Palm Beach Sunday

In June 1 2008 I was living on Palm Beach.

A barrier island off the Florida coast.

So many of the mega-rich had migrated to their summer haunts of the Hamptons, Nantucket, and the South of France that the Sunday night streets of this exclusive resort felt, as if the Khmer Rouge had marched the wealthy into the Everglades for greed re-education. The emptiness was only an illusion.

That evening, as the remaining rich were idling in their mansions, while I bicycled across the middle bridge in a vain attempt to wire by Thai wife $200 via Western Union. Within an hour I discovered that nothing was open on a Sunday night in West Palm Beach.

I was in Purgatory.

I phoned my wife with the bad news.

She asked if I’ve found a mia noi.

“Mai mee puying suay.” There were no beautiful women on Palm Beach.

Only heiresses whose skin seemed to have been dipped in a Botox dip.

Tight as a turtle’s neck.

“Good man.” She’s happy I’m alone.

“Thanks, I’ll send the money tomorrow.” I hung up and wandered by bike over to a convenience store. A 24 oz. Modelo beer cost $2 or 60 baht. 5% alcohol. Actually cheap than Thailand, except you can’t drink in public, so I rode the bicycle back to Palm Beach drinking from a can in a brown paper bag..

Thankfully Florida has bike paths, but I got a little worried each time the cops passed me, since DWI includes bicycles and golf carts.

I made it back to Chilean Avenue without any mishaps.

No place to buy more beers, so it’s to sleep and dream of driving on the wrong side of the road with a beer in my cup holder.


Billy’s Topless

New York was a different city in the last century. Neighborhoods were populated by native New Yorkers. Stores served their needs. Bars dotted the avenues as a refuge from the daily wear and tear of urban living. One of my favorites was Billy’s Topless on Avenue of the Americas.

The cozy strip club had been opened by Bill Pell in the heyday of the Sexual Revolution and the girls were our friends trying to make a dollar by showing their breasts to working-class drinkers. The music came from a jukebox and the bar treated its guests to free food, while they watched the dancers. There was no cover charge and drinks were cheap as befits a true dive bar. None of the girls had breast implants and none of them gave lap-dances, since lap-dances were a thing of the future in the late-1970s.

The hated Mayor Guiliani waged a war against sleaze. The realtors raised the rents of porno parlors in Times Square and his police enforced a no-nudity ordinance of establishments within 500 feet of a school or place of worship. Billy’s second owner fought the forces of good by having the girls wearing bikini tops, but the time of wickedness had passed for New York.

Billy’s Topless is gone, but not forgotten by those people in love with a Babylon lost to time.

Sitting In The Korova Milk Bar

I loved CLOCKWORK ORANGE, Stanley Kubrick’s 1971 homage to Anthony Burgess’ violent vision of the future. After famed interior designer/sculptor Alan Jones refused to work on the film for free, the director hired set designer John Barry to replicate Alan Jones’ naked female tables and chairs for the movie’s Korova Milk Bar.

For years I had mistakenly thought that Alan Jones was responsible for the decor. I like JohN Barry’s mimicking plagiarism, but I prefer Alan Jones’ work, because nothing like the Milk Bar anywhere in this future.

To view the intro to CLOCKWORK ORANGE, please go to the following URL

The Sky Of Road

In my earlier years I traveled the world.

I loved seeing vistas such as this one.

I’ll see them again, although maybe not the north side of Mt. Everest from Tibet.

The Birth Of Puberty

This morning the temperature in New York finally rose above freezing.

This afternoon my longtime fiend AK phoned from Jupiter Beach.

“It’ll be in the 80s later. We might go to the beach.”

“Not a chance I’m swimming at the Rockaways till this summer.” The ocean was never warm off New York.

“I called to tell you a funny story. My younger son came into my bedroom this morning and said he had two hairs near his penis. I informed Reese about puberty and explained that his body was going through changes and at the end of my talk he asked if he could start dating girls.”

“What’s wrong with that?”

“He’s only thirteen.”

“And what’s wrong with that?”

Kids grow up so fast.

My youngest boy is six and that is way too young to date.