American Benevolent Society annual meeting, a beach wedding in Oaxaca, and breakfast at Sanborn's
By Michael Parker-Stainback Original Print Publication: April, 2009
I Cannot Tell a Lie-I Love the Cherry Pie Festival
Unpredictably, the American Benevolent Society's annual Cherry Pie Festival has become one of my favorite nights out (though I still can't forgive whoever eliminated the Martha Washington outfits) and this year's event, at the US Ambassadorial residence, was a real honey. Hostess and American Chargée d'Affaires Leslie Bassett, running things like a railroad till President Obama appoints a new ambassador, made it seem like a teenaged party when the parents are away, though with first-class cocktails, great bossa nova on the hi-fi, and vastly superior cherry pies (sorry Club Universitario). And when Roger Cudney belted out the national anthem-what a pair of lungs!-it made you proud to be an American again. Attendees ranged from the Newcomers' megawatt President Diana Colby (with affable husband Clark in tow), to charity-circuit heavy hitters Deborah San Román, Michele Beltrán, and Rogerio Casas Alatriste Urquiza, plus the adorable Shauna Leff and her man, Milton Jorge Reyes, as well as guides-on-the-go Jessica López and Martha Trava. Orange bow-tied paparazzo David Suárez couldn't have looked smarter, and mother-son cleanup act Carlos and Gloria de Ríos Braniff say stop littering! Finally, who was that woman of a certain age (and a certain amount of cosmetic surgery) who kept slipping party decorations into her late-model designer bag? Congratulations, ABS Executive Director Barbara Franco-you've done it again.
Quédese con los Mil, Señorita
Herding nervous gringo tour groups around the city's danger spots-like Sanborn's Azulejos-can be discombobulating for the steeliest guides. After one party cleared out of the restaurant, following no dearth of barked orders, separate checks requested, and queries regarding who owed for the jugo de betabel, the put-upon waitress nearly flipped her lacy kerchief to discover that she'd been left a 1000-peso tip! The large largesse could be considered an equitable recompense for the bother, but it turns out Miss Tourguide hadn't intended to be quite so generous-though she is a big fan of Mexico's flying culinary nuns-and approached the waitress with some trepidation a week later. The server had put the money aside for eventual return to its owner and the guide, moved to tears by the noble gesture, ended up letting the happy hash slinger keep the tip after all.
Mexicana fly-girl Claudia Rentería and National Democratic Institute director Julian Quibell, married in Puerto Escondido March 14, have the dubious distinction of being the first item ever reported in Nosey Parker. I recounted that the couple planned to dispense with bourgeois convention and host the naco-est possible nuptials. Repeated protestations about their intimate celebration clearly indicated I was not invited. Well, it seems J&C blew it: not only was I there (my virgin-white guayabera drenched in vino tinto by evening's end) but neither was there much in the way of naco, taste and generosity reigning supreme in everything from the gorgeous sunset over Carrilzalillo Beach to the ravishing bride, plus excellent food, music, and far too much drink. The ceremony, written and officiated by non-stop party "Padre" Alfonso Celestino, was so moving that the groom was weepy half the time. But how much longer before Alfonso breaks his vow of celibacy and makes an honest woman of Manhattan graduate student Ximena Maroto (who looked highly marriageable in a Pucci-esque Grecian goddess number, tan lines and all)? I suppose the party couldn't be that naco with all those progressive visitors from Northern California (the groom's parents, Charles and Catherine Quibell and Julian's boyhood buddy Marcus Clarke, among many), or with Claudia's hot mama Tiki Martínez and sweetheart daddy Jaime Rentería in from Tampico. LA journalists Miguel Medina y Cruz and Norma Roque-plus cute Ben Allen-added Hollywood glamour. And unflappable DF graphic designer Julieta Bracho always knows just how long a leash to put on hubby/artist Sergio Jamaica when the partying starts. I did hope for something creepy when a slew of long-haired relatives took the stage to sing, play pipes, and bang on a plastic trashcan, but even that Partridge Family redux came off sweet and loving, never tacky. I guess it's back to Las Lomas for the truly trashy affairs.
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