Nov 9 to 14
My two and 3/4 days in NYC are spent planting the garden I tore up the week before, once again with the help of Julie Atlas Muz in the pouring down rain, thank god for rain gear, getting a hair cut, and having a great Italian meal with Dirty Martini, Kenny Scharf, Hattie Hathaway, Andy Reynolds, Tom Ackerman, Jo Boobs, and Davia. A wonderful spa experience on 34th Street with Little Brooklyn, a meeting at Cielo with Bruce, a fun afternoon at the loft where Kenny is staying while he is in NY and painting, Scott and Loren visit us and we have tea watch Kenny paint me pack and look at photos of Female Masking and an amazing photo of a rubber cat person, breakfast with Loren, another manicure, shopping at Agent Provocateur (where Scarlet Sinclair now works) with Scott, and I am off again to the airport and fly to Stockholm.
Sodra Teatren has purchased my ticket for me, and it feels kind of gammy to I pick the ticket up at the airport counter of Malaysia Air. I am very happy that I am flying a non-stop to Sweden, as it makes for a shorter trip. MH as they call Malaysia Air for short, not sure why, is very nice. The flight uniforms are super cute the Stewardesses have long dresses made of a batik and Stuarts jackets look like dinner jackets and as if they should be in a soul or R& B band from the 80’s the lapels are rather large and have gold pattern overlay on the green fabric. The pillows are super soft and of very high quality as are the blankets. The food is hit or miss. Dinner good, breakfast bad. I sleep most of the 7 + hours and we arrive.
It is late morning and getting the baggage and going through customs take very little time. The airport has expanded and I find it a comfortable space to be in, the scale, wood and granite, glass, Swedish Interior and architectural Design at its bests. Though if I were incapacitated, I would feel different as the gates are very far from the main arrival terminal. I get out and get some Kroner and change to call my Aunt to let her know that I have arrived, only thing is, is that I don’t seem capable of using the public telephone, yes I put in my coins, I get a message to dial the number and it never rings, after several attempts I give up and head out to find a taxi to head into town, not knowing that the club has sent a car to pick me up and miss the man with the sign sent there to collect me. It is very cool outside, winter had arrived already, I see tell tale signs that there has been snow in the last few days, but it has mostly melted. I hop in to a taxi and the very nice cabby let me use his mobile to call my Aunt, she is as excited as I am. Arlanda is just about a half hour away from Stockholm, after my arrival we have lunch and then I call Karin the artistic director for The Hootchy Kootchy Club to let her know that I am here and would love to see her later when she is free. I go for a walk and then take a nap. Brita (my Aunt) and I have dinner, a stew made of elk meat and it is quite good. After dinner I feel quite tired and decide that I will stay in, that is just when the phone rings and it is Karin, I change my mind and go out with she and her husband Marcus to Cafe Rishi to see his art installation and have a glass of wine. They pick me up in their car and we speak Swedish and to my amazement I can keep up with the conversation and understand most of what is being said. I marvel at this, as I so rarely have reason to speak Swedish.
The bar is a well-known old establishment as it has been around since the 30’s. Behind the bar itself there is an amazing plaster relief that lay over parts of the mirrors with faces and bodies of women. There are wine glass type racks hanging over the bar that also function as chandeliers. Quite clever and I can tell they are old fixtures. Marcus takes me on a tour of his installation, it is a collaboration he has done with another artist who is a woman. The installation starts and a tree and transforms into a cross, parts of it I quite like, but I am not sure if I understand the concept. Marcus gets us drinks, me white wine and Karin orange juice as she is driving and the police are quite strict. We try to find seating, as we are both tired, she has been at work then in rehearsal and working on producing her fist show the one that I will be part of the next evening. It is very loud and it makes it difficult to converse, there is so much that I want to talk to Karin about as she is a very interesting, intelligent and well spoken young lady. She and her husband Marcus are obviously quite in love and have been together for I believe they said 8 years. I ask how they met and they both blush it is sweet. We all decide it is time to head to our respective homes and get some sleep, but in the way home we need to run an errand and drop by a fried of Karin’s who lives quite close to the theater who is helping her with her costume I forgot her name (not big surprise as I am so rotten with names) She has a tiny little gem of an apartment filed with SHOES!!! Vintage 20’s to 60’s, platforms, sling backs, mules you name it, even Swedish Spring-a-lators!!!! I get caught up in the shoes while they speak of costuming for a while, when Marcus who is sitting in the car calls and is tired of sitting the cold car it is time to head out.
I sleep till 13:30 the next day and just have time to get up have tea before Karin comes a collects my bags to take to the theater. I leave for the theater a little after 2:30 to get set up and see the space. I take the subway which is so clean and quite it is unbelievable, I ponder why this is the only country where there are quiet and civilized and the environmental impact on us humans is minimal and our hearing is not compromised by loud screeching, on the whole Sweden is a very gentle to the human senses. In no time at all I am weaving through the quaint streets of Sodra (southern) Stockholm.
It is already getting dark that is the drag about this part of the world. Daylight is a rarity from late October to the end of January hence the high suicide rate and chronic levels of depression and over use of alcohol. I find my way up to the top of the hill where the theater sits. It has a beautiful view of the surrounding territory. Sodra Teatren has very rich and interesting history that dates back to 1850, you can read all about it on the theaters website. http://www.sodrateatern.com
I get into the venue and meet the theater liaison Ingmari who is lovely. She orders out for some tasty Indian Food and we proceed to unpack out costumes and go over the outline for the show that evening. I feel like I am in some weird dream state, also feeling thrilled to be part of this event and really enjoying meeting artistic people in Stockholm with whom I feel quite at ease with. The show is a tribute to Betty Page and Veronica and I will be doing a little vignette homage to Betty in our matching RED Vivienne Westwood SEX SHOEs!!!!
The show and evening is super fun and the audience is a delightful mix of gay, straight, old, young, hipster, ex patriots, rock-a-billy, mod, fussy queers, pretty dykes, circus freaks and what not. After the club is shut down we all go to Stockholm’s very trendy and exclusive”Spy Bar” which in my opinion is really rather dull, but despite that we do carry on till dawn when they toss us out. I sleep quite a bit on Sunday, Karin, Veronica, and Louis de Ville come to late afternoon tea and conversation which my Aunt delights in as she so enjoys the conversation as learning all about these women and there performances. She tells us about when she saw Josephine Baker perform in Gateborg. Later take and I my Aunt out to dinner for Chinese food for a belated Birthday dinner and hit the hay.
The next day I am up and out on errands before heading out to the airport to return to NYC to help prepare for the Memorial Party for Adam Goldstone on the 14th. The flight is uneventful but delayed. We are chasing the sun across the globe on the flight from Sweden to NYC.
Back in NYC to pouring down rain, drop by some stupid party at the Prada Store in Soho with Kenny, due to his celebrity status we must smile for the cameras when entering the party. I am asked for my name I say “The Swedish Housewife” they think I am being funny or snotty. We last a total of 5 minutes, then leave and have a yummy meal at Cafe Habanna and go to sleep.
When I get up I repack and send off costumes and my excess baggage via Fed Ex, back to Seattle, as I have way more to take home than I can get on the airplane. Not sure how that happened. All my chores done I head up to Pastise early and have a bite and a few glasses of Champagne. I usually don’t drink before 5 PM but I figure this evening is the equivalent of a wake and I am to get drunk. The man sitting next to me at the bar thinks I am a stewardess, I play up to his fantasy for as long as I can, but eventually tire of it. The party for Adam was lovely, sad and not really sure what to say about it. Dirty Martini, Julie Atlas Muz and Little Brooklyn joined me in a group fan dance to a piece of music off of Adam’s album Lower Eastside Stories – Mi Querida Loisaida (My Beloved Lower East Side).
When the party was over family and friends met up at the Manhattan Bridge at the location where Adam and his dear friend Gary had bungee jumped off the bridge a few years ago, just around the time I had met him. We released half his ashes off into the dark windy Manhattan Night, and tried to say good-bye. It was 5 AM and I went and had breakfast by myself at 7A, returned to Julie’s where I was now staying and got ready to go to the airport to fly to Seattle and go directly to band rehearsal for the show we had the next evening at Cafe Champagne. Back to the grind in Seattle and what a grind I have ahead of me until the end of the year!