafood so that it is as fresh as possible; it throws fierce parties and there is nothing quite like convincing a visiting friend to rent a cabana by the huge pool. It's always been worth a trip and has a magnificent Sunday buffet, too. (The fact that it also has a master bartender who works in a "cocktail universe", creating specialty drinks for every bar and restaurant isn't lost on me.)
But my favorite Fountainbleau story is the famous "Staircase To Nowhere", created by designer, Morris Lapidus. Lapidus and his son thought it a great idea to put the coat room at the top of a sweeping, grand staircase that allowed women to gracefully descend in their gowns as all in the lobby watched. It is in the background of the vintage photo above.
Another delight was to see that the renovation carried that idea forward in the design of the new nightclub. We entered up a few steps to find staircases leading down to the club; one could see the glee of those guests arriving as they went down to join the party. I had already been convinced to wear a black velvet jacket; deep down I knew it should have been an aqua chiffon evening gown.


Post a Comment

<< Home