Swelter

Fortunately there was no doorman at Stephan Saban's birthday dinner at the Marlin's Shabeen restaurant, hosted by Louis Canales and attended by various South Beach notables. The very nice, and very smart, Natalie Fernandez-Roque. Mayra Gonzalez, in a spectacular black outfit that was a masterpiece of structural engineering, looking like some club-dream-come-true creature. Although no longer dealing strictly with nightlife for Details ("In New York, you wind up writing about the same ten people all the time."), Saban had some great stories about the "toilet chic" of underground clubs in Bucharest and the nature of the international club scene: "In politically repressed countries, you always find the best nightlife. People need it to distract themselves."

Then it was on to Warsaw for some birthday cake and the Amazonia party, coordinated by Canales and John Martinez. Flowing drink tickets. Club veteran Susan Ainsworth, working on a variety of projects. A decor of enormous tree limbs and the drag triumvirate: Jackie Oh!, Kitty Meow, and Varla, still reeling from her own Incident, the club that denied her the inalienable celebrity right to walk in with extra guests for free.

A few weeks of dissolution, what Tennessee Williams called the "greased pole slide downhill" ends at Ernie Levy's Last Temptation party at Torpedo. It's Christmas Eve, for Christ's sake, and we find ourselves watching a complicated North Pole sex tableau, with a tranvestite elf working on a well-built Santa Claus. Taking in the whole sordid spectacle, one of our irony-infused companions remarks brightly: "Isn't it amazing what a man can do when he pulls himself together? Of course, none of us ever will.

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