Nonapparent Servitude

A splashy new eatery north of downtown, then reggaeton on Lincoln Road

As so often does not happen at such events, all the promised celebrity wattage glowed. Rivera gamely posed for photos, looking elegant and charming following a long day declaiming her reign's special cause, AIDS awareness and testing, throughout Miami.

The Suenalo Sound System guys and an entourage of clingy girls arrived early — around 9:00 p.m. — hogging the spotlight for an unseemly amount of time. Then Tainy strolled in, though The Bitch had to get up on the furniture to see him. Tainy is tiny!

A surge in energy swept the crowd of about 200 when at last the two gents who make up the Tunes entered the club. The childhood friends were born in the Dominican Republic, grew up in Boston, and moved their production studio to Puerto Rico in 2000, where they have presided since as the Neptunes of reggaeton. Víctor Cabrera (Tunes) has always assumed the Pharrell role, the publicly charismatic sometime-performer cavorting with costars Zion and Daddy Yankee.

With Mas Flow 2, though, and the events and appearances attendant to its release, Francisco Saldaña (Luny) has quietly but forcefully seized the spotlight. He sprinkled Eurythmics and Missing Persons samples throughout Wisin y Yandel's "Rakata," and Latin rapper Héctor El Bambinois basically Saldaña's creation.

At Thursday's party, Saldaña exhibited a Corleonic force of personality, which portends not only continued studio success but also some significant crossover visibility.

So did you get to meet Miss Universe?

"No, I'm shy. Is she here? I saw her on TV, that she was in town."

She seems really nice. So are you forming a sort of union of DJs, producers, rappers? Is the single-artist album dead?

"No, no, there'll always be albums by strong individuals. Look at Tego [Calderón]. We're just trying to make a place artists can get together. We brought the DR to the PR.... Who would have thought of that?"

Not me! Good luck with that. So what if you collaborated with Nelly? Would you name the club "The St. Lunytics"?

Saldaña could not be budged from his own character, but smiled faintly and demurred, "Well, I'd probably stick with one of the East Coast crews...."


Make It Internal

The Miami Herald's "Scene in the Tropics" gossip and nightlife columnist/blogger, Lesley Abravanel, sure gets around. It almost seems she is possessed of the ability to be in two places at once. Or maybe she has a double to accomplish her intercontinental surveillance of Madonna and the Lances, Armstrong and Bass.

In any case it's difficult to account for Abravanel's postings July 23 on her blog (blogs.herald.com/scene_in_the_tropics). They describe hobnobbing with Mrs. Ciccone-Ritchie and witnessing a cold-shoulder catfight next to the La Perla catwalk.

She wasn't there. The Bitch, who knows Abravanel and was at those same places at the same times, doesn't remember seeing her. Abravanel herself told The Bitch on August 30: "I haven't really been going out much. In fact I've been out of town and just got back."

Explains Herald features editor Shelley Acoca: "Lesley was out of town for a couple of weeks in July and didn't write columns from July 9 to July 29, when 'Scene' returned. She got back to town on July 25."

But, um, how about July 23, when items about the Madonna concert and the La Perla fashion show appeared on the eponymous blog?

"[Lesley] attributes items to sources when she's not at them," Acoca says.

But she didn't do so in the items in question.

Abravanel did not return the hound's solicitations for further comment. She sent an e-mail to Acoca asking her what to say, to which Acoca responded. But instead of sending the e-mail reply to Abravanel, Acoca forwarded the note to The Bitch!

"I wouldn't bother to reply [to New Times]," the editor advised the writer.

Maybe Abravanel gets reporting assistance from Chloe Chan. Who's that? In spring 2004, Abravanel described Chan as "my alter ego, Hello Kitty-loving, indie-rock-meets-Barry Manilow freakazoid night crawler," in a letter to The Bitch. Back then New Times was seeking a nightlife columnist.

Indeed Chan's byline recently popped up on the Website Category305.com, under the headline "We Listen and We Are Amused." That piece was a trashing of former Miami Beach party guy Tony Miros, who now covers celebrity news and does casting for the MTV show The Real World in Hollywood, California. Chan said Miros "used to make his rounds on South Beach under the unfortunate moniker of Mr. Nightlife."

"I'm shocked," says Miros, who describes himself as a friend of Abravanel's. "Wow. I never thought she would go there with me. It's sad, really — very, very sad."

A Herald columnist freelancing for a local Website? That's apparently no problem for executive editor Tom Fiedler: "Lesley's contract allows her to write for other publications and Websites as long as they are not in direct competition with TMH."

So, is Chloe Chan actually Lesley Abravanel? Celeste Delgado, Category305.com publisher (and former New Times staff writer), declined to comment.

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