Two Crazy Art Stories


Hyperallergic is a leading voice in contemporary perspectives on art, culture, and more. The online publication was founded by the husband-and-husband team, Veken Gueyikian and Hrag Vartanian, in 2009 as a forum for playful, serious, and radical perspectives on art in society. With over one million visitors monthly, Hyperallergic combines round-the-clock art world news coverage with insightful commentary.

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Missing Picasso Resurfaces at Home of Former Philippines First Lady

Imelda Marcos and her husband were accused of plundering billions of dollars from the country.

by Elaine Velue May 22, 2022 Print

In photos of Bongbong Marcos, Jr.’s visit to Imelda Marcos last week, Picasso’s “Woman Reclining VI” can be seen hanging above the sofa on the left. (screenshot of a news broadcast from TV Patrol)

President Ronald Reagan and Nancy Reagan at a state dinner for President Ferdinand Marcos and Imelda Marcos in 1982 (courtesy National Archives)
The US Ambassador to the Philippines Stephen Bosworth with President Ferdinand Marcos and Imelda Marcos in 1984. (courtesy National Archives)

After winning the presidential election in the Philippines last week, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. made a publicized visit to the home of his mother, Imelda Marcos. In the background of their meeting, a supposedly seized Pablo Picasso painting made a surprise appearance. 

The 92-year-old ex-first lady of the Philippines is perhaps best known for her shoes, nearly 3,000 pairs of them, which were broadcast to the world when civilians stormed the presidential palace in 1986 and ousted her family from power. Her late husband, Ferdinand Marcos, Sr., had reigned as dictator since 1965, during which time he eliminated free speech, abolished congress, and enacted martial law for half his term. Marcos arbitrarily jailed tens of thousands of people and killed, tortured, and “forcibly disappeared” thousands more. The family fled to Hawaii and returned to the Philippines in 1991.

The family also stole an estimated $10 billionfrom the Filipino people, which they used to fund a famously opulent lifestyle — dozens of mansions, expensive cars, yachts, planes, helicopters, jewelry (worth at least $21 million), and of course Imelda’s designer shoe collection. As the country sank into recession, the family also bought millions of dollars worth of art, including Picasso’s “Reclining Woman VI.” The painting was supposed to have been seized in 2014.

The family has hidden its money, and art, so well that even after decades of trying, getting it back has proved nearly impossible. In 2018, Imelda Marcos was convicted of corruptionand sentenced to prison, but she never served her sentence, and only around $4 billion of the family’s fortune has been recovered.

In 2013, Imelda’s former assistant tried to sell four Impressionist paintings and was convicted of criminal tax fraud and conspiracy in New York. A year later, Filipino authorities seized 15 paintings from the Marcoses’ home in San Juan, including Picasso’s painting. 

And then in 2019, the ex-first lady was caught on film with the painting in Lauren Greenfield’s documentary The Kingmaker, but the sighting didn’t make much of a stir.

It is unknown whether the Picasso turned over in 2014 was a fake, or whether the one currently on display is. (Imelda has been known to acquire fake paintings.)

“Personally I know that what we seized was a fake,” the former head of the Presidential Commission on Good Government, the body that conducted the 2014 raid, Andres Bautista told Filipino news outlet Rappler last week.

The Marcos family returned to the Philippines in 1991, and Imelda was elected into the House of Representatives in the late 1990s. As the memory of her late husband’s dictatorship waned, she began to once again flaunt her wealth — saying things like “there is more money the government is not yet aware of” and “we own practically everything in the Philippines.” The brazen display of the Picasso suggests that she’s doing it again, now with the confidence of her family’s return to presidential power.

President-elect Bongbong Marcos does not acknowledge his father’s human rights abuses. In his campaign, he spread misinformation on social media to contort his family’s history and fuel nostalgia for the dictatorial regime. Sara Duterte was voted in as his Vice President. She is the daughter of outgoing president Rodrigo Duterte, who although popular, has repeatedly violated human rights, and his “war on drugs” has killed tens of thousands of Filipinos.


“Brazen” Couple Tries to Walk Out of Manhattan Gallery With a Basquiat

The suspects attempted to take a Basquiat artwork valued at $45,000 from Taglialatella Galleries but instead made off with a half-empty bottle of whiskey.

by Valentina Di LisciaMay 26, 2022Print

The suspects in the theft captured walking down a street near the gallery (image courtesy NYPD)

A couple visited a New York gallery and casually attempted to walk out with an original artwork by Jean-Michel Basquiat. 

On Saturday, May 14, a man and a woman entered Taglialatella Galleries in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood and proceeded to take a Basquiat screenprint off the wall. They were intercepted by a gallery worker on their way out.

“It was pretty brazen. We’ve had stuff stolen from the gallery before but nothing quite this obvious,” Taglialatella Galleries owner Brian Swarts told Hyperallergic. “Luckily my staff is quite attentive and courageous and one of the brave young women who work here literally pulled the piece from the guy’s hand.”Basquiat’s “Dog Leg Study” (1982/2019) in the gallery office (photo courtesy Taglialatella Galleries)

Measuring about three and a half feet wide framed, “Dog Leg Study” (1982/2019) was hanging in Swarts’s office, which also functions as a private viewing room for clients. Security camera footage showed the unidentified thieves making their way past the gallery’s public exhibition space and into the empty office, where they appeared to assess the artwork’s value by taking a photo and looking up details on their phone. 

They then lifted the piece off the wall and walked toward the gallery exit, also taking with them “about a third of a bottle of Maker’s Mark,” Swarts said. 

“Dog Leg Study” is valued at $45,000. In a news release, NYPD described the couple as having “an unknown European accent” and released surveillance footage showing the pair holding hands and walking down a street near the gallery. 

A spokesperson for the New York City Police Department (NYPD) told Hyperallergic that there have been no arrests and the investigation remains ongoing. 

It wasn’t the first time the gallery grappled with a robbery attempt. Last year, someone tried to purloin a Kaws figurine that was on display. “That’s typically what people try to steal, small sculptures or pieces they can put in a hoodie or a backpack,” Swarts continued. “But never a work that was framed like that.”

At the end of the day, though, Swarts said, “They made it out with a little bit of whiskey but nothing else. All is well.”


Thank you Bruce Mishkin for sharing your wisdom

We use it everyday— but do we really know it? Google its part of life but so much of it remains a mystery. Lying on the Beach’s Lois Whitman-Hess and Steve Greenberg go behind the Google curtain with Google expert and digital marketing expert Bruce Mishkin. You’ll never see Google the same way ever again.

How Lucille Ball, Phyllis Diller, and Joan Rivers Begat “Hacks”

L.A. Postcard

I never knew that one of the characters on “Hacks” was actually a co-creator of the show. Did you? This show speaks to me in so many ways: age, career, likes, dislikes, relating to others, tolerance, or lack of toleranceLWH.

By the way Hannah Einbinder, Jean Smart’s, assistant comedy writer in the show, is the daughter of actress Laraine Newman—LWH

Paul W. Downs, one of the series’ creators, on what went into figuring out Jean Smart’s Deborah, the show’s hard-as-nails standup legend.


May 23, 2022

Portrait of Paul W. Downs.

Paul W. Downs, the writer, director, and actor, just had his first baby. “I have seven thousand pictures of him on my phone,” he said the other day, mid-browse, at T. L. Gurley Antiques, a shop in Pasadena. Scrolling fondly through shots of a round-cheeked infant, he said, “We’re really excited for when his eyes are open more, and he’s not either nursing or milk-drunk.”

Downs, at thirty-nine years old, is slight and dark-haired, with a face whose chiselled handsomeness recalls that of a nineteen-eighties soap star. He was wearing an open denim shirt over a white T-shirt. He and his wife, Lucia Aniello, are new partners in parenthood, but as writers they’ve been working together—Comedy Central’s “Broad City,” the Scarlett Johansson movie “Rough Night”—for a decade and a half. With the writer Jen Statsky, a friend, they co-created “Hacks,” which premièred last year and is now in its second season, streaming on HBO Max.

The series is a darkly comic exploration of the tumultuous relationship between Deborah (Jean Smart, in a star turn), a hard-as-nails standup legend, and Ava (Hannah Einbinder), a bratty young comedy writer. Downs plays Jimmy, a craven talent manager who brokers the collaboration between the two women. “Making a show is kind of like having a kid with someone,” Downs said. “This is going to sound bad, but it’s like the baby is our second child. When parents have a second kid, they’re almost . . . chiller?” He looked hopeful.

T. L. Gurley was crowded with curiosities, and Downs considered the wares: a large wooden squirrel, a sculpture of a Buddha strung with turquoise beads. The store had gained some attention after it was featured on “Hacks,” in a scene in which Ava goes on a wild-goose chase to find an ornate pepper shaker for Deborah, to match a saltshaker she already owns. “We knew we wanted Deborah to be a person who is a collector, who uses objects to tell herself, ‘I’m O.K.,’ ” Downs said. “Finding a pair for the shaker was symbolic, too, of her finding a creative love affair with this girl, which she hadn’t had in a long time.” He turned toward a suite of Staffordshire porcelain dogs. “This is a good face,” he said, of one brown-eared specimen. He and Aniello are regulars at the store. “We got a pair of consoles that were in Bud Abbott from Abbott and Costello’s house.”

Downs grew up in rural New Jersey. “My grandmother, even though she’s Italian, became a little obsessed with Americana, and ended up buying and selling antiques,” he said. “Then my parents had a stall in an antique mall.” His love of the past extended to comedy: “Even as a very young kid, I never watched cartoons. Instead, I watched Nick at Nite—Mary Tyler Moore, ‘I Love Lucy.’ ” After college, at Duke, he moved to New York, where he dabbled in standup, did improv, and began making comedy videos with Aniello. “We were friends for the first couple of years we knew each other,” he said. “And then love bloomed.”

In the years that followed, he, Aniello, and Statsky all worked on successful TV shows, but they wanted to make their own series. On a trip to Maine in 2016, they began kicking around an idea for a show focussed on an older female comedian. “We were talking about Phyllis Diller and, of course, Joan Rivers and Paula Poundstone, and how people our age often don’t appreciate their contributions to comedy—comedy is a thing that evolves, and someone can seem hacky even though earlier they were wildly influential.” He went on, “After that trip, I sent an e-mail to myself and Jen and Lucia with the subject ‘Show idea: young writer has a nightmare boss in older comedian but slowly gains respect for that person.’ ”

Tim Gurley, the shop’s gregarious owner, approached. “It was so Warholian,” he told Downs, of having his store in the show. “Five minutes of fame, fifteen . . . People I haven’t seen in years, especially from New York, reaching out.” He held up a brutalist bronze wind chime. “Isn’t it cool? It was designed by this guy Paolo Soleri, an architect, in the seventies. He studied with Frank Lloyd Wright!”

“You sold the landscape that was there,” Downs said, pointing at a wall.

“Yes. It was expensive,” Gurley said. “I’ll show you some stuff when you really get successful.” He lowered his voice in a conspiratorial, Hollywood-adjacent manner. “You signed for a three-show deal?”

“We’re concentrating on Season 2 of ‘Hacks,’ ” Downs said. He looked around. “If I had a store like this, I’d be, like, ‘I want to keep that.’ ”

“You have to know how to edit,” Gurley said.

“I have a good editor in Lucia,” Downs said. “She’s always, like, ‘Where will this go?’ ” He pointed at some Moroccan bowls. “How much are these?” ♦


“Time may be a great healer, but it’s a lousy beautician.” – Anonymous

“To get back to my youth I would do anything in the world, except exercise, get up early, or be respectable.” – Oscar Wilde

“The older we get, the fewer things seem worth waiting in line for.” –
Will Rogers

“We must recognize that, as we grow older, we become like old cars more
and more repairs and replacements are necessary.” – C.S. Lewis

“Old age comes at a bad time.” – San Banducci “

“Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what happened.”
– Jennifer Yane

“Old age is like a plane flying through a storm. Once you are aboard there is nothing you can do about it.” – Golda Meir

“I’m so old that my blood type is discontinued.” – Bill Dane

“The older I get, the more clearly I remember things that never happened. – Mark Twain

“Wisdom doesn’t necessarily come with age. Sometimes, age just shows up all by itself.” – Tom Wilson

“Always be nice to your children because they are the ones who will choose your retirement home.”- Phyllis Diller

“I don’t plan to grow old gracefully. I plan to have face-lifts until my ears meet.” – Rita Rudner

“I’m at that age where my back goes out more than I do.” – Phyllis Diller

“Nice to be here? At my age it’s nice to be anywhere.” – George Burns

“Don’t let aging get you down. It’s too hard to get back up.” – John Wagner

“First you forget names, then you forget faces, then you forget to pull your zipper up, then you forget to pull your zipper down.” – Leo Rosenberg

“Aging seems to be the only available way to live a long life.” – Kitty O’Neill Collins

“Old people shouldn’t eat health foods. They need all the preservatives they can get.” – Robert Orben

“Middle age is when you’re sitting at home on a Saturday night and the telephone rings and you hope it isn’t for you.” – Ogden Nash

“It’s important to have a twinkle in your wrinkle.” – Unknown

“At my age, flowers scare me.” – George Burns

“I have successfully completed the thirty-year transition from wanting to stay up late to just wanting to go to bed.” – Unknown

“Nobody expects to trust his body much after the age of fifty.” –
Alexander Hamilton

“The years between 50 and 90 are the hardest. You are always being asked to do things, and yet you are not decrepit enough to turn them down.” –
T.S. Elliot

“At fifty, everyone has the face he deserves.” – George Orwell

“At age 20, we worry about what others think of us… at age 40, we don’t care what they think of us… at age 90, we discover they haven’t been
thinking of us at all.” – Ann Landers

“When I was young, I was called a rugged individualist. When I was in my fifties, I was considered eccentric. Here I am doing and saying the same things I did then, and I’m labeled senile” – George Burns

“I complain that the years fly past, but then I look in a mirror and see that very few of them actually got past.” – Robert Brault

“The important thing to remember is that I’m probably going to forget.”
– Unknown

“As you get older three things happen. The first is your memory goes, and I can’t remember the other two.” – Sir Norman Wisdom

“It’s paradoxical that the idea of living a long life appeals to everyone, but the idea of getting old doesn’t appeal to anyone.” – Andy
Rooney ??

“Birthdays are good for you. Statistics show that the people who have the most live the longest.” – Larry Lorenzon

“The older I get, the better I used to be.” – Lee Trevino

“You know you’re getting old when you can pinch an inch on your forehead.” – John Mendoza

“I was thinking about how people seem to read the bible a lot more as they get older, and then it dawned on me—they’re cramming for their
final exam.”- George Carlin

“I don’t feel old. I don’t feel anything until noon. Then it’s time for my nap.” – Bob Hope

“I’m 59 and people call me middle-aged. How many 118-year-old men do you know?”- Barry Cryer

“All men are the same age.” – Dorothy Parker

“I don’t do alcohol anymore—I get the same effect just standing up fast.” – Anonymous

“By the time you’re 90 years old you’ve learned everything. You only have to remember it.” – George Burns

“Old age isn’t so bad when you consider the alternative.” – Maurice Chevalier

“Getting older. I used to be able to run a 4-minute mile, bench press 380 pounds, and tell the truth.” – Conan O’Brien

“I have reached an age when, if someone tells me to wear socks, I don’t have to.” – Albert Einstein

“You know you are getting old when everything hurts, and what doesn’t hurt doesn’t work.” – Hy Gardner

“When your friends begin to flatter you on how young you look, it’s a sure sign you’re getting old.” – Mark Twain

“You know you are getting old when everything either dries up or leaks.”
– Joel Plaskett

“There’s one advantage to being 102, there’s no peer pressure.” – Dennis

“I’ve never known a person who lives to be 110 who is remarkable for anything else.” —Josh Billings

“At my age ‘getting lucky’ means walking into a room and remembering what I came in for.” – Unknown

“Old age is when you resent the swimsuit issue of Sports Illustrated because there are fewer articles to read.” – George Burns

“The idea is to die young as late as possible.” – Ashley Montagu

“You know you’re getting old when you stoop to tie your shoelaces and wonder what else you could do while you’re down there.” – George Burns

“People ask me what I’d most appreciate getting for my eighty-seventh birthday. I tell them, a paternity suit.” – George Burns

“Time may be a great healer, but it’s a lousy beautician.” – Anonymous

Thank you cousin Harvey Oshinsky

Fran Drescher Reveals Details About Upcoming Musical Adaptation of THE NANNY

This is one of our Broadway Show ventures. It’s been five years. It will probably take another three years to get on stage. Something to look forward to.


“It’s definitely going to have the same humor and all the characters,” she said.

Fran Drescher Reveals Details About Upcoming Musical Adaptation of THE NANNY

In a recent interview with Time Out, Fran Drescher dished on the upcoming musical adaptation of The Nanny, that has been in the works for over two years.

Drescher discussed that Barbra Streisand will be a character in the musical, hinting “I think we have something creative for that obsession of Fran’s in the musical.” She would not give further information on what exactly they will do with the character yet.

She then went on to talk about how the story will be a bit different from the series itself, but it won’t be episodic.

“It will be something that gives Fran a struggle, a journey and a resolve different from the series,” she said. “In the series, pretty much everybody changed around her. She didn’t really grow or learn that much. When you’re a central character in the theater, you have to take that hero’s journey, and that’s what we’ve infused in the musical.”null

However, Drescher assures that fans will still see everything they love about the original series.

“It’s definitely going to have the same humor and all the characters,” she said.

Read the original story on Time Out.

As BroadwayWorld previously reported, The Nanny is being developed into a Broadway musical, from producers Brian Zeilinger and Scott Zeilinger.

The musical will feature a book co-written by Emmy and Golden Globe Award nominee Drescher and Jacobson, with lyrics by Emmy and Golden Globe winner Rachel Bloom and music by Bloom and three-time Emmy winner and Tony Award nominee Adam Schlesinger. Bloom and Schlesinger most recently won a 2019 Emmy Award together for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics (“Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”).

Marc Bruni (Beautiful: The Carole King Musical) will direct.

Partly inspired by Drescher’s own life growing up in Queens, New York, The Nanny’s beloved 146 episodes aired from 1993 to 1999, starring Drescher and earning 12 Emmy Award nominations over 6 seasons. The television show has been aired in over 90 countries and more than 30 languages.

A production timeline for the Broadway-bound musical, additional creative team members, and casting information will be announced at a later date

I’m Next

We finally made it to “Stretch Zone” in Miami Beach. I am writing about it for “” I made Eliot try it first. I took the photos. If you have Sciatica problems, this is the place for you. They have franchises all over the country.

Their website explains, “Thanks to the modern sedentary lifestyle many of us are living, most people start losing flexibility at an average rate of 1% a year. Strains and micro-stresses on your muscles compounded over time can glue them together. This “glue,” or scar tissue, tightens the surrounding tissue and restrains how you’re able to move. Over time, the snowballing loss of flexibility ages you.

“Stretch Zone’s isolation of individual muscles within a muscle group breaks up the glue, unwrapping the strangle hold on your posture and valuable energy. Proper stretching slows down the aging process. You can even feel younger by improving posture, circulation, and pain-free full range of motion.”

Busy Day

We saw Downton Abbey : A New Era tonight. We really enjoyed it. We recommend. Great seeing old friends on the screen. 60 seats in Regal theater, Lincoln Road. 10 people showed up. Usher said this is not a popular movie for the young folks of Miami Beach. Good for us.


The Perez Art Museum Miami celebrates the work of Marisol Escobar who was never given the proper recognition in the 1960’s art pop movement. While she drew thousands to her gallery exhibits and received tons of positive press over the years, she was not revered like the “New York Five”: Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Tom Wesselmann, James Rosenquist, and Claes Oldenburg. Women artists were treated second class. PAMM, plus others museums, are finally paying tribute to this exciting artist who created the most outrageous and fun sculptures. You must see this in person.


And lunch and drinks too.

Home Schooling Is In Vogue

I met Stephanie Slade of Sacramento, CA, a few weeks ago on a business assignment. I found out that she homeschools her children. I was fascinated by the things I learned from her. I wanted you to hear them too. Click the video above.

Many people in the United States feel ‘homeschooling” is old fashion.

Stephanie Slade of Sacramento, CA, is a homeschool mom of two — ages 5 and 8.

This is her 4th year of homeschooling. She carefully explains on this podcast that ‘home schooling” is becoming more popular every year.

More and more parents are becoming dissatified with the cirriculum being offered in public education.

Today there are approximately four million students who get their education at home.

Stephanie helps run a large homeschool group called Bridgeway Homeschool that supports about 750 kids.

She currently is planning a Northern California Homeschool Convention that will take place in Rocklin CA this summer.

We urge you to listen to this podcast. Stephanie is an expert. If you have any additional questions, we can put you in touch with her.

Listen to the podcast here –

View the video interview with Stephanie Slade on the Lying on The Beach on Camera YouTube Page –

Lying on the Beach Podcast is also available on various podcast sites including Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, Amazon Music, and Audible.

Long Before The Kardashians

For the last few months, I have been listening to books authored by Truman Capote, or books written about him. I have to remind myself during the day that I am not one of Capote’s friends. I am so caught up in his world that I forget my age and the unlikelihood of my involvement with the New York “Ladies Who Lunch.” It’s great fantasy for me now. It brings me back to my NYC days at WWD and HWH PR where I rubbed elbows with people in the news.

I wish I knew Capote. He was such a character. Eliot and I love oddballs. They make life so interesting. We live vicariously through them. Poor Capote. He ratted out his famous friends and then they sent him into oblivion. Here is an article from Esquire magazine decades ago that explains what happened.


Capote was the darling of an inner circle he called his swans—Babe Paley, Slim Keith, Lee Radziwill, C. Z. Guest, Gloria Guinness, Marella Agnelli. He was their baby wizard, their bitchy sister, their father confessor. They told him who had slept between the Porthault sheets and where all the bodies were buried.

Exposing The Rich And Famous: Truman Capote and ‘La Côte Basque 1965’

If In Cold Blood made Truman Capote, his piece La Côte Basque 1965 broke him. Published in Esquire in 1975, the 13,000-word social piece exposed all of Capote’s best friends’ secrets. These were not just average, everyday secrets, rather they were all about his swans. He published the secrets of his rich, high-society friends- some of the most powerful individuals in New York in the 60s and 70s. Here, we break down all of the claims in Capote’s piece and the reactions that came as a result of it.

Truman Capote and his swans

Portrait of Truman Capote

Photo of Truman Capote in 1969. (Photo Credit: William E. Sauro/ Getty Images)

Truman Capote had burst onto the literary scene at age 23 when his first novel, Other Voices, Other Rooms, was published. Seventeen years later, in 1965, Capote published his “non-fiction” book In Cold Blood, which brought him international fame, fortune, and wealth. At the height of mid-century New York, there was nothing more glamorous and fabulous than Truman Capote’s inner circle of beautiful, wealthy, socialite women that he affectionately labeled his swans.

These swans included names such as Barbara “Babe” Paley, Nancy “Slim” Keith, “Princess” Lee Radziwill, Lucy Douglas “C.Z.” Guest, Gloria Guinness, and Marella Agnelli. What captured Capote’s imagination about his swans was not necessarily the money they all possessed but the stories they had to tell. It would ultimately be these stories that would be Capote’s downfall.

Babe Paley was a fashion editor at Vogue and married to the incredibly wealthy founder of CBS, William S. Paley. Nancy “Slim” Keith was so slender and beautiful that she was featured in almost every issue of Harper’s Bazaar in the mid-forties. Slim’s first husband, film director Howard Hawks, had used her as a model for his screen heroines, including Lauren Bacall.

Lee Radziwill and Truman Capote

Lee Radziwill (left) and Truman Capote dancing at Capote’s Black-and-White Ball at the Plaza Hotel, New York, 1966. (Photo Credit: Harry Benson/ Stringer/ Getty Images)

C.Z. Guest had been born into money in Boston, but initially rebelled against high society, choosing to work as a showgirl and posing nude for Diego Rivera. The picture he painted used to hang above the bar of Mexico City’s Reforma Hotel. Gloria Guinness captured Capote with her rags-to-riches story. She overcame years of poverty to emerge triumphant as the wife of Loel Guinness, who was a member of one of Britain’s banking families.

“Princess” Lee Radziwill, sister of Jacqueline Kennedy, married a former Polish prince who became friends with Capote in the 1960s. Marella Agnelli was another one of Capote’s swans. She was married to Fiat chairman Gianni Agnelli, and Capote often referred to her as “the European swan numero uno.”

The stories in “La Côte Basque”

Jackie and Aristotle Onassis at La Cote Basque

Jacqueline Kennedy-Onassis and Aristotle Onassis leaving La Côte Basque Restaurant in October 1970. (Photo Credit: Ron Galella/ Getty Images)

“La Côte Basque 1965” was published in Esquire magazine in 1975. Initially, the story was intended to be the fifth chapter of a Capote novel titled Answered Prayers, which was never completed. The title refers to Henri Soulé’s restaurant located in New York City, across from the St. Regis Hotel. However, the plot for this short story was taken from all the gossip and stories he had heard from his swans over the many years.

“La Côte Basque 1965” unfolds like a long, gossipy conversation between the main character, Jonesy, and Lady Ina Coolbirth. Lady Ina Coolbirth is rumored to be based on Slim Keith, as Capote describes this character as a “big breezy preppy broad” from the American West, who is now married to an English aristocrat – a description that largely fits that of Slim Keith’s. Jonesy and Lady Ina Coolbirth meet on a New York street and decide to have lunch at La Côte Basque, where they observe and talk about the other patrons dining with them.

Truman Capote, Gloria Vanderbilt and Babe Paley

Socialite Gloria Vanderbilt (left), Truman Capote (center), and socialite Barbara “Babe” Paley, (right) in Germany, circa 1957. (Photo Credit: ullstein bild Dtl./ Getty Images)

There are many other socialites present at lunch with Lady Coolbirth and Jonesy in Capote’s short story. Babe Paley is there with her sister Betsey Whitney, Lee Radziwill is there with her sister Jacqueline Kennedy, and Gloria Vanderbilt is eating with her friend Carol Matthau. Other names appearing undisguised throughout the story include Cole Porter, who hits on an Italian server; Princess Margaret, who makes snide comments about “poufs;” and Joseph Kennedy, who jumps into bed with one of his daughter’s 18-year-old friends.

The characters of Gloria Vanderbilt and Carol Matthau are first encountered in the story. The two friends are gossiping about Princess Margaret and the rest of the royal family. An awkward moment ensues when Vanderbilt fails to recognize her first husband, who stops by her table to say hello. It is only when Carol reminds Gloria who he is that she recognizes him, makin her appear empty-headed and vain. The women brush the incident aside in “La Basque Côte,” but supposedly, when Gloria Vanderbilt read the real story she said, “the next time I see Truman Capote, I am going to spit in his face.”

Gloria Vanderbilt and Truman Capote

Gloria Vanderbilt (left) and Truman Capote arrive at the theatre, circa 1960. (Photo Credit: Bettmann/ Getty Images)

Next up are Lee Radziwill and Jacqueline Kennedy, who get off easy in “La Côte Basque,” with Capote describing them as “a pair of Western geisha girls.” Capote, however, uses them as a way to discuss the next real scandal. Lady Coolbirth tells Jonesy a story of how she was raped as a teenager by Joe Kennedy. She goes on to tell Jonesy how she was a guest of Kennedy’s daughter Kick, and one night “the old bugger slipped into my bedroom… all those Kennedy men are all the same; they’re like dogs, they have to pee on every hydrant.” It is unclear whether or not this event actually occurred to Slim Keith or if it was just gossip embellished by Capote for his story.

The character of Ann Hopkins is then introduced to the story when she walks into the restaurant and sits down with a pastor. Ann Hopkins was a pseudonym for the real Ann Woodward, who was married to William Woodward Jr., heir to the Hanover National Bank fortune. Woodward Jr. had asked Ann for a divorce in 1947, but she refused, as she didn’t want to give up her wealth and social status.

Ann Woodward and her husband William Woodward Jr.

William Woodward Jr. (left) and Ann Woodward (right) 1955. (Photo Credit: Bettmann/ Getty Images)

In the fall of 1955, after a string of break-ins in the Woodwards’ neighborhood, Ann shot her husband twice after mistaking him for a burglar. This ultimately killed Woodward Jr. Although Ann Woodward was never indicted for murder, Capote publicly accuses the character Ann Hopkins of murder in “La Côte Basque.” Capote suggested that Ann planned the murder of Woodward Jr., but got away with it because Ann’s mother-in-law, Elsie Woodward (who, in Capote’s story, was named Hilda Hopkins) paid off the police to avoid a scandal.

Perhaps Truman’s biggest betrayal was that of Barbara “Babe” Paley, who had basically adopted Truman. In “La Côte Basque,” Truman told his readers a story that involved Babe Paley, her husband Bill Paley, and a mystery woman who is believed to be Mary Rockefeller. According to the story, Bill Paley (under the pseudonym Sidney Dillon) has a one-night stand with “the governor’s wife” (Mary Rockefeller) while Babe Paley (who is called Cleo in Capote’s story) is out of town. After they are finished, Bill Paley (Dillon) discovers a bloodstain on his bedsheets. Worried about his wife returning home at any moment, Bill Paley scrubs the sheets in the bathtub and attempts to dry them by baking them in the oven before replacing them on the bed.

Aftermath of “La Côte Basque”

Babe and William Paley

Barbara “Babe” Paley and her husband William S. Paley in 1952. (Photo Credit: Slim Aarons/ Getty Images)

On October 10, 1975, only a few days before the November edition of Esquire hit the newsstands, Ann Woodward was found dead from a suicide. Many people believe that she was sent an advance copy of Truman’s story, which pushed her over the edge.

When the issue was published, Truman Capote was able to get out of New York to film the movie Murder by Death. To New York’s upper echelon, however, this move to Los Angeles following the publication of “La Côte Basque” made Capote look like a coward.

While Capote was in LA, he called Slim Keith (Lady Ina Coolbrith in “La Côte Basque”), but Slim refused to take his call. Unable to accept Slim’s rejection, Capote sent her a cable in Australia at the end of the year where she was spending her holidays. The cable said “Merry Christmas, Big Mama. I’ve decided to forgive you. Love Truman.” However, Slim was far from forgiving toward Truman, going so far as to consult her lawyers about suing the writer for libel.

Truman Capote and Lucy Douglas "C.Z" Guest

Lucy Douglas “C.Z.” Guest (left) and Truman Capote (right), circa 1968. (Photo Credit: Bettmann/ Getty Images)

The Paleys never forgave Truman, either. Babe Paley had been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer when “La Côte Basque” was published. She would never talk to Truman Capote again, and passed away on July 6, 1978.

As for Capote, the publishing of “La Côte Basque 1975” coincided with the start of his fall from grace. He began to drink and use drugs quite heavily and lost all of his friends because of this story. Truman Capote died on August 25, 1984, and the rest of the manuscript for Answered Prayers has yet to be found.


My neighbor got a pre-declined credit card in the mail. 

CEO’s are now playing miniature golf. 

Exxon-Mobil laid off 25 Congressmen. 

I saw a Mormon with only one wife. 

McDonald’s is selling the 1/4 ouncer. 

Angelina Jolie adopted a child from America. 

Parents in Beverly Hills fired their nannies and learned their children’s names. 

A truckload of Americans was caught sneaking into Mexico. 

A picture is now only worth 200 words.

When Bill and Hillary travel together, they now have to share a room. 

The Treasure Island casino in Las Vegas is now managed by Somali pirates.  

Called to get Blue Book Value on my car. They asked if gas tank was full or empty. 

And, finally… 

I was so depressed last night thinking about the economy, wars, jobs, my savings, Social Security, retirement funds, etc., I called the Suicide Hotline. I got a call center in Afghanistan, and when I told them I was suicidal, they got all excited, and asked if I could drive a truck.


traffic in and around a tunnel within Tehran, Alborz Mountains in background
Tehran, Iran

The majestic Alborz Mountains to the north of Tehran are placed in a perfect portrait by rows of residential buildings and the famous Tohid Tunnel (the third longest tunnel in the Middle East (nearly two miles long). Milad Tower (also referred to as Tehran Tower) is in the background as well. Scaling some 1,427 feet in the air, it’s the sixth-tallest tower in the world (and the tallest structure in Iran).
buildings reflected in water at dusk
Bruges, Belgium

Along with Amsterdam, Bruges, Belgium is labeled by many as the “Venice of the North.” As the image above suggests, the historic, well-preserved city is a sight to behold. Much of its charm emanates from the cobble stone streets, as well as the medieval buildings that are reflected in the canals.
colorful buildings next to water
Italy off the coast of Venice

In the waters of the Venetian Lagoon, there are a series of small islands. Like the famous Italian city on the water, many of these small islands have the recognizable canals running along their streets. And nowhere outside of Venice are these streets more beautiful, perhaps, than in Burano. Yet, it’s not the canals that make this such a destination, but rather the small multi-colored buildings that seem to pop out at every turn.
blossoming trees over street
Kyoto, Japan

Located in the Japanese city of Kyoto is a 1.2-mile-long street named Tetsugaku no michi. The cherry tree–lined road runs parallel to a canal and past Ginkaku-ji temple, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The best time to visit Tetsugaku no michi is April, when the road’s overhanging trees are in full bloom.
old stores on a cobble stone street
York, England

The buildings that line Shambles—a street in York, England—were erected as far back as the 14th century. The charming timber-framed buildings bend and, at times, hang over the cobblestoned street below.
white walls with path leading to church
Cordoba, Spain

Located in the Andalusian city of Cordoba, Calleja de las Flores is a narrow street that runs right into a plaza. With its many flowers and white-washed walls, the charming Spanish street is very typical of the region.
colorful buildings in la boca argentina
Buenos Aires, Argentina

The multicolor homes that line the La Boca neighborhood of Buenos Aires, Argentina, still reflect much of their late-19th-century history. When European immigrants arrived from the Italian city of Genoa, many of them became dockworkers, who, with little to no disposable income, built their homes with thin pieces of corrugated sheet metal from the docks, coated with leftover paint. When one color inevitably ran out, they would simply use another one. And thus a colorful neighborhood was born. Today, Caminito (shown) is brought to life by an artist’s re-creation of the old tenement dwellings that used to line La Boca’s streets.
winding street with cars driving down
San Francisco, California

San Francisco’s Lombard Street has become one of the city’s most visited sites. Tourists often gather to watch as drivers make their way through the hairpin turns. Completed in 1922, the street was designed to slow cars down on its steep hill. Drivers are advised to proceed at 5 m.p.h.
tourists walk past colorful buildings in Havana
Havana, Cuba

No matter where you stand politically, everyone can agree Cuba’s architecture is stunningly beautiful. With historic buildings painted in unmistakable palettes of cobalt blue, banana yellow, and sun-bleached pinks, tourists from around the world have flocked to this tropical locale. For those looking to capture the best examples of awe-inspiring architecture on the island nation, look no further than the streets surrounding Havana’s Parque Central (or Central Park). It’s there that pedestrians can leisurely stroll past historic colonial buildings with arches and balconies painted in a bevy of bright colors.
blue stairs with potted plants

The streets of Chefchaouen, a small city in northwest Morocco, are famous for their different shades of blue. Founded in 1471, the city was once used as a fortress for exiles from Spain. Over the centuries, many Jews moved to Chefchaouen, bringing with them the ancient belief that using blue dye would remind people of God’s power. For the most vivid experience, visitors should stroll down such streets as Al Hassan Onsar, Rue Outiwi, and the tight stairs leading up and down Rue Bin Souaki.
Footpath in the Arashiyama Grove fenced by tall bamboo trees
Kyoto, Japan

Located some 280 miles southwest of Tokyo, Kyoto is one of the most beautiful cities in the Far East. As the former capital of Japan, the city has many cultural gems. But it’s the natural scenery that brings many tourists to the bustling city. The Sagano Bamboo Forest, for example, consists of pathways that look too beautiful to be true. On sunny days, the rays of light come through the densely packed plants, creating an unforgettable experience.
a street tram with a river in the background
Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon has many stunning sites, but perhaps the best place to take it all in is along the city’s famous Elevador da Bica. Pedestrians who walk (or ride) to the top of the steep incline will be greeted with dramatic views of the narrow street, cable cars running on their tracks, and further, the Tagus River. Many of the streetcars are painted by local street artists, adding more urban beauty and grittiness to the picturesque landmark.
street with branch coverage

Jerez de la Frontera, Spain

Located in Andalusia, Spain, Jerez de la Frontera is a city known for its exquisite wine. Here, a street in the historic center is shaded by grape leaves from vines grown along the surrounding walls.
street with blooming tree overhead
Bonn, Germany

For two to three weeks each spring, the magical tunnel created by the trees lining Cherry Blossom Avenue in Bonn, Germany, brings in tourists and photographers alike.
building next to fast moving river with bridge over water
Lijiang, China

A UNESCO World Heritage site, the 1,000-year-old Old Town in Lijiang, China, is famous for its orderly canals and walkways. Walk along Qiyi Street Chongron Alley or Wuyi Street Wenzhi Alley for some of the more spectacular street views.
road with trees overhead
Ballymoney, Northern Ireland

Bregagh Road in Ballymoney, Northern Ireland, is a verdant street designed in the 18th century. Nicknamed Dark Hedges, the road will be instantly recognizable to fans of the HBO show Game of Thrones.
street in paris with building in background and french flags on both sides of street
Paris, France

Paris’s Champs-Élysées could well be the most famous street in the world. Beautifully manicured trees line the 1.2-mile-long avenue, which stretches from the Place de la Concorde to the Arc d Triomphe.