Back from Greece and jet-lagged to beat the band. First stop was Santorini where J and I attended a wedding for our pals Nia and Mark. The island is a poem of sky and sea and volcanic mountains, and the perfect setting for the union of two beautiful people (and one of my oldest friends—Nia and I have known each other for over 20 years). We finished our trip in Athens, a city that could only be described as a glorious ruin, not counting the Parthenon (as mind-blowing as it is) or the other tourist magnets. The side streets and avenues depict an urban mecca full of grit, its dilapidations written on broken buildings, twisty, alley-like streets and the mongrel dogs who sprinkle doorways and sideways, passed out in slumber as if sleeping off the previous night’s bender. One of our waiters joked that there were only 2 sights to see in the ancient city, and after that, nada. I beg to differ. The people, the food, the subtle, sultry energy–Athens is a place that must be seen to be believed.
Lots of endings while I was away. Gay Pride all but passed me by (oh for the day when we longer need such celebrations, when we live our pride every day—like everyone else). This weekend I saw that two incredible shows closed, both on the upper East Side: the
Keith Haring exhibit at the Skarstedt Gallery and the Roy Lichtenstein show at Gagosian. both were pretty revelatory evocations of artists working at full throttle, and seeing their works blazing those walls with wit and color made me miss them all the more. George Carlin, that incendiary wit, left us and I wonder if any else will come along to call us out on our considerable junk, while managing to make us laugh as if there were no tomorrow.
And Cyd Charisse passed. What a dancing dynamo—there are really no words to describe the impression she made in countless films. In a dream world, post MGM, she should have come back east and lit up Broadway (she did briefly, taking over for Liliane Montevecci in Tommy Tune’s Grand Hotel in the 80s) but sadly, wishes don’t always come true. Do yourself a favor—go out and rent The Bandwagon, It’s Always Fair Weather, or even Singin’ in the Rain (she doesn’t come on until the last big number, but trust me, it’s worth the wait) and sit back and marvel. One found more life in her leg extensions than in the contortions of 5000 Radio City Rockettes. RIP