"the" Mrs. Astor

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

On Sunday, we attended a private gathering at The Tide's pool with Henrietta. It was the end of a wild weekend, a wild season, and--I hope--a wild life. It is time to behave and relax.
Yesterday, we gave a good-bye late lucheon for Darren and Alan, with the jasmine plants blooming in full. That is Leopoldo on the left, followed by Henrietta, Darren, Alan, Terry, and (new pool boy monster) Fredo. The menu consisted of Terry's signature salad, my coconut rice, and Henrietta's sweet and sour meatballs, pork loin in mole' sauce, and giant lobster tails in a marinara, followed by her homemade cookies and a supremely decadent chocolate cake. Oh, yes; there was a lot of vodka and rum. Season is ending, and we might as well end it on a high note.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Saturday's big party was for Dr. Alan's birthday, and--to my utter amazement--it had been a surprise. Unless you live in this Peyton Place By-the-Sea, you can't fathom how difficult it is to invite thirty people and keep it a surprise. Even the ruse that I had had an argument with his boyfriend Darren (and wouldn't be joining them) somehow worked. Meanwhile, I was fretting for days over the invitation list and other details.
The secret party I planned was at one of the best locations here for one: the pool at The Tides on Ocean Drive. What a blast; and--just like at home--it wasn't long after this photo was taken that guests were stripping down for a nude swim. Ah, Miami Beach....

Old friends showed up whom I haven't seen together in a long time.

As did our newest group of pool party monsters, lead by that terror, Whitney, in the pink shirt.

Even a gaggle of Palace employees showed up.

Mrs. Stuyvesant-Fish (with that smug look on) and The Baroness Seitzinger.

And, no party on Miami Beach would be complete without The Incomparable Geraldine.

All-in-all, a great success. It's at once sad and relieving to know "season" is ending. The last three months have nearly killed me....literally.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Unsinkable Countess Bedelia holding court in her cabana at The Victor's pool. I do not exaggerate when I report that everywhere she went the screams, "Countess, Countess" could be heard. (That's our new little member of Court, Stevey, second from the left.)

Today is my secret party and--as usual--I'm fretting over details; I wish I could just retire from this nonsense, but I see no escape.

Friday, April 23, 2010


As Ed Grow says? It's good to be back". Amen to that!

Gay Pride at The Victor Hotel 2010

The great Countess Bedelia, head of The Great Northern Court, ruled the day....at least until I came onto the scene.
Stevey--our little cabana boy/host of my my last party--was at last given rank in Society by being "invited". And what a little guest host he was; we adore him.

For some unreasonable thought, Twist had a gay cowboy and Indian theme.

Henrietta helped transport some of the town's most heinous villains in a genuine jail wagon which Twist owner, Richard Trainor, somehow found to rent. I heard it cost thousands to rent for the day, but--as usual--Richard's eye and flair gave us all a laugh.

Mrs. Stuyvesant-Fish used the old "chin maneuver"--a practiced perfected by me decades ago, when she spotted the camera. She is with her partner in many Palm Beach crimes, Michael.

It was rumored that Baroness Seitzinger didn't attend the events of the weekend when it was revealed that Countess Bedelia had purchased these ruby earrings for the trip. Nothing unsettles The Baroness like being out-jeweled.
Of course, we all gave a rousing cheer from The Victor's pool patio...

...when the rainbow flag passed by.

It was a glorious, April day for the Victor's pool party. Bob threw two friends in and ended up have to buy two, new Iphones.

By eleven PM, the party--as all do--ended up at our pool. By this time everyone had been partying for nearly twelve hours and it was showing. I had had the good sense to come home and nap until beginning all over again.

And, where-oh-where did Whitney get those hair pins and how did he keep them so perfectly set?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

As I sought out the wreckage of last weekend, I have to comment on this very amusing card sent to me by Baroness Seitzinger; how right she is. But how the mail service got a drunkenly scrawled envelope addressed to "Mrs. Astor" with just my street on it is a marvel. I have another event to plan for this weekend, but it is so secret that only the highest of the land know about it. This actually means more work, but--if I know my parties--it is going to be a great event. I will not be performing any acrobatics at this one.

I've been exhausted by the weekend and it's aftermath and haven't even uploaded the photos yet. I did received another message about the story I wrote a long time ago about Princess Mafalda of Italy and her tragic end. Like many stories of war and suffering, a daring rescue of a royal persists and I think it odd that someone would ask me to put such a fantasy to rest. It is similar of the story of Anastasia and the woman, Anna Anderson, who would live a life claiming of a miraculous escape.

At the age of twenty-five, in a German hospital, one might almost see the resemblance to what would have been Anastasia's oldest sister, Olga. I have read volumes on her story and even was convinced on the "ear theory". This theory is that one's ears are as identifiable as finger prints and Anna ears were remarkably similar. And although some of her cousins were convinced she was Anastasia, the vast majority dismissed her. When Prince Phillip, a cousin, donated DNA to test it against a sample of tissue saved from one of Anna's operations, the fact that it didn't match was fodder for the conspiracy theorists who believe the British monarchy stole the Romanov funds after WWI. Eventually her remains were discovered pretty much where Russian archivists thought them to be. Anastasia didn't survive, as much as romantics would believe.

Princess Mafalda was a beautiful, caring, generous lady caught up in an ugly world. She didn't hide her hatred of Hitler and his policies, especially toward the Jews, and she suffered dearly for it. When her father, the king, turned on Mussolini and the Nazis, Hitler took the first opportunity to take revenge on the member of The House of Savoy he despised the most and put the gracious princess in Buchenwald, where she certainly died from injuries suffered by an allied bombing.

There will always be those who dream of miraculous, even glamorous escapes as there will certainly be those who cash in on them. In the end, it is still just a dream. Mafalda never left that concentration camp alive as Anastasia never left that basement.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Three Horse Women of the Apocalypse..Countess Bedelia, the lovable Susie, and Henrietta. No boy was safe last night at Twist. I'd write more about it, but I an prodding Mr. Astor with a stick to get ready. We have to leave in 20 minutes for The Victor and then proceed through a day of birthday and Pride celebrations. God only knows what will happen.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Yes, she is coming back. Countess Bedelia returns to South Beach tomorrow despite thinly-veiled threats for the safety of her motorcade (she flippantly said she would increase the armor). So, not only will every boy and bottle of Glenlivet be in danger, but there would seem to be no chance of a sober weekend. Mr. Astor has taken time off, so this is assured. I have--I think--truly tried to be good by going to the gym every afternoon instead of Twist. There's a lot to look at in the gym, but until they have something more potent than energy drinks, it lacks that certain something. The Countess is being very secretive about where she is staying; I offered some my finest guards to protect her from young boys to no avail.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Douglas and Henry's lunch was a lovely event and everyone enjoyed their usual gracious hospitality. Although I've been at their home here many times, it seemed as if all the periods had been put on the sentences; it was a magnificent feeling to be there.
This is the guest cottage; almost all Miami Beach homes have one. Doug and Henry renovated it to be an apartment for their property manager, another for guests, a downstairs garage/workshop, and a gym and sauna. We all talked about remembering this as a wreck of a property with a huge mud hole. How much has changed (and it is only one block from Twist).
This is the back of the main house. Built in 1930, it is a bizarre mix of styles that only exists in Miami Beach: Part Spanish, part Arabesque, part La-La Land. And it works so marvelously. I was a little too tipsy to remember to take a photo of the front, but that might have been for the best. Mrs. Stuyvesant-Fish copped out at the last moment complaining of sinus problems; I told her that I found that odd since she had texted me at the crack of dawn that Twist had tried to poison her the night before. It was my loss, as--as much as I complain about her--she is the perfect dinner/party/egg hunt companion.

I do love when the food is so organized; it makes a marvelous presentation and an ease to pick at what you desire.

Speaking of picking at what you desire, I caught our old friend, Luis, picking, too--at Douglas. We had a little chat later about his not being able to find a boyfriend. This is so perplexing to me, as I have known Luis for much of the time I've lived here. A handsome Brazilian, an intelligent man, he volunteers endlessly for charities, and is always a joy to be around. I tapped my chin and said, "I might have to step in here." It's time for match-making pool parties.

Such a lovely afternoon affair, the luncheon could only be what I would describe as elegant, but informal.
Oh....And I called Countess Bedelia to check in on her arrival plans this week. I could sense that she was in her carriage and asked where she was. "Between Courts", she pompously declared. When I asked how the antenna on her carriage was making it through the heavily-treed roads of Transylchusetts, she exclaimed that "...the peasants cut them down". It's going to be an interesting weekend coming up.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

On Thursday night we did something that is unique only in the sense that goes on all year in Miami: The Roof Top Party. This one was on top of trendy Townhouse Hotel and honored those of us, and their companions, who volunteered to work on the committees of the Winter Party. As expected, it was delightful; the crowd was fun, the liquor free, the food flowing, and the evening weather just too perfect to describe.

I didn't know it, but at the very same time that Hindenburg of hot air, Mrs. Stuyvesant-Fish, was talking trash about me to former Palace owners, Doug and Henry at Twist. They called and invited me to a cookout today at their fabulous mansion and asked if I would mind if Mamie came, too. I assured them it was fine, because if there is one thing certain in life it is to keep your enemies close. I'll be leaving to pick her up shortly; I have a poison-tipped hatpin at the ready should she try something, but I wince at the thought of how hard I would have to push it in her to really matter.

Friday, April 09, 2010

No one likes jury duty; it is a human humiliation. The only notable part of it is you know that, in the pool of Miami, there are so few US citizens without a criminal record, that you are open game for it. So, acknowledging what Amanda and Henreitta have accomplished in the courtroom, I submit the theory that one might avoid their "civic", unpaid duty by being a cross-dresser.
How would you like your copy write law suit judged by a chanteuse like this (especially with only one glove)?
It worked well in the Nuremberg trials, but would like HER to judge your war crimes.

And, this? Well...you would be doomed from the start.
I'm ready.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

The presses in New York City were running overtime with the news and image of Amanda LaPore leaving the courthouse in that city after the second day of being refused jury duty. Truly, what is American justice coming to? Do jurors all have to look like they are constipated and the last thing they had to drink was Tang?
Which brings me to Henrietta. She was called for jury duty three weeks ago and--quite fittingly--showed in in white fox. When she couldn't pass through the metal detector, she announced that it was most likely the metal forms of her period girdle and lifted her dress to show the prison matron person. Henrietta said every old man push to get a glimpse before the matron told her to lower her dress. Once let in, she was summarily dismissed when the court official announced her name of Henry R. and Henrietta stood up.
What ever happened to Democracy; if I were being tried, I would want a jury of my peers.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Sometimes you just have to meet a cute boy like Jay; he loved to be photographed and I loved doed doing it. I see a pool party in the future.
He followed me around for a while wanted me to photograph him with his strategically place sun glasses.

I ironed the napkins and Terry folded them into a lovely Easter presentation.

Before dinner we gathered as decent people do on Easter weekend; my eyes were on the Latino boy on the right, of course, but0--like Mamie--I maintained Court Decorum and only bowed my head at his clever utterances.

Mrs. Stuyvesant-Fish and I gossiped about all the boys in the pool while downing copious amounts of wine.

What can you say?

Oh, well; you don't invite ten people for dinner and mope all day. So Terry and I set the tables, ironed and folded the napkins and stuffed the eggs full of fun surprises. The day was not without incident, though; I was making a banana cream pie and it somehow slipped off the plate. The mess was gruesome, but I always have two of everything ready for such a disaster and pie two was made. I realized I could let that windbag, Mrs. Stuyvesant-Fish or that snarky Baroness Seitzinger be allowed to say that today would be anything but excellent. Now I have to find an outfit with some color; chiffon would be nice, but it IS an early evening event.

Ever since that knock on the head, I've been sinking deeper and deeper into depression. We are having Easter dinner later today (along with the infamous egg hunt), some of the highest of the high in Beach society are coming and I can't seem to pull it together. Mr. Astor is beside himself trying to lift me up with everything from a dog to Prada, and I still find myself drifting away from him, away from my friends, just away. Depression is such a funky thing; a cut heals but this totally consumes you.