Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Carlyle

The Carlyle

I know it sounds silly, but I can only make it—a few blocks up Ocean Drive up from the Avalon. The closer we get to The Carlyle Hotel, the more faint and weak I become.

The Carlyle is after all the quintessential gay art deco temple for me, since that’s where The Birdcage is filmed. That’s where Armando takes us, the three of us for a stay.

Over the years, Miami Beach has served as the backdrop for hundreds of Hollywood movies. Mike Nichol's 1996 The Birdcage version filmed in Ocean Drive’s The Carlyle is the Americanized camp remake of the 1978 French comedy La Cage Aux Folles.

And so, as we make our way from The Avalon (800 Ocean Drive) to The Carlyle (1250 Ocean Drive), I feel this exquisite sweep of something overcoming me. The surge of the ocean, a Lost Weekend?

A sweep of quintessential queerness is coming off the ocean, over the beach and thru Lummus Park. It’s encompassing me in our swank pink Cadillac convertible, me with two young Cuban gangsters.

It was simply too much for me. I was just an amateur, a novice art deco connoisseur who could only take so much. I was simply devastated by all the South Beach sophistication, all the lurid decadence and stylish extravagance.

So I had Armando pull over and the three of us stayed overnight at The Carlyle Hotel… A three-way with a couple of cute Cuban chicken, talk about a birdcage romance, honey, all night long.

The Birdcage

“The Birdcage” isn’t just a movie, it’s a Miami Mala Noche love story come true. A quintessential gay film cuming outta my ears, a queer quintessential snapshot of that lovely weekend I spent there on South Beach.

My Birdcage version is less campy, less hysterical than the 1978 French comedy La Cage Aux Folles. Even the Mike Nichol 1996 Birdcage version filmed in Ocean Drive’s The Carlyle is a bit too outré for me, the constantly contrived “drag” coming on a bit too burlesque and cabaret.

Birdcage set mostly in the house of Armand and Albert, sitting over their night club which is actually the Carlyle Hotel at 1250 Ocean Drive. Many films claim to be Miami, but this film is Miami. Filmed with many outside shots like bus-stops, all quite recognizable.


The kid’s name is Arturo, perhaps his parents in Cuba know. Probably his mother knowing instinctively, that Arturo’s hung like his father.

Hung like a bull in the bullring, done in by the cheering crowds and the young fearless matador. Isn’t that the way it happens in Hollywood, with some handsome actor like Tyrone Power?

Arturo breaks my heart, the first time I get him off. There in bed that night at the Carlyle Hotel, dying so muy macho and savagely in my arms.

The second time hurts him bad, but I suffer even worse. I sprain my greedy neck, making a pig outta myself. Because it lasts such a long time, and I desperately want each Blatino squirt.

Cuban Jail Bait

Armando’s pleased, leaning back in bed and nodding. He smokes a fat joint, watching the online porno movie.

He’s pleased with himself, for being such a pimp. Such a good chauffeur and all-around-Excelente hustler. For a gringo sugar daddy, who’s willing to pay.

The ocean breeze comes thru the sliding door, thru the Carlyle Hotel balcony. The art deco “eyebrows” shade the interiors by day, by night they’re raised in moody anticipation of the lurid night.

We’re up on the top floor, Lummus Park calls invitingly. So does Ocean Drive bumper to bumper with cruising traffic, while the Moon over Miami cruises down at the long Lost Weekend sordid affair.

I fall asleep, simply exhausted by all the cocksucking. Armando and Arturo sneak out, they know some chicks with some coke. Just waiting for them, now’s their turn to be muy macho men.

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