People say life's the thing, but reading is just so much more rewarding. Most of the problems of the world begin with the human inability to sit quietly in a room. But then, life on the hot bottom of the Earth demands a little agitation and distraction.
Plenty of both during the All-American prole holiday, the Fourth of July. Off to a jump start with a "Girls in the Night" evening at the Palazzo House, a huge rent-an-estate on 22nd Street and Biscayne Boulevard, once owned by singer Barry White. White's spirit everywhere: big rambling rooms, an indoor swimming pool, a dance floor, and tiki torches. Making an unfashionably early entrance with a couple of sexually correct wee-hour boys, trying to avoid the stigma of leering heterosexuality. Lots of beautiful women, even more inaccessible than usual. The tone set by a brief encounter with a lady urgently running off to take a shower.
Not much to leer at, actually. A couple of hundred club types milling around, perfectly decorous. Walking into a darkened room in the back, the pulse quickening, but the whole place full of people picking at a buffet. Eating rather than doing something more provocative, like, say, making daisy chains. Later on, about 3:30 a.m. apparently, the women stripping and swimming, groping each other in the back room, setting new standards of eye-catching debauchery. Girls will be girls. As usual, our party missing all the fun.
Some fun to be had at Hotel 100 with the Susanne Bartsch crew, cocktailing and getting dressed for their "Extravaganza & Cabaret Show" later that night at Warsaw. Taking in the view, a spectacle akin to Pol Pot's invasion of Phnom Penh: fireworks and bonfires, helicopters patrolling the waterfront, a smoky haze hanging over the gulag of Miami Beach. The drags, as is their wont, all chatty and personable: "Can you believe I kissed that fag-basher?.... Here she is, Miss Singapore Sling.... Don't be late -- you know how the Baroness gets." Strange visuals, highlighted by a very respectable older woman in a red jumpsuit, a professional cowgirl and rope trick artist: "I started with Susanne in Milan, but this will be my first night club appearance. Everyone has just been so sweet to me. Do I consider this unusual? Not really. I've been in show business since I was seventeen -- I don't find anything unusual."
A show-biz procession over to Warsaw, complete with security and catcalls from ordinary mortals. The usual mad dancing at the club, accented with various versions of patriotic attire. Joey Arias in fine form as alter ego Justine, disc jockey Johnny Dynell exhorting the multitudes: "Yeah, it's a freedom thing... live it, live it, live it." Off on the edges of the stage, a very weird patron, a female impersonator somehow managing to look like a proper English servant, Mrs. Danvers to the tenth power. Over to Paragon, a sea of sweating hard-bodies, one half-naked celebrant being held aloft in the middle of the dance floor, waving a flag. The newly installed swimming pool full of romping boys-will-be-boys, throwing beach balls and being playful.
Back to Warsaw, the rope-trick gal surviving the unusual pretty well. Running into Erinn Cosby, and heading off to The Cave. Streams of water flying about, the squirt gun rage having hit clubs. John Herman of Barrio, putting together a "Rock & Roll Fag Bar" night at The Cave. Much techno-driven dancing, marred only slightly by a club girl laying a silent but deadly fart in our specific vicinity.
Way past the drink-responsibly stage and on to The Spot for a 5:00 a.m. nightcap. Erinn planning a series of five club soirees at assorted places for her 26th birthday on July 23. Geo Darder of "Pleasure Dome" and "Inner Sanctum" working a July 5 pool party at Paramount Plaza. Somehow the idea of seeing club people before dark not appealing. A spray of beer in the face, noxious sparklers everywhere, the costumed Uncle Sam doorman from The Cave doing a striptease. And another evening draws to a close.
A farewell/end-of-the-era gathering at Cassis for Richard "Mr. Glamour" Pollmann of the Irene Marie modeling agency. Pollmann moving to Los Angeles to head the western division of Wilhelmina Models. The sort of person who always seems to have just gotten back from St. Tropez, Pollmann's swan song giving the right touch of jet-set glitz to an otherwise turgid week. Plenty of glamorous guests on hand -- Debbie Ohanian of "Meet Me in Miami," Richard Jay Alexander, part-time resident and an executive producer with the Cameron MacKintosh Organization, artist and new Miamian Kenny Scharf -- and sophisticated patter. Talk of Paloma Picasso buying a house in the Grove, the Agnellis of Fiat -- the glam-fab summit of Euro-society -- also reportedly looking. A rumor about New York hyper-art dealer Tony Shafrazi (famous for once purposely damaging Picasso's Guernica during a young revolutionary phase) building an ultrachic hotel on the vacant waterfront lot on the north end of Ocean Drive.
The rumor turning out to be true. Developer Mitchell Rubinson, who controls the 110,000-square-foot property with partner Jerome Cohen, reporting that the deal will be closed July 15. Along with Cohen, Rubinson entering a joint-partnership agreement for a combination hotel/apartment building, designed by architect Arata Isozaki, who recently completed the new SoHo branch of the Guggenheim museum. A real eclectic line-up of partners: Tony Shafrazi, Michael Stevens of the St. James Club, former tennis star Wojtek Fibak, and Peter Brant of Interview magazine. Rubinson all agog with the prospects for glamarama time: "It will all be super deluxe, a landmark building -- like the Dakota in New York -- that everyone is going to like -- preservationists, everybody. We'll have 75 hotel suites and 75 to a hundred apartments. International jet-set types have already inquired about buying apartments. We're going quality, and we won't maximize the available space. It should be finished by August of 1994."
More glamour, more glitz, more Euro-fun. All in all, a wonderful evening with Pollmann, save for one of his offhand remarks, a line with a discomfiting knack for worming its way into the brainpan throughout all the distractions: "I've been here fourteen years -- that's enough, don't you think?" After 22 years in the trenches, the big questions are just too much to bear.
Get the Weekly Newsletter
Our weekly feature stories, movie reviews, calendar picks and more - minus the newsprint and sent directly to your inbox.