"the" Mrs. Astor

Monday, November 30, 2009

Portraits of White Party

Miss Eboney, The Duchess of Shock Chic
And, Her Imperial Majesty, Henrietta, Queen in Perpetuity of South Beach.

We were approached on White Party night with a question, "Where does the term, Tommy Gun, come from?" Shocked not to know, I immediately shot the person dead, but did find out later. The Thompson Submachine Gun was designed in the later days of World War I by General J. T. Thompson. A revolution for that war, it soon became the social and fashion statement of the 1920's when both law and mob favored the efficient, economical, and extremely effective tool in getting to an end. (Was that too much alliteration?) Everyone loves a Tommy Gun.

One of the most elegant presentations I have ever encountered, it was one of several Nehru jackets of the evening. Simply elegant.

It just isn't a night out if there's not a pretty boy, and I found Mark. We were all lolly-gagging around when I spotted him. I asked Mr. Astor, "Doesn't that poor boy look like he doesn't know a soul in this place? Shall we invite him to join the hooliganism?" With the affirmative reply not even dry on the back of my neck, I strolled over and invited him into the fray. He was Mark from Munich, leaving the next day, and just the sweetest thing.
Twist co-owner, Joel Stedman, clearly saw the white writing on the wall as temperatures continued to drop into the upper 50's (tundra weather to us), but my compliments were all for his faithful employee, Mica, for bringing chain mail back into high society. I haven't seen it at formal functions since The Knights Templar were still sending invitations out; Good Boy, Mica.

I entered these two into The Harry Winston Fight-To-The-Jeweled-Death match knowing full well who would win. It seems so unfair to know who the winner always will be. But if looks could kill alone, the one without the fur might have had a chance. (And, I should have taken a clearer photo, but Henrietta came with her own silver goblet rimmed in diamonds; girls, it don't get better than that!)

We can't forget that the first "White" person we met was Madame Mayor, Mattie Bower. How extremely nice it was.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

It is very important that you know how to work with what Life has dealt out, and Mario is one of my favorite interpreters of that life. He knew how to make the tail of a White Fox work (like most of the boys I know),

You know...some day I just have to write a book, a lesson book for young, gay boys, on how to keep your husband away from floozies. Now, I have nothing against floozies, being one, once a long time ago, but I really don't want them around Leopoldo; it's just not right.

White Party 2099

More photos to follow....I am exhausted.
Elaine Lancaster with Her Highness
richard was having a ball.....and, I mean A BALL.

Good ol' Riley...I haven't seen him in ages, but how appropriate that he should be out with Henrietta.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Happy times, and tonight was supposed to one of those: The Annual White Party at Vizcaya. But charging home last night I rounded one of the more dark corners of the house and tripped on large planters the gardener had placed there until the morning. Appalling would be one way of describing it, and--although nothing was broken and any bruises are hidden--the pain in incredible.

Of course, nothing short of death stops a good time and it is actually heretical in a town like this to even think you couldn't pull through. I have been reminded that one simply can't drop out on something Henrietta has spent $750 on tickets for, let alone the weeks spent planning the outfits, my need to coordinate all transportation, blah, blah, blah. I guess there is always some pill available, but that leaves out drinking, and THAT's a real horror.

Friday, November 27, 2009

I just adore true royalty..
She put the "G" in Glee,
She put the "B" in Bee,
You can't put The Countess down.
She opens every night,
She carries a sharp-tongued knife
But you can't put our Countess down
We love the way she dresses,
We are always impressed-es.
You can't...You shant...Ever put our Countess down!!!!!
We love her.

I published my first book, and to no one's surpris it was about KiKi. This is the cover photo which reads: "He always had so much on his mind".

This is all in preparation for the much larger book I am going to self-publish about my years with Henrietta. I just need to get some of those Sixtie's shots of her in a bikini to round it out.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

It all started out with the Great Battle with The White Fly. Well, in the end we won, but not without damage. That did not sit well with Bob: the ficus trees were reinforced but then....
He started thinking with Mr. Plant.. "I need that tree moved there....I need that plant removed...I want something that just works to my eye..."

Mr Plant worked and worked....every day (and night) he would be lurking behind the trees and plants. We adore him beyond comprehension..he worked, he lit, he mulched.

Finally, after a month of work and a tab well, well into the five figures (most middle Western families could have bought a house with that much money), it was done.
More photos to come from the Feast today.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Baron Urban, who is one of the few die-hard Republicans I tolerate, sent me this image with the note that we are on the national Titanic. I know that, but I suggested that instead of a boring, string quartet playing Nearer My God To Thee, we have Lady Gaga performing. He--the poor soul has no clue--wondered if she could pull that song off; I had to be the harbinger of bad news that she wasn't singing that. We want Bad Romance...that's what got us here.
An excursion of Score the other night presented an announcement that black, pointed shoes were the call of the day. Little did they know what I had purchased that day, downtown.
Pointy shoes being as fab as they are, nothing--nothing--beats Presentation Shoes (or Gangster Shoes) for, well... presentation. I was delighted to find two pair downtown to wear with our white suits as we escort Henrietta to the White Party.

Hey, if I'm going down on The Titanic, they will remember my shoes.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

I got off on the wrong foot today. I always open my email first and there from my friend Pimernel was a story about how the Bishop of Providence had withheld communion from Rhode Island congressman Patrick Kennedy for his support for abortion rights. So much for separation of Church and State or.....how I have always supported: the garnishment of all Catholic property but for the churches themselves for involving themselves so deeply in the politics of Rhode Island. It is funny, as well, for me, because when I grew up in Providence and went to school there, the Bishop, Louis Geleneau I believe, was the only person in the world who could out-jewel and out-cape Liberace. Even then, I marveled at how the poor Catholics couldn't see the hypocrisy. And, then, there were the parties; I wasn't brought up Catholic and wasn't invited, but I had plenty of boyfriends there who were and they waxed nostalgic about the "special" parties given for the Boys of the Bishop.
The Countess Bedelia provided this wonderful cartoon that would have made me laugh under other circumstances (click to enlarge). And, then, there was the wonderful Colbert piece on the outrageous actions by Rhode Island governor, Donald "The Grey Goose" Carcieri, in vetoing a bill by the R.I. legislature to grant special rights for long-term gay couples--especially those married in neighboring states--the simple right to claim the body of a deceased partner and bury them. Where did this guy come from? Rhode Island is not that backward; it is the only state in the Union with an openly gay mayor of the capital city. In fact Mayor David Cicillini has been re-elected for the great work he has done for poor neighborhoods as well as historically rich.
Sometimes you have to take drastic measures to channel anger and the fastest one I had was to put on the greatest hits of Dusty Springfield. It worked like magic dust (which I didn't have) and prompted me to read a bit about this British pop singer becoming a great sensation here in the Sixties, how she alone introduced Motown singers to Britain, and how--when female pop singers were on the wane here--trotted off to Memphis and learned how to tool herself to country-western music (Son of a Preacher Man); she was a brilliant performer and business person.

By the time I had switched to Nancy Sinatra's "Sugar Town", I was in such an elated state that nothing short of a White Fly could ruffle my wings. (And, by the way, The White Fly has been defeted; but, that's another story).
I figure the voters of Rhode Island are smart enough to know right from wrong and will sort it all out. I'd just love to know how many rings the current bishop, Tobin, wears. Make sure to check out Colbert.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Why are the parents always the last to know....? We took KiKi out for another ride in his ducal carriage and ran into a pretty lass named Lola. Little did I know that KiKi and Lola have been carrying on a polite relationship for many months. Only the fact that we got him the wagon was he able to go back to the park and meet his distant love. All I had to do was look at the way he looks at her ass to know the devotion he holds in his heart. It is, however, like Senator Byrd falling in love with Lady GaGa when you think about it. Still, it warms my heart to learn that all those years he was accused of being gay and answered that he was just artistic, makes me love him more. Of course, he IS gay, but when you have some young ass in front of you, what are you supposed to do? Go to Twist?

Friday, November 20, 2009

For some time, I had been suggesting that a wagon might make Kiki's life more interesting. Come on, he was trapped all day at home and not able to walk more that 30 or 40 feet. The question was: Would he be freaked out? As it happened, after an initial hesitation, KiKi found his release. Now he was able to go to the park again, pick up some old scents, and get some sun. I have not seen him so happy in years. True, I watched him walk around in circles, but thought: How many times hare you done that at Twist? Now everyone I know is expecting me to draft some sort of similar travel for them. The Baroness needs a wagon with a purchased-titled ducal crest and Mrs. Stuyvesant-Fish needs one with enough room for her bottles of liquor, suitable stashes for her illegal ingestive items, and Turkish curtains to hide the netherworld she brings home. However, in times like this, I might have found a cottage industry.
The loyal Lucy escorts KiKi and is by his side at every moment. Pembroke Welsh Corgies are known for their devotion. I could easily see the glee in KiKi's eyes as other dogs admired his imperial carriage. He has suddenly breathed new life and now the prospect of his nineteenth birthday party (three weeks from now) doesn't seem all that much of a wish.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

for Miss Vickie...

And, now that elections are gone....I may present my baby at Fetsh Night at Twist. Miss Vickie, you have to restrain yourself

Edison Farrow's new night at Casale on Bay Road drew more than enough local celebrities. Here were most of the most important and influential television personalities. And--as only can be expected--Code Compliance and the Fire Marshall did everything they could to shut it down.
Edison's parties are the least danger to society here on The Beach. Code Compliance officers roam about town like vultures; their only inner guide is to justify their jobs. The Fire Marshall is a grandly-festooned buffoon. He loves to show up at gay bars to count the number of a good time; where is his wife? I confronted him once at Twist and he laughed at my interest at just why he was was there until I told him he looked like he was shaking down a business; I was immediately ushered away.
This city is like a fat lady who feels that all is good as long as she eats more; she allows all her followers to eat, too (there is so much to go around). The bill will come, Fat Lady, believe me.

Michael Gongora won with great confidence, but our dear Maria lost to the local vice president of AIG. Good Lord, is that what we need; is that what we want for a city on the brink of bankruptcy? Oh, well, we needed only two more weeks for Maria. I hope she plans and knows just how short a time that will be. Next time, Marie; you are jewel.

Monday, November 16, 2009

We have all taken a deep breathe on the eve of this town's election; will AIG Vice President Exposito, eager to negotiate pension policy "behind closed doors", overtake progressive candidate Maria Mayer, who has openly stated the need to clip back the extraordinary salaries of City Hall employees, renegotiate pension plans, and perhaps--just perhaps-- make City Hall more responsive to citizen needs?

But if there are any givens in this world is that members of society like Mrs. Stuyvesant-Fish trying to grandstand all the politicians by donning a Louis Vuitton head scarf and try to start a third party candidacy in the early morning hours of the day after Halloween. We don't know where her campaign has climbed to since a cone of silence has lowered over her bid for political power. There was never any platform that I could see, except for exhaustive fun for everyone (South Beach's version of a chicken in every pot). We wish her well, but know that the mayor's office can't be run from Ye Old Gin Hall.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

With the run-off election just days away, the pace of events and meetings has taken on manic proportions. But we had to squeeze in the now mandatory visit to happy hour at Twist; I watched Maria make a stunning entrance-alone-to many gasps. That woman has style!
Sitting commissioner, Dede Weithorne, unexpectedly dropped by to support Maria; Twist General Manager, Valentino is on the left with the drink tickets :-) It did pass through my mind that if Maria and Michael were elected, and Dede showing up, that if we had another surprise visit by the mayor we'd have a quorum and really get some things done like firing a third of City Hall and placing the entire Code Enforcement team in a re-education camp to teach them that their job is to help businesses not destroy them. Those Code members who didn't get it would be shot.
I find it interesting that ever since we took the now Mayor but then unknown Mattie Bower out the Twist that it has become the first club on the political schedule to visit. I also have noted that the candidates inevitably run over the time schedule because they always seem to be having such a good time. Here, Maria is with Twist owner, Joel Stedman.

Candidates for Commission from districts two and three in this runoff, Michael Gongora and Maria Mayer, with political activist and probably the biggest thorn in City Hall's side, Mike Burke.

And we'll save the most handsome photo for last.
Today there is a gathering at Halo at 5 PM from where everyone will march over to City Hall's early voting; in a nice little touch, everyone who brings back they "I Voted" sticker will get a free drink.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

As if this won't be a hectic enough weekend, tomorrow night is Fetish Night at Twist and we have promised to go, and go all out. I have to admit that I complimented Valentino, Twist's General Manager, on the image of the invite. It not only strays from the formula images of muscle guys in leather, but makes it almost religious. Well, all I know is that I'd pray in front of that boy if I wasn't married---what the hell, maybe we'll both feel religious tomorrow. I know where we can buy some religious wafers.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

We had lunch with Commission Candidate, Maria Mayer yesterday at the hub of all City activity, David's Cafe. She is in a runoff and I was advised on good authority--the same that gave us Mattie Bower as Mayor--that we would like her. And likable she is, and beautiful, and intelligent, and caring. Our lunch was way too short as the number of her appointments looked staggering. Like our meeting with the then struggling Mattie, we came away totally amazed by her grasp of City problems, especially the out-of-this-world City Hall salaries and pension benefit, the way City employees rudely treat us (most of those over-paid fools live in Miami or Broward), and simply her refreshing manner and grace. So it's back on the front lines again; I called Thomas to insure a meeting and he, too, came away a fan. Because, truthfully, people, if we don't start putting some decent people into City Hall, we will have the same old club of shit-talkers and this city is on the verge of bankruptcy if salaries and pensions are not reigned in.

Is that a mic or a ice cream cone?
Talk around town is zeroing in on commissioner wannabe (and Marie's opponent), Exposito, and questions about what he did to his two female opponents. In the days leading up to the general election fliers were mailed out lauding Sherry Roberts "Good Experience" and decrying Maria Chang Mayer's "Problems" (take note the use of Maria's middle name; we'll come to that later). It seems the flier came from a group named Tell The Public The Facts, Inc., run by a slippery character named Custin. It certainly put Sherry Roberts in a good light and made it look like it came from her camp. According to The Herald, "But Roberts said she wasn't responsible for the ad, which painted her in a favorable light -- and pointed the finger at Exposito. Through a letter to voters and the media, she accused ``Exposito and his cohorts'' of creating the mailer, noting that Tell the Public the Facts has been a client of Exposito's political consultant, David Custin"

Both Exposito and Custin disavowed anything to do with the advertisement, which shows images of unidentified women passing wads of cash to and from tie-clad men -- and lists Mayer's home phone number while urging fed-up readers to call her.

Smear campaigns remain legal, are hard to trace, and do not fall under the cash limit laws. It is an ideal way to confuse the public, because as political guru Riley once told me, sometimes you send out an ad praising a candidate with no chance of winning just to take votes away from another and put yourself above it all. (He's my little Karl Rove).
Both women are incensed and Sherry Roberts immediately threw her support to Maria.
My advice to Maria at the end of our lunch: concentrate on the woman vote, let us muster the gay vote and no amount of money or slander can stop you. We have, however, just a few days.

Thomas Barker and I are jumping into the fray and pulling the boys and girls together. God help us.
Oh, and the middle name; City Debate came out swinging by calling Exposito and Custin "rascists" for constantly refering to Maria Chang Mayer, an obvious ploy to confuse and frighten the voters. Maria was born in El Salvador and received her law degree from the University of Miami. Someone should give these two dimwits a history lesson: When Mao took over power in China hundreds of thousands of upper class Chinese fled to Central America and especially Cuba. Take a ride up Eight Avenue in NYC to the 50's and you will see an amazing number of Cuban/Chinese restaurants (from those who fled Castro in 1961).

My computer is overloaded with emails about all this, but this just in:

"At the TUESDAY MORNING BREAKFAST CLUB, AIG VICE PRESIDENT* JORGE EXPOSITO,who is running for MIAMI BEACH COMMISSION, stated that pension and contract disputes related to the $500m dollars in unfunded liabilities burdening the city, should be settled "BEHIND CLOSED DOORS!" Perhaps this is why JORGE has been endorsed by BOTH the POLICE AND FIRE unions. One wonders what other public business MR. EXPOSITO and his faction of MIAMI- based hired guns, contractors and political cronies wish to settle in secret. perhaps MR. EXPOSITO should google: SUNSHINE LAW, FLORIDA.(and, i hope this is not too delicate a question. but just where WAS MR EXPO when his parent company AIG was stuffing junk mortgage securities in our 401k's?) thanx. mike * pl see 2008 10k filing for AIG; item 1. business pl fwd to your list"

(I heard someone called his insurance company and was told he was just a claims adjuster...)
Let's go Thomas and get 'em!!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

KiKi's condition seems to have stabilized, and I feel a bit relalxed for the moment. After seeing him the other day, he bounced back to being his old, frisky self. Everyone delighted in this change, and all I could think of was the satement made by Maurice Paléologue, the French ambassador to the court of the last days of Nicholas II's Imperial Russia when he wrote, ...it was like a match: in it's last moments. its flare is brilliant before it burns out forever.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Miami Beach's answer to every insomniac's dream, Sleepless Night, seemed to have gone off with no problems. The city was jammed with revelers and the clubs and restaurants stayed open until 7 AM this morning. I thought there might be a collective hangover today, but by 3 PM Lincoln Rd. was packed with more party monsters. It was a lovely day, in the low eighties, to bike around.
And, I had to go down and see KiKi again. Ramon and I had had a discussion about his condition two days ago about how KiKi was lost and distant much of the time, how he walked around all night keeping him awake. I pointed out that, working all day, he lets KiKi sleep and that it seemed to me that keeping him awake during the day might help. I also pointed out that I had a grandmother who lost her way; she would repeat things time after time and I was fine with answering time after time. Anyone who brought me so much happiness for so many years needed to be cut some slack. Neither one was/is in any pain, but that of confusion. So I'm taking KiKi to another vet in Coconut Grove on Wednesday to probably get the same answer we always do: His only impairment is being deaf, which probably adds to the confusion. Shortly after taking this photo I said my goodbye. Ramon and Lucy went up the stairs but, at the last moment, KiKi turned and walked to me and put his head on my leg. I looked at Ramon and he said, "I know; it's heart-breaking".

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Oh...and, if I don't have enough on my plate, tonight is Miami Beach's "Sleepless Night" , and event first celebrated in Paris. 150 events commence at 6 PM and end at 6 AM. One may go to any of these free events, attend all-night restaurants, watch Lesbian marching bands, or just hang out. Now, quite frankly, I don't know how many sleepless nights I've had since moving to South Beach; it is a way of life. But, I was hoping for a quiet night home watching the History Channel's special on The Berlin Wall; that, of course, ends at 11 Pm, leaving us seven hours of bad behaviour. Maybe Mr. Astor will forget it is going on.

I categorically deny leaking this photo to the press; my computer files have been hacked.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Talk and attention continues to revolve (and evolve) around KiKi and his mental health; still life--and the crazy version of it here--goes on.
The other day--when my back was turned--Terry raided my closet and slipped into a vintage Oleg Cassini sequined cocktail dress once belonged to my sainted mother and decided to strut her cheesy self to the public.
Of course, the sleazy public adores sleaze and the paparazzi, the glitterati, and especially the messeratti couldn't get enough of it.

I made my own fashion statement coming out for a swim with Lolita in a custom-made suit made for one of Andy Warhol's Long Island beach parties in the early eighties...and that's enough from bitches like you Ed Grow.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

To no one's surprise our beloved Mayor, Mattie Bower, trounced her two opponents with 77 % of the vote last night. We all knew that such a beloved character would not lose, but off-year elections always scare me, so we worked hard anyway. One of her most savvy advisers, my friend and political mentor Mike is behind Mattie along with the first bartender I ever had a crush on here, Nathan (white, I know; but we all make mistakes :-) The real surprise was the race between Michael Gongora and another gay man, Alex. This was a dirty race with negative ads and printings against Michael coming from who-knows-were (but I'm will to make a gay opinion). Alex finished last, leaving a run-off between Michael and Gabrielle, so out we go again.

Do you ever have a celebrity whom from the very beginning you didn't like and even come to loath. My good friend Jaime moved some time back from South Beach to Newport where his boyfriend had a good job at one of the most famous restaurants there, The Clarke Cooke House. In comes Kevin with an entourage and sits at his table; looks like a plum night doesn't it? Well, Kevin's group decides to light up cigarettes and his waiter asks them politely not to smoke; Kevin calls him a name and others light up. The waiter's manager complains to him that if the owner knew they were all breaking state law and that he was insulting the great actor, he would be fired, so the waiter went back and jokingly said, "Please, you can only smoke if you are fire here." Spacey went berserk, called him a prick and said, "You are a pushy little fuck, now get the fuck away...". The manage bemoaned that the owner was going to be angry when he learned Spacey had been insulted and a few days later the waiter was let go and replaced.
there's an interview here.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Halloween hasn't really ended yet...we are still doing things that would get us arrested in most town.s What can I say; I try to be a decent person by day.
Some boys just look best in a harness.

Mrs. Stuyvesant-Fish demanded to show the world that I was a real woman. She proved I had a camel-toe. That, and her Cartier watch....there was no decency.