Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas 2009: You've Come a Long Way Baby

X-mas 1964

X-mas 2009
I spent Christmas in the city, staying with a friend in her townhouse on Washington Street, which is a very old thoroughfare in downtown Manhattan, running up from the Battery to the World Trade Center site, whence in disappears within modern development, only to reappear in Tribeca, where it continues to run about 40 blocks up to 14th Street.

On the afternoon of Christmas Eve, I foolishly opened the front door from the inside without checking and set off an alarm. By the time it could be shut off, ADT had called the New York City Fire Department, and within 10 minutes an engine company and a huge ladder truck showed up at the door. The firemen were dressed in their full turnout coats, with Scotts packs on their backs.

I found it odd that an alarm company would summon the fire department for a burglar alarm being set off. While the responders couldn't have been nicer or more polite, the essential difference between firemen and police, I should think, is that firemen don't need a warrant to enter a private residence.

In any event, it seemed like a big waste of energy---both of the human and carbon variety. I saw other such fire department over-responses happening everywhere I went in the city during this trip. Luckily, I didn't note what was visible on other recent trips into the city---and that was the large American flags unfurled from the backs of speeding fire department equipment, flapping furiously in the breeze, and not looking especially fire-retardant in the process.

Or maybe I've just become sedentary in my old age, and am easily overstimulated. Whatever the changes afoot in fire department processes and procedures---if any---the members are surely earning their salaries now.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Went to Aggie's for "Cocktails," and to See the Iconic Works

What a privilege this evening was. I really don't understand how someone as transgressive as I am is allowed within kneeing distance of a major Mark Rothko, let alone the archaic Chinese bronzes. In any event, I do know how to mind my manners amongst such graceful perfection.

We'd spent half the week in the city, just doing this and that. I'd never walked along the new city park, The Highline, which were old elevated train tracks running down through Chelsea and the West Village. Whomever, did a superb job transforming the industrial wreakage into one of the most pleasant jaunts imaginable.

It is my understanding that sex exhibitionists perform in the southern windows of the Standard Hotel on Saturday nights for the delectation of park habitues.

I just love the city.

Monday, November 16, 2009

I Wasn't Going to Mention It,

but then went and published a photographic image!

Last Wednesday night at the Tribeca Rooftop at 2 Desbrosses Street, Yaz and Valentin Hernandes, Cynthia and Dan Lufkin and Laura and Richard Parsons co-chaired the American Folk Art Museum Gala celebrating advocates for the arts.

I sat next to an honoree and the museum's director Maria Ann Conelli, with honoree, Adam Gopnik, to her right, and a third, Arki Busson, sitting within spitting distance.

I really don't understand the universe that puts a transgressive figure such as myself in an expensive seat. It is too hot in the spotlights near the dance floor! I want to sit off to the side near an air-conditioner vent!

Some have called me a CIA agent disguised as a schizophrenic New York left-wing, literary art fag, but I'm just your typical everyday anti-banking anarchist with a chip on his shoulder.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Jean's Mummy and Daddy

Jean came over and we braved going through some ruined boxes that had been in storage for years. Everything in them was water damaged, except for the one thing she was looking for---a photograph of her mother and father. Pangman, I believe, but don't quote me.

Mother looks like she's doing a bit of sewing. Jean couldn't do anything genteel like that at all---no harpsichord playing or embroidery for her!

Reminds me of when I used to cook for Lord and Lady Gordon of Montreal when they came down to stay at their son Peter's house. Ask them. I'm sure they won't remember me. It was the late 80's. All very nice. Very nice indeed. My wiener schnitzel was to die for.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Nick & Joe's Halloween Party 2009

They outdid themselves this year. The party which is only given on the years when Halloween falls on a Saturday (My famous drag performance, when I came as the Madonna/Whore Complex and performed a medley of songs by Mike Stoller and Jerry Leiber, which even included a major wig change, mid-number, was I believe 1994 or 1995.) had grown so large that it outgrew its domestic origins and was held for the first time at a beautifully decorated Water Mill Field House. Joe clearly ranks as a modern-day Perle Mesta---or Helga the Hostess of Horror at least.

Sixties Pamela didn't make it into the group shot because she wouldn't stop dancing and get down off the stage.

This year I came as a Tran-sexual Gladiator in a see-through toga made of shower curtains.

I'd bought a real gladiator helmet when I was in Rome and had it shipped back. I thought I needed to bring the look back down with an improvised Chiton.

I had a bag of Roman Gladiator shields, which were once part of the MGM prop collection. In the fifties, when they did big battle scenes, they would often film them in 1/16 scale, and these battle shields were created for that purpose.

I ran leather shoe laces through them and glued wire to the backs with which to gather up folds of fabric and twist-tie them into place.

It was a nice idea, but when I started to dance and sweat the whole thing nearly fell apart. People said I was a gladiator cloud.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Monday, July 20, 2009

I Can Only Imagine

kt and allybally are deeply individualistic, expressive and moving, while the set piece for church altar, as shown by the npousa 10, is a dead public display dressed up in black and white for the marvel of synchronization. This proves to me we should only pray in the privacy of our rooms, and stay out of churches.




Ivan Parker's version is the Ur one.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Last Night's Party at Jack Lenor Larson's Longhouse Reserve

I'd never been before. It was nice to start out at Round House, Larson's starter home next door, which a neighbor kindly opened up. A troop of drummers came to lead us away to the party proper.

As we came out of the woodland and into the sun, we were given green paper parasols

Richard, who was one of our party, had read the invitation to, "wrap yourself in silks, batik and ikat," seriously. I looked askance at him at first, but he was the absolute hit of the evening, a visual that had everybody talking to, and about him.

Bill Cunningham of the New York Times ran away in horror.

The house is fabulous, but the 16 acres of gardens are unbelievably beautiful.

The evening's ethic was good too---both in the entertainment, which was provided by scores of hyphen-Americans trained in Cambodian classical dance and Korean drumming, and in the evening's honoree, Carol Cassidy, an American weaver and textile entrepreneur, who has lived for nearly 30 years in Laos, and has done much to keep traditional craft and a sustainable economy alive there.

We were given gifts when we arrived of loomed silk Buddhist temple scarves, tightly wrapped in beautiful handmade Mulberry-paper covers, a wrap which at first I mistook for the gift itself. The scarf was the perfect addition to wear in my spectral mood.

Patrick McMullan
has a picture of me up.

It was all a perfect balance between the low-keyed and the luxe.

A paper chrysanthemum temporary party decoration.

A permanent garden feature--Buckminster Fuller's "Fly's Eye Dome"

Yoko Ono's grand chessboard, "Play It by Trust," 1999.

It was all fun and games.

But I was very tired, and it left me feeling very sad.

Friday, July 10, 2009

OMG! Tomorrow's Pookie's Party!

But first---tonight! The ARF gala at the Maidstone Club in East Hampton. Pookie took a table. Calling for dress attire as "Twinkle," which for a benefit advocating animal welfare is unfortunately close to "Tinkle." In any event, Peter Duchin plays at both back-to-back events, and I should have used a big shoe tree to stretch out my black velvet dance slippers. Note to self: no socks, mais oui, so bring lots of Band-Aids in jacket pocket.

5:00pm. More later

6:09pm My evening slippers. Stubbs & Wooton. Twinkle or tinkle, via polo calamity. Do my ankles look swollen, or is it just me? More later.

12:21am. Well, a certain Nubian princess photographs well. More later.

Monday Morning Quarterbacking:

I'm not happy with any of the pictures on my camera, so I'll have to wait for a certain Princess to trouble herself to forward pics off hers---but I did find two temporary-blog-posting shots. First, drinks on Meadow Lane before the ARF affair, with three of my five female dates. Men! I pulled it off! They was all skinny---but I was fat enough for five!

I only had to escort two femmes Saturday night, cause my main squeeze was, like, busy. Bill Cunningham took lots of pictures of Miss Nubia. We shall see if the Times approves.

Tuesday Morning:
Links are starting to come in with party pictures posted. David Patrick Columbia's New York Social Diary has two good pictures of D, but none of the rest of us! THAT will keep ME humble!

Hamptons Magazine
online presence, Scene B Scene, has several images of our group---but no D! (Hamptons Magazine also has another article on the party here.) Then there was this mega-pixel shot of some of our after-ten-o'clock table:

We should tidy up Friday night's fete first, with some shots off Pamela's camera, which she was gracious enough to make available to me within 48 hours for blog posting. None are flattering to me personally, but their energetics make them worthwhile, so I have to just suck up my visuals. The following three shots are of Ann, Carolyn and Dorothy. I had to escort five woman single-handedly Friday night, and I pulled it off with aplomb, if I do say so myself! I make them laugh!

Sometimes only smile a little.

Now on to the big night!

Here I am with Sue and Jean. Sue was our guest Friday night, but here she is in her outfit from Saturday night.

Jean is the Canadian heiress I wrote about a couple of years ago who had been "down on her luck," as they say. She finally got her act together, and on July 30 will celebrate her second anniversary of sobriety. She is an uncommon miracle, and an inspiration to many. Saturday night marked her first foray back into this sort of "society," if you will, and she acquitted herself with dispatch.

Luis came with his wife, who works at the museum as the Director of Family & Children's Programs, along with the after-dinner crowd of juniors let in at 10:00pm. Luis lived with me for three years as my assistant, and along with Jean, who also spent a couple of seasons at my house, they are huge American success stories, for which I take some personal credit--although I clearly didn't teach Luis how to tie his tie so the two ends end up the same.

Pamela's camera had a in-focus shot of our arrival outside the museum on Job's Lane. In focus, yes---but lacking a view of our footwear!

New York governor Patterson made some opening remarks.

Dorothy cut the rug with our friend Robert. It certainly looks like she was having fun. The whole experience must have been fraught, but she acted as though it were a walk in the park---actually, it was a walk in the park.

The big tree that rose up through the tent ceiling.
Damn! The one that got away! No flash!

I Found Photos Here:
The NY Sun, 'Sand and Sun at the Parrish'
By AMANDA GORDON | July 14, 2008

Parrish Art Museum's Midsummer Party 2009-07-11

A Midsummer Party At The Parrish -

Hamptons' Parrish Art Museum Benefit - WSJ Magazine Parrish Art Museum
(The 2008 party pics here.)
scene b scene Parrish Art Museum Midsummer Party: Dorothy Lichtenstein

Vogue Piece with Pic of Hal and Dorothy

Billy Norwich Vogue Piece
The Quest for "it"

New York Social Diary
WWD Staff Issue 7/14/2009
facebook Photos from Parrish Art Museum's Midsummer Party 2009 After Ten

Friday, May 08, 2009

Perhaps My Favorite Picture of Mom

Weighing in the livestock at a horse show in Middle Tennessee, circa 1972. Photo Credit: Jimmy Ellis, Staff Photographer The Nashville Tennessean

Happy Mother's Day moms everywhere!