Being on vacation with Mr. Astor is similar to being on a roller coaster; there are wild curves and frightening swoops where we hold our hands in the air and scream. We met these Miami boys in Twist's bungalow bar and have followed the usual formula: wake up, go to gym, go shopping, take a nap, and then to happy hour. The weather is unusually hot and makes any activity a chore. No one has a good feeling about hurricane season as it has been five years since the tropics punished us for living here; time will tell, but the party goes on.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Sunday, July 25, 2010
On the first day of his week vacation, I put Mr. Astor to work finishing the cleaning of leaves from the pool that I began yesterday. The brief tropical storm on Friday had managed to put every available leaf into the pool, and we had to clear it out before it all jammed the filter. It was a lovely afternoon: clearing the leaves, sipping rum and Cokes, and just being silly.
Summer brings in the rainy and growing season. While Mr. Astor worked on the pool, I clipped overgrown plants threatening egress into the back yard.
Still, although most of our northern friends avoid visiting in summer because of the heat, humidity, and hurricanes, we find the lush, tropical setting just fine. The heat and the Latin boys mix oh, so well.
Saturday, July 24, 2010
After a grueling day at the office and a similar one at Twist's happy hour, I was awarded with a CNN special, Saving The Gulf, with Rob Marciano hosting. What a heartthrob. I cabled The Baroness Seitzinger immediately about it, and she pretentiously cabled back, "He is here with me, right now, and I am licking....."--we need not go any further. I cabled back, "He is only after the title(s)", as dubious as they are. I did cable Mrs. Stuyvesant-Fish about how I got to see Rob's armpit as he dressed (knowing this was an area of her great and grand expertise), but she was too involved with a bunch of Palm Beach gangsters to reply.
One of her PB gang is selling his 1983 Rolls Royce on Ebay. Before that goes down, Mamie wants us to don Arab headdress and tool around South Beach; I think that is rather provocative and wonder if we should just go as we are. In my humble opinion, that, alone, is enough.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Why I Don't Go Into The Ocean
The Miami Herald had an interesting article today about the dangers of going into the ocean, along with sand, one of the things I abhor. "A little-known, deadly bacteria called Vibrio vulnificus, which naturally occurs in warm coastal waters, can infect the open wounds of beachgoers..." It went on to warn, "According to the Center for Disease Control, Vibrio vulnificus infections prove fatal approximately 50 percent of the time. Victims usually die within 24-48 hours as the bacteria quickly spreads through the bloodstream and begins destroying tissue." Nice.
I have been described as one of those Screaming Mimis about the oceans off of metropolitan areas. Even if the sewer systems work, the run-off alone is enough to cause concern; give me a chlorinated pool any day, rather than an ear infection. Add to this the fact that a major rupture of a sewer pipe spilled a huge amount of poo-poo into Biscayne Bay last week and, that's all I need to stay out of the ocean. (I know that Mamie goes for an ocean swim off of her beach side mansion but, if I had that much alcohol in my system every morning, the ocean would be afraid of me!)
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Baroness Seitzinger's carriage arrive on time at 6 PM, and no one was surprised about her new ducal crest adorning the doors of her carriage and even her blouse. (Actually we all wore tops with crests in an amusing coincidence; my top, though, had so many crests that the crests had crests.)
The Wilmerdings reside on the west bay in an adorable 1925 bungalow with all the original details and all the new appliances.
Mrs. Wilmerding turned the original sun room into a mini-banquet hall (and you know how we like those). In the cocktail hour before dinner, Mrs. Stuyvesant-Fish got up and walked across the living room to sit next to me after she caught me whispering something about her to Miguel; that stopped that. At dinner she and the baroness traded barbs and snips at each other; but, Mamie even cable me today that it was a wonderful night "...and, even The Baroness was tolerable". To all of our fortunes, it was decided on a vote of 4 to 2 to pass on the boat ride. Natalie Woods lives on.
Mrs. Wilmerding's family has long been involved in the collection of folk and modern art. I was particularly amused by her Japanese-painted collection of skate boards (or skate decks, as the are called).
My, my; skandalous skate boards.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
In a few minutes we will head off to the dreaded mainland for dinner at the Wilmerding's home on the west side of Biscayne Bay. I'm bringing a salad I saw Rachel Ray make while at the gym (it is a basically gay gym, so if you are not watching the screen with The Food Channel, you are probably watching The House and Garden one); I made up a dressing using some of her ideas and some of mine and that will be the thing to watch as I had little time after we got home from happy hour at Twist. There is some talk--and Mr. Astor is all excited--about taking their boat out for a spin around the bay. Maybe I'm a little too cautious, but a boat ride after a dinner with lots of food and wine doesn't sound like too good of an idea. Appropriate boating outfits have been donned, just in case.
Well, Baroness Seitzinger's carriage will be pulling up to the gate any minute. She's had the nerve to remove her baronial crests off the doors and replace them with ducal after that moment of drunk thinking and I awarded her the title of Duchess of Sangria. She is relentless in her social climbing, but a ride is a ride.
Monday, July 19, 2010
Last night we attended the twelfth anniversary of Score. I was a little hesitant, but Mr. Astor insisted, and it is only two blocks from the house. Sadly, I can't understand how they could turn a special event like that into something so unremarkable. Just two weeks ago, Twist celebrated its anniversary with seven open bars and great shows; it was very Ancient Rome in its extravagance. Score had the nerve to charge $20 per person and full price drinks in plastic cups. It was--to us--a major disappointment and, I think, a major publicity failure.
It was nice, though, to see old friends like Charlie, and Score did provide adorable outfits for their employees.
God knows, the club tried to be interesting. Michael (on the right), one of the principals in The Queen Cabaret, was so cute. I hadn't seen him in some time and asked if the boy in the blue shirt was his husband. "No", he replied, "My husband is on the other side of the bar. This is my boyfriend." How South Beach.
Door goddess, Asia, certainly was doing her part with those delirious boots. I so wanted her to pose doing the Goose Step and saluting, but she so wanted to be the vixen that I let it go.
Thank God, Mamie is ever-vigilant and found this precious item. I think the inventor of this glass should be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Tommy's party was a great success; more so than anyone expected. Of course, there are those people who crave attention. Dr. George somehow thought he might be Carmen Miranda, but couldn't muster up the strength to really hoist the flowers to the top of his head. Poor thing.
Mrs. Wilmerding (nee' Vanderbilt), with her handsome husband Mr. Fernandez, and they invited us to their home on Tuesday for a boat ride in the bay. Mamie warned that they might be trying a Natalie Wood "disappearance" for me, but I think Mamie is just frustrated that she has to work on that day and can't be the one throwing me off. Poor thing.
High Society as represented by Mr. Astor, The Baroness Seitzinger, and Mr. Stuyvesant-Fish. Mrs. S-F was doing that long-timed photo-opportunity-wise "Chin Maneuver" I perfected that move twenty years ago with famed, NYC photographer, Tina Paul; Mamie is just a babe in the woods where those moves are concerned. She ain't poor, but she is a thing.
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Aside from our anniversary (which in Gay Years On South Beach is astounding), all attention is on, and all of Society will attend, the birthday celebration tonight at Twist for Tommy Decker, the nicest, most sincere bartender on The Beach. The elaborately catered event (by Raul Rodriguez) will commence at six-thirty, and I know many who will be arriving early to taste the chilled avocado soup. I assume that gaudy Baroness will be wearing too much jewelry and that Mrs. Stuyvesant-Fish will be donning an ostentatious hat. I'll be wearing Prada, but Mr. Astor will undoubtedly show us all up.
Friday, July 16, 2010
Busy, busy; like the busy bee. I neglected to report that yesterday was our third anniversary; the last six months have been rocky, but have delightfully settled down to the easy-going, bar-hopping, fun times we are used to relentlessly enjoy. We are also getting ready for the birthday party of, perhaps, the most admired and enjoyed bartender on South Beach (and certainly ours), Tommy Decker of Twist's infamous Happy Hour.
The Baroness Seitzinger was ecstatic at the introduction of this hat to her collection, despite my warnings. Mrs. Stuyvesant-Fish is so right, "You can't teach these land-locked (Baroness is from Nebraska) people from stepping over the line of vulgarity". How very right, but if PETA doesn't get her won't some hunter as she goes out to pick apples or things like that?
Today is the seventy-fifth anniversary of the parking meter. Seitzinger (before her sainted, though social-climbing mother bought her that title) was on a school trip to NYC with the Future Farmers of America when she photographed me having just pranced out of Bergdorf's marveling one of those contraptions. Funny; it was the first parking meter and still the bureaucrats had not figured out to take the "No Parking" sign off; I mean, wasn't it self-defeating? Well, the parking meter got a quarter for its anniversary, and...
...I got a Prada belt. We celebrate our anniversary and Tommy's birthday tomorrow at--where else--Twist, where every intelligent Beach resident visits every afternoon (and evenings, when they want to be bad....VERY bad).
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
A well-known nut-about-town has accused my blog of being the center of a Satanic cult. I mean, truly, my little diary of a life a little off of center might not hold well to a town hall meeting in Tiftin Georgia, but Satanic? Call me jaded, but I almost feel honored. But, no dear, deluded boy, there is nothing to do with Satan here. Idiots who swim in murky lakes and get attacked by alligators--YES--City Hall politicians who take way to much for way to little--yes--precious, young men who make the town lovely to walk in--yes--and, great parties--indeed! But if you really want to accuse me of Satanism, I suggest you convene an Inquisition because I always loved their outfits, if not their mission. Go back to Boston you absolute fool; you are the laughing stock of a town that finds few things as consistently amusing as your nuttiness.
Monday, July 12, 2010
I might have been a little too rash with The Baroness. Sometimes she just says things without thinking first. So, she is allowed to keep her new title only when poolside--or when she visits Palm Beach (where you really do need a title to matter). Peace in our time has been achieved.
It is seldom that Mr. Astor and Mrs. Astor have a Sunday off. We had one and invited The Baroness Seitzinger over. She is a clever one. She brought lovely pasta and fruit salads over with
a sangria that was spiked with a Kitty Dukakas blend that made me do something Mrs. Stuyvesamt-Fish deplores: I awarded her a title. Mrs. S-F and me don't need titles, but it is so apparent that everyone else does. Not that the title, The Duchess of Sangria, is NOT hereditary or even able to be purchased like her current one. I was weak, but that Sangria was mighty.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Dana and Kendall from the Miami Beach Cinematheque. Without them, we would be in another void; God only knows why The City keeps hindering them.
Henrietta with one of her very favorite (and ours) bartenders at Twist, Karloz. I once asked him, after seeing his name displayed, "Are you Hungarian?" "No", he replied, "I am Colombian and my mother was a "hippie" and spelled it that way." I might not make the national spelling bee test, but I spell it K A R L O Z.
I walked out in the back yard this morning to find that the boy, Juan, attached to this swimsuit was missing. Anyone with a valid ID and information to his whereabouts is granted a title.
Meanwhile, just when you thought you could let your children out, particularly sons, one has to be advised that the evil, twin sister of Mrs. Stuyvesant-Fish is lurking around. One can never be too safe in times like these (unless, of course, you work for City Hall).
Friday, July 09, 2010
Obviously, I spend a lot of time at Twist. One of the many gems of that adventure is the upstairs, video bar. It has a wonderful selection of screens that constantly provide visual amusement--mostly provided by their VJ, Nathan--and keeps a crowd in place.
Nathan and Mario rule the second floor video bar. They are so natural together that you might think of a 1940's screw-ball comedy--only gay. They command a great audience of admirers.
Mario, of course, has that Latino sensuality that leaves nothing to the imagination, so unlike my New England upbringing. He also has nipples so large that I think they are noted on the Roswell archives.
When I first moved here in 1997, I had no friends, felt alone and depressed, had a job, but was so needy. Nathan had just started working at Twist's happy hour and I stopped in every afternoon. He was/is the most pleasant, delightful, and intelligent being one could every hope to meet. We have been friends ever since, and he has progressed as one of the the most admire VJ's on Miami Beach.
Wednesday, July 07, 2010
More photos from Twist's seventeenth anniversary. I've been too busy to keep up with things, but will attend to that. It was--as usual--a magical evening; the open bar didn't hurt the magic, but almost any evening can be, there.
Although I did not photograph the chairs I upholstered in plush (fake) tiger print, the rest of the new "Jungle Room", came out lovely. Previously it had lacked any type of charm, but that has been addressed.
And, no party on South Beach would be complete without our buddy, Kendall (who was very instrumental in the new decoration of the club) . I was having a conversation with another patron about loving lobster. I exclaimed, "I'm from Rhode Island; how could I NOT like lobster?!" Kendall tapped me on the shoulder and whispered, "I'm from Iowa and I love lobster; how do you explain that?" Sometimes, I am speechless.
The ubiquitous Thomas Barker was, of course, in attendance, and--in fact--sitting on the second floor bar for most of the evening. There is no doubt in my mind that soon he will be dancing on it in high heels. It is the way of all flesh.
As we left, we paid a stop at our friend, Frankie's bar (there are seven at Twist); Frankie is one of those Twist bartenders who has worked since it opened so long ago. He is with his new acolyte. Derek; there should be more acolytes like that. I'm thinking of laying off pool boys and only hiring acolytes; I need to think of the ad.
Thursday, July 01, 2010
Well, we arrived home one half hour ago from Twist's great, 17 th anniversary party, a record, early time. We arrived at 10:30 and had a lovely time with all the great, regulars we know. A quiet evening for us, it was still great fun . There is much to do tomorrow. More photos to follow; this is owner, Richard Trainor, with a bevy of his supporters.