"the" Mrs. Astor

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Mamie set off to her country mansion in Nashville for Christmas and, by all accounts, kept up appearances quite well. The Barones Seitzinger, however, left town under a cloud of shame. Even I can't report what transpired, but it involved waking up next to a drag queen. There was nothing else she could do but to flee to her place in the Dominican Republic, where--of course--The Dollar goes a long way. She won't admit to anything to the press, but Society moans (and talks) of her.
We had a rather scandalous night out with Alan and Darren on Sunday; yesterday we had a more behaved afternoon with Adelino and today a very tasteful lunch on Lincoln Rd. We are saving out energy for tomorrow when we will have Henrietta in tow.
The spirit of anarchy is rising by the hour as New Years Eve approaches; thank God for those Latinos.

Some architects just don't look beyond the blueprint for what their design will inspire.

Monday, December 28, 2009

My...How fast the Christmas weekend went by. We tumbled through a four day period of non-stop festivities with none seeming to be too outlandish in a town where "outlandish" is something you eat for breakfast next to your eggs.
We took Henrietta and Pimpernel out to Christmas dinner and presented her with the picture book I published as her present. It was a present, to me, to see the glee on her face as she went through it. We then went to Twist for a riotous bacchanal.
Although I do not subscribe to the notion of body painting, some ghetto boys' tattoos have appeal to jaded, white society women. It reminds me of a movie I got for Leopoldo recently: The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone (the new version with Helen Mirren). It is a world not readily understood, but fascinating or erotic.
Meanwhile, it is now estimated that the python population in the Everglades has zoomed past the 100,000 mark. The authorities are contemplating many measures, but sometimes you have to start at the beginning to solve a problem, and that is making it illegal to import predator reptiles in the the country in the first place. Meanwhile, stupid parents are giving Little Johnny a python for Christmas, and when it grows and tries to strangle him, let it loose in the swamps.

I do now plan the New Years' post: The Story of Peggy, The Pig. It's been on my plate for the entirety of this blog, but held back, and back. If this blog is going to end, Peggy's story must be told as it rates beyond the Schnapple con-joined twins as a measure of the craxy life I lived in New York.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Some time ago I inherited a large number of Russian war bonds from my grandmother and have been waiting since the fall of Communism there for that country to make good, at least, for a percentage of their value. No luck, so far, but that arbiter of flatulent gossip, Mrs. Stuyvesant-Fish, actually accused me of trying to cash one in on an unsuspecting Cuban teller at The Bank of America yesterday. I may have been dropping my handkerchief in front any Cuban, but I would like to inform Mamie that unsuspecting bank tellers are as rare as hen's teeth, and that her source was an known drug addict. To her, I say, "Mamie, you can wallpaper your home with Confederate currency as much as you want. Russian war bonds will be paid long before your homeland's junk will." SNAP
Truly, why can't we just get along...at least until the New Year?

Monday, December 21, 2009

Terry and I finished decorating the house and property this afternoon. I did the tree, which Terry exclaimed upon coming down the stairs from decorating the monkeys, "It's beautiful. Like Elizabeth Taylor!" Maybe it was the violet bulbs, or perhaps just a friend's hyperbole, but all I know is that it takes a lot less time to take down than put up. There was a lot of wine involved. Chiffon drapes, giant wreaths, and--of course--the "snow machine" have been set up outside. Let the joy begin.
I fondly still think back to Baroness Seitzinger's irreverent ornaments, like the Pig in the Blanket.

We thought this an interesting shot. Just what are those boys shocked to see? Their gaze downwards would not suggest one of their girlfriends just walking in on their private time. Did the video just change from Boys of Havana to Girls of Fargo? Just makes you want to be a fly, or cam, on the wall.

Oh, and it's the thought that counts, but only money matters.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

On the good side of this past week, all Christmas shopping--apart for ourselves--was complete. This may be the first year in memory that I won't be shopping on Christmas Eve. In addition, we have succeeded in escaping the family Christmas Day dinner and will take it ourselves with Pimpernel and Henrietta, where I will present her with her own picture book.
On the bad side, two days of unusual torrential rains cancelled KiKi's picnic. On top of that, I foolishly went to the market Friday night when it stopped raining going through a huge puddle into the curb. In the tumble, I sprained my right hand, Now I know what Bette Davis felt like in Dead Ringer. On Saturday I had to painfully scrawl my name on a pile of holiday cards as Leopoldo likes that old touch; I felt like screaming with every "A...". No harm done, and they got mailed. In addition, I had to cancel a post-Christmas party. It has been a weekend of pills and pain, although my right forefinger and thumb are fine enough to type.

And poor KiKi. I visited yesterday only to find him as disoriented as ever. It isn't long before you wonder if you'd ever want to get that way, walking into a closet and not finding your way out. This will be the first crisis of the New Year.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Baroness Seitzinger's Christmas Party

Baroness Seitzinger's carriage arrived on time in a driving rain to pick us up. She was in it and commented, "What a lovely bag. Is it Coach?" "Prrrrrada", I replied, rolling the "R's". "Bitch," she sneered. Round one went to the Astors.
It was with equal amounts of fascination and dread that we attended The Baroness's "get-together", but we were all fully entertained by the decoration of her high-rise pad.
Firstly, there was the nativity scene; I have my qualms about such things, but the figurines were of the best Italian ceramics. (My, my; where do you store them the rest of the year?)

I've seen this pig-madame before, seated in an antique child's chair. I don't know what to make of it really; at one moment I'm repulsed and the next, seduced.

The pig madame guards an exceptional example of Baroness Seitzinger's eclectic tastes: The Mermaid Figurine, the over-sized jewels (including The Star of Constantinople we gave her) in the middle, and the nutcracker dildo... My, oh my.

Her tree ornaments were surreal: bloated fish-woman faces, harlots, grotesque creatures everywhere.

And, then, there was the Tim Burtonish snowman; truely, this went on and on throughout her apartment. What a joy her party was.

My friend, Ed Grow, has demanded boy pics all the time, so I submit this lovely missive of our bartender's fashion sense at Twist's Christmas party.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

We managed both Christmas parties and even managed to leave with some dignity. Poor Mamie moaned today that she was suffering from a hangover from "The Hangover Hall of Fame", but we told her she had to put her Happy Hat on and attend Baroness Seitzinger's holiday party tonight. We are expecting a great spread with all that (new) money The Baroness likes to flaunt; she's even sending her carriage to pick us up. There is no difference between new money and old on Miami Beach; just have a lot of it and the island is yours.

Several people reported to me today that The Palace's Christmas party was a dud and few attended. What have they done to that place? Two years ago we entertained hundreds, although that seems to be a million years ago. Rumors are rampant that it doesn't have long to live.
And, here is another sweetie from Germany who has been visiting for several years. It is very difficult to pull off colors like this, but we thought he succeeded magnificently.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

We are treading across minefields; tonight we are going to two Christmas parties, The 11th Street Diner's and Twist's. Twist approached me the other day to make some of the holiday dishes, which just tickled me pink. Fortunately, both venues are next to each other.

While shopping yesterday I ran into my old pal, Emiliano. What a cutie. Pimpernel never fails to remind me that he was there the day Emiliano came in looking for a job; I gave him a five-second interview and hired him at the first smile. It was a move I--or anyone else--never regretted. He is now bartending at Club 721 at the old Laundry Bar space. He told me it is the usual mixed crowd, but on Thursday's there is a "gay night"; I told him that is like Score having a "Latino night". Every night is gay and Latin in Miami. We have to luscious holiday party to attend tomorrow at Baroness Seitzinger's; after that, Emiliano.

Here's the body that goes with the face.

And, things must be picking up. I was approached by the managers of two clubs this week to meet and discuss what we can to in the new year; hopefully it will be a better year for everyone.

Monday, December 14, 2009

We kept a low profile this weekend; before us sprawls two weeks of holiday parties.
The New York Times used to be so on top of things. Yesterday it announced the passing of one of Europe's reigning princes, Giorgio I of Seborga, a tiny principality in the hills over the Italian Riviera. Most of Europe's papers had reported the event soon after he passed away on November 25. One of the quirkier stories of that continent, Giorgio had long studied the history of his town of 2,000, going back to when it was established in 954. Through a series of errors, the principality was not mentioned in the Congress of Vienna as it divided the European continent and forgotten in the unification of Italy in the late 1800's. So the enterprising flower grower/doctor convinced his fellow villagers to elect him prince in 1963. Translated from Latin, his principality's motto reads, "Sleep In The Shade".
From time to time, Prince Giorgio I visited Seborga's border crossings. There seemed to be no imminent danger of invasion, but why let your guard down.

The principality issued its own stamps and license plates...

...as well as its own passports and currency, although these were only recognized within the borders of its 14 square kilometers. (Someone still has to explain to me why the passport has the Russian translation of that word on it.)
No one in the Italian government minded this rather strange goings on; the citizens still paid taxes to Rome and got its services. Still, Seborga was recognized by a few states and enjoyed and idyllic life on the hills of Northern Italy. A true patriot, Prince Giorgio pronounced that he was married to his state and left no heirs, although a pretender to the throne once tried to overthrow him. Wikipedia has a cute story with a picture of The Palace of Seborga. What a lovely, nonsensical place it would have been to live in.

Oh, yes; Happy Birthday KiKi. Your picnic has been scheduled for Wednesday or Thursday.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

KiKi returned home late today from his state visit as reported below. Despite his confused state, he managed to pull things together as his royal wagon made ready to leave and looked confidant and regal, much in the way I, along with Mrs. Stuyvesant-Fish, can straighten out the pearls, lift the chin, and leave any venue with respect. Next stop: the birthday picnic in the park.

It is 84 degrees at the moment with a humidity point of 60%, making it feel like 89. This is the type of day that makes watching The Weather Channel a joy; just looking at what is happening in the rest of the country reminds me why I like living here. Well, that and the Latinos, of course.
And, after a visit to New Hampshire where his owner has a farm, Mr. Clucky is returning to The Beach to continue the battle with City Hall. Mayor Mattie Bower met with Mark Buckley and said that she sympathized with Mr. Clucky and would try to work a compromise. She instructed the city manager to consider a special exception if the other owners in Buckley's condo agreed to let him stay. As I had predicted, the backlash against the hated City Hall from residents, tourists, and the media backed the commissioners into a corner, or chicken coop perhaps. Mr. Clucky can be seen in this painting of Lincoln Rd.
And, KiKi is spending two days here. They poor guy is a lost soul; I thought all the happy memories of living here would bring him around more than it did. Still, he loves a good meal. He enjoyed beef tips in a mushroom sauce over egg noodles for lunch yesterday and Swedish meatballs and rice for dinner. If that doesn't bring back some memories, nothing will.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

It has taken a year, but the stress on the major hotels here is beginning to show. Only two years old, the Gansevoort Hotel (its roof pool area is above) is going into a bankruptcy auction and the Sagamore has reached out to the Playboy Empire to save it as "The Art Hotel" finds itself three months behind in its mortgage payments. In the past five years, there was an orgy of development and renovation, but only for the high-end. Hotels that used to cater to students and middle class visitors were eagerly turned into "boutique" condo/hotels. The City fully supported anything that would keep those rowdy people out of The Riviera of America. Then, one day, the Grim Hotel Reaper knocked on the door and informed the greedy that there weren't enough people willing or able to pay $350 and up a night and some would have to die. Along with them would go the stores and restaurants that relied on the same, seemingly endless, crowds of wealthy fun-seekers.
The Tides, I am assured tonight by Dr. Alan, is doing fine, which is a relief; I would miss those crazy pool parties he gives there. And, a word to the wise at those parties: Never tell a seven foot tall Amazon drag queen that a dress like that makes him think that someone must be missing a pair of draperies in Hialeah.
There are still much to smile about; and you can add The Twelve Gays of Christmas to them.

Monday, December 07, 2009

KiKi's coffee table book came out last week to great acclaim; it was then that I realized he must be the most well-known dog on South Beach. Until only a year ago, he regularly made the rounds to the most popular restaurants and clubs on The Beach. He is not the most beloved dog as he did not hide is dislike of being touched by anyone but the immediate family; he believed every finger or toe as fair game. As the book made its rounds, more than one person asked another if they knew KiKi and the answer would usually be a roll of the eyes and, "I'm afraid of that dog". Often respect is better than popularity. One week from today will be his nineteenth birthday and he said he would be available for paw-signing.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

There is nothing like sitting with a group of friends and watching Serial Mom. Every evil glance by Kathleen Turner elicited screams and every murder, howls of laughter. Every scene in the movie seems to be hilarious; no break for the viewer is allowed. It reminded me that a long time ago I read the screenplay of Female Trouble and every line was hilarious.

Yesterday, we duly ignored the tornado watch and the impending rain to celebrate the birthday of Baroness Seitzinger and watched that movie; we just don't get together like that much these days. Tongues were sharp and the dueling nonstop, but it was so much fun. The Baroness lashed out at me for calling her taste "tacky"; appalled, I denied ever, ever using that word. "But you dance around it with so many other words, that it comes down to that", she claimed. Wounded, I reminded her that I haven't even gone into that Nativity Scene she's is setting up. So, for the record, there is nothing tacky about Seitzinger. She has an odd way with objects, but she is a class act of the highest order. She doesn't have the "airs" of Mamie, who can one moment be squeezed into a broom closet with some low life and emerge to pick up a serving spoon and sneer, "Plate". We love them both.
In contrast to yesterday, today is one of those glorious Sundays and sun worshipers were out all the way down to South Point. I biked down to the point, but stopped at the fence because of my well-known aversion to sand. I'd need a Rubbermaid mat down to the water to be happy, but I don't like the sea water, either. Fussy, I know, but I do appreciate our lovely town.

But, right there at the end of the beach, there was the ever-present reminder that Miami Beach is a bureaucracy of rules. So many don'ts, but it keeps the leeches in City Hall employed.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

The Countess Bedelia wrote a touching remembrance of her beloved dog, Mai Ling, and it brought shudders to me. Last night I dreamt that KiKi fell into a large hole and I had to jump in and get him out; this morning, I entered the kitchen to see doggie napkins, packaged in the cupboards for one year had somehow fallen out. I am so spooked.

I look at him now and see an old dog being carted around in a wagon and remember when he used to sit with me at my desk and smile. It seems so long ago.

Today's holiday party has been cancelled by The Baroness because she has not finished her Nativity Scene. (I knew God would help me.) So we are all to meet at Twist this afternoon and will sing old standards like "Deck the Halls With Gin and Holly" and "Come, All Ye Drunkards." Ah, tradition. Of course, Miami is under a Tornado Watch this afternoon, which will make it all the more festive.

Friday, December 04, 2009

What was this about? Secondary to everything, is Rush wearing no socks...Excuse me, after Labor Day? Where are American values?

But more than everything else (exciting only to gay Martians), does that idiot know that sitting in a "S" shaped chair for a sincere conversation is only done in the lobbies of expensive hotels between paramours? They might as well be in The Grand Hotel with Greta Garbo looking on jealously.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Well, we all got a hint of what The Baroness Seitzinger's Xmas decorations will be like; it'll be very expensively done (the was she is), but totally over the top. Today Mamie and I received an invitation this weekend to celebrate her decorations with "egg nogg and Christmas music". I personally would prefer to be tied to the tree in Rockefeller Center and burned to death, but she is such a dear that we'll go and enjoy the company--there's always the 16th floor balcony if push comes to shove and Mamie just can't take it any longer. (And, I did request "happy" Xmas music.)
I never decorated until Mr. Astor moved in, but our celebration is just a wreath with antique ornaments in back of our mysterious Egyptian house god...
...and a small arrangement of items dear to Mr. Astor (like those bloody Teddy Bears). All this will change when Terry arrives again next week; then everything inside and out will look like an explosion at Neiman Marcus.
And, then, there is this...

Poor Baroness, all that money and so much of it wasted. She spent last week at a resort in Nicaragua (we don't need to into any stories about that), but the poor thing is always attracted to the gaudiest items in airport gift stores. The last one was apparently so obnoxious that God had to break it in her luggage. Still, she is such a dear that I'm sure we'll swoon over it this weekend. Then, again, there's that balcony.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

I thought I would drift aimlessly away from the nonsense I live in.

Like. I thought someone....anyone should be reminded that Afganistan has NEVER been ruled by foreign powers; the Britsh couldn't do it, the the Russians--next door--couldn't do it, and Alexander the Great just thought it was better to put the entire population to death. Still, we are there; so--you know what--let the politicians waste natioanl treasury on it. I'm sure only the stupid, poor people will pay as usual.
On a lighter note, The Baroness Seitzinger is busy decorating for Christmas in the same manner she leads her shallow life: nearly embarrassing Polite Society by her taste. Mrs. Styuvesant-Fish hasn't been able to be revived since seeing this photo, but--then--she hasn't had a Cuban feeding her a quesadilla in two days. We will all dutifully attend her grand showing--with smelling salts.

Good Lord, why are so many of us afflicted with insomnia. I'm still waiting for my Xanax to kick in with the red wine and looking a photos of the other night. Two lessons should be learned:
Never, ever put a gun to the head of an owner of the most important club in town, like Twist's Richard Trainor, ...
...or think you can take a behemoth down with just a Tommy Gun. It's a lose, lose situation. In the first, you will probably be viewed as a danger and drink tickets will go away, and in the second you will be trampled to death.