"the" Mrs. Astor

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Although there was never any reason to doubt that Leopoldo's birthday party would be fun, is was a pleasant surprise to have it become a grand event. After setting up the hot food, I stepped outside the bungalow and looked back to see about 75 people laughing, drinking and eating; at that moment, I was finally able to let go of the stress that had plagued me all day. The owners and managers of Twist were extremely generous and the crowd truly appreciative. I had been arguing for some time that the bungalow bar could be the ideal venue for our crowd, and that it was. Here are a few photos of that memorable evening.
At first it seemed as if I might have overdone it on the food, but it wasn't long before the line formed. I follow the rule that it is better to have too much than too little.
Thomas Barker showed up early with a new buddy, Joshua; the Cinemateque's Kendall is between them.

And the delightful Penelope drove down from Broward to represent that county's transgender

Leopoldo's "sister", Lloyd and his boyfriend, Scott.

Connie Chung popped in.

Celebrity bartender, Susie, kept the thirsty crowd satisfied.
And celebrate they did.

A cute new stripper, Gianni, brought smiles to all.

And, The Baroness Seitzinger was not sporting the usual jewels. She was heard to whisper that it was a good thing Mrs. Styuvesant-Fish had left for a Palm Beach weekend as it would leave that much more for everyone to eat and drink. There was an unsubstantiated rumor that Mamie was actually in rehab; we passed it around anyway.

The ever-fabulous Henrietta brought shrimp salad, her signature meatballs, and a cake. Between the two of them, she and Leopoldo were sporting about twenty carats. I sincerely thank Twist and all our friends for making it a most exciting night. Next stop: Twist's sixteenth anniversary this Wednesday.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Although I am physically exhausted by the intense effort to redecorate Twist for its sixteenth anniversary next Wednesday, there is more important business at hand.
All eyes are now turned to tonight's birthday party for Leopoldo in Twist's bungalow bar. I am being joined by Henrietta to host the bash, and I have been juggling both efforts all week. Susie is also co-hosting the birthday and will be bartending; food, cakes, a BBQ, and strippers will be offered to the adoring crowd starting at 7 PM.

We are both taking tomorrow off to recuperate.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The summer doldrums are here; its not as if nothing is going on, it just doesn't go on at the pace we expect it to. City Hall is totally obsessed with the Police Department's shooting of the unarmed tourist last weekend; there is nothing more feared in a resort town. Worse yet, as I related this week, there is great talk about why the police stopped him in front of the two businesses open and busy at 4.30 Am; thus, the whole shooting is caught on video by Twist and has been now played by the local stations. No matter what the police try to do, they can't seem to bury this one like all the others. On top of this, the trigger-happy policeman who shot the tourist was reportedly put on "paid, administrative leave" and, yet, he managed to shoot another person to death on Friday in a botched car-jacking on the McCarther Causeway. That's some "administrative" leave. One has to wonder if they locked him in a closet how many he could still shoot.

I spent a lovely, quiet afternoon at La Casa, splashing around in the pool and then watching The Met's presentation of Madama Butterfly produced by the late Anthony Minghella; the minimalist sets coupled with puppets and origami was such a joy. Maybe I'm an old softy, but I can't stop crying during one of the greatest soap operas of all time. "I couldn't bo back to entertaining people with my singing...He'll come; you'll see."
As I wrote, it was not a boring week; we celebrated the birthday of Steven Stewart, the architect of Twist's new look and the person who keeps its physical plant operating.

A word to the wise: Don't leave latex gloves in the hands of two doctors on a drunken Thursday afternoon.
All eyes are now on the birthday party I will be hosting with Henrietta next Friday at Twist (starting at 7 PM) in the bungalow bar in honor of Leopoldo's birthday. There will be lots to eat, great gossip to be traded, and go-go boys.

During his birthday party, Steven announced, " Thank you, everyone. A real man doesn't lie about his age and I'm 45

I totally agree with that. Leopoldo will be 44 on Friday and I am 34..

Monday, June 15, 2009

The weekend ended with some interesting local developments. Miami police arrested an 18-year-old, Tyler Weinman, as the suspected Cat Killer; dozens of mutilated cats had spurred massive discontent by the residents toward the police and vigilante groups were even formed. In the end, apparently a profiler with the police detailed a theory that the killer operated between two specific points that he traveled between often. As it turned out, Weinman's divorced parents lived at opposite ends of the studied area and visited both often. The alleged Cat Killer portrayed a smug attitude in his mug shot, but didn't look so confidant today during the video of his arraignment; there, dressed in prison garb and wearing a bullet-proof vest, Weinman looked visibly shaken after a night in the notorious Dade jail. If he is the Cat Killer, police probably stopped a future serial killer in his tracks.
And, Mr. Clucky continued to attract attention from around the world and the support of local powers like the ubiquitous Thomas Barker. Featured last week on The Today Show, CBS News, NBC News, National Public Radio, to name a few, news organizations picked up the story and proceeded to make Mr. Clucky something close to a feathered Joan of Arc. Mr. Clucky's website, mrclucky.com, rose from a relatively stratified, novelty site to one getting millions of hits.

According to The Los Angeles Times, there was no issue about Mr. Clucky's early morning crow as he (and his female hen mate) live in a sound proof closet at night. As is often the case, one, anonymous complaint roused The City to jump before they thought. Now Miami Beach has one, nasty, huge public relations nightmare on their hands, as I predicted. Imagine: The much-hated City Hall Code Enforcement officers--a bunch of malcontents with little education in matters of Code or knowledge in general--threatening a defenseless rooster who only wants to promote the well-being of animals and world peace. Call me Miss Cleo, but I predict the mayor will be awarding "Special Citizenship" and the key to The City to Mr. Clucky soon.

And, finally, there was the fatal shooting of a tourist from Virginia Sunday morning. The full story is being kept as quiet as possible, but it is all over the local news. At 4 AM there was a report of a man with a hand gun walking down Washington Avenue from Fifteenth Street. At that time most of the businesses are closed, but the police waited until they cornered a suspect and another man who turned out to be his brother, at the corner of 11 th Street, where the busy 11 th Street Diner and Twist were still in full swing. Why they didn't corner him in front of a closed business is anyone's guess, but they shot him dead in full view of many witnesses. The problem today is that it seems the man with the gun was lost some where before 11 th Street and the police confronted two unarmed brothers who had just come out of a nightclub; one had his head blown off and the other arrested for disorderly conduct. But the real fun started today with the police first trying to stop local news stations from filming, lawyers related to the victim visiting every business, and the police holding up in their headquarters across the street.

This city needs one, good spin doctor at the moment.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

As the official "walkers" of Henrietta, The Queen of South Beach, we are often besieged by questions of her background, her every day comings and goings, and--especially--the secret of that hairdo.

I can now reveal that the secret of Henrietta's hair style was passed down, through secret notes hidden in a jar of pomade, from Crown Prince Otto of Austria and Hungary. Otto is the oldest son of the last emperor and empress of the Austro-Hungarian empire, Karl and the ever-fascinating Zita. In 1940 Zita, her husband long dead, escaped the Nazi invasion of Belgium where they resided and fled to Paris, then to Portugal, and finally to the United States and Canada. Otto was an ardent opponent of Hitler and was sentenced to death by the Nazis. Fortunately, he outlived Hitler. Since 1951 he has been married to Princess Regina of Saxe-Meiningen and Hildburghousen and is very active in European affairs; they have seven children.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Mr. Clucky is one of the fixtures of madness that used to be so prevalent here on South Beach. The rescued rooster sits on the bars of his master's bike and constantly roams the town promoting animal kindness and smiles; he seems to have taken quite well to his fame and was named The Top Miami Activist in 2008 and even served as Grand Marshall of the infamous King Mango Strut New Years Parade. Mr. Clucky has his own website, mrclucky.com. So, of course, City Hall has to get involved in anything that promotes something unusual and fun. Mr. Clucky was served a ticket by Code Enforcement to get out of town under the obscure law that says farm animals can't be pets. A reasonable person would think that City Hall might have more important worries like the bulging salaries and debt flowing through the veins of that House of Frankenstein or even the obvious influence-buying by big developers of commissioners (I could name names, but what good would it do?). No, they have to kick up a storm by attacking Mr. Clucky.
This is so reminiscent of the time, several years ago, that City Hall tried to stop Mr. Disco. Mr. Disco is a wacky part-time cab driver who sets up his boom box of 70's disco hits on Lincoln Rd. and--in his platform shoes--demonstrates dance moves from that era for coins. City Hall didn't know what they had bitten off. Mr. Disco rightly sued The City of Miami Beach for suppressing his freedom of movement...and won. I can still fondly watch Mr. Disco and let my stressed-out mind drift off.
Again, a reasonable person would think that City Hall should learn from their past failures, but we are dealing with a Jewish/Cuban cabal that will stop at nothing from turning this town from the American Riviera to Sarasota East. I have sent word to Mr. Clucky that, as a reasonable human being, I will not stand for his banishment. And, I think City Hall has another Waterloo on its hands.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Nine inches in two hours. That's not a porno movie, it's the amount of rain we received yesterday.
After watching hail the size of ice cubes rain down on the town and seeing cars floating down Meridian Avenue, we were treated to the most brilliant rainbow. That aside, many businesses and homes discovered if they had a weak roof the hard way. But nothing amazed me more that an article on the Drudge Report about the storm; I check the Report not because I adhere to its right-wing slant, but because it offers a wide array of articles from many different sources. This article was not as interesting as the comments underneath it, many of which accused Obama for causing the storm. I am never amazed by the number of stupid people around. What did Edina Monsoon say? "Why, oh why don't they tax just the stupid people?"

Of course, there are stupid people and there are crazy people, which includes the locally notorious Cat Killer of Miami. Miami (not The Beach) is full of crazy people, but this one beats them all. He has captured and mutilated 30 cats, the details of which are too gruesome to relate. What makes someone do this? There is a large reward out there, so there is some hope that the crazy one's crazy friends will turn him in. Stupid people should be taxed, but crazy people should be shot.

Friday, June 05, 2009

It has been a quiet week, to be sure; but we did have one "outing" that was memorable. On Tuesday night, we met up with the infamous Mrs. Stuyvesant-Fish and two Southern belles at Score. The two belles have relocated from a grand, Southern estate outside Nashville, set up house, and maintain a most respectable presence here. (Don't quote me, but the jewelry worn by one of them could display in a room of The Smithsonian.) Unfortunately, no one bothered to note to them that Miami Beach is not The South; it is the sixth borough of New York City. They are so gracious that you just have to weep; they don't deserve what they have wrought.

Today there was the Biblical storm often predicted: four hours of horrendous, waves of rain. Fortunately I was trapped at Twist with several of the Cognoscenti which knows when to abandon the home early and go to a bar. When the rain stopped, I foolishly tried to bike home with water over the wheels of my bike and cars floating in the over-crowed streets. It was a nightmare that I immediately awoke from when I glided into Score, which was brushing out three inches of rain from their club.

When I did arrive (with a fresh suit of clothing) at Score, again, I ran into the infamous Thomas Barker. With all that has happened in the last year, we had become distant from the fanatic friendship we enjoyed in The Glory Days. No matter, we went right on with the avalanche of gossip and nonsense that always bonded us. We have all gone through a lot, but I bow to Mr. Thomas Barker; he saves the soul of this nonsensical, guilt-ridden town in his paper, The Wire.

Monday, June 01, 2009

June 1 means only one thing in Florida, the start of hurricane season. And right on queue, the heavens opened up with a deluge at noon which stranded everyone where they were. These things usually don't last long, and that is why everyone knows wwhere the best awnings are. Unfortunately, Mr. Astor was caught under the carport and called to say he forgot his lunch; it was getting steadily worse so I just assumed he would know that I would make the run around the house to give it to him. Instead, he ran around the back on the North side as I ran--lunch in hand--around to the front on the South side of the house. Now it was truly raining buckets and I was trapped under the carport with poor Leopoldo trapped inside. And, so it begins.

The rains eventually let up and I took a trip to the gym; it makes so much
more sense to watch Law and Order on the elliptical machine. But when I did return I took a look at my two new darlings of the internet, Nick and Eddie, and noticed a favorite of theirs, The Little Pigs by Disney. Made in 1936, I was awed by the easily recognized comparison of the wolf to Hitler and the complacent little pigs of Europe. Maybe I read to much into this on a rainy afternoon, but it is still a gem.