Thursday I received the same email from three different people, one of which I had not talked to in about a year. Aurela was promoting her new CD (Tribute to Nexhmije Pagarusha and Vace Zela) that same night. And there was open bar 8-9. When have I ever turned down a free drink?
So I called my friends who called their friends and we all decided to go. Then the panic set in. I looked at myself in the mirror and I saw Bronx Nurse chic: capri pants, comfortable flipflops, striped shirt from Macy’s and pulled back hair. That certainly would not do, because the promotion party was hosted by Fadil Berisha and his slew of models and well dressed Albos would all be there. I knew that everybody would be showered, shaved, waxed, tanned, plucked, dressed and made up to the nines. I could not get home to change (that pesky little driving license again) so I opted to go shopping. I always have panic induced shopping whenever I have to go to a Fadil party and I always end up looking like an abstract painting by a dyslectic and colorblind Albino. Coupled with my Reubenesque proportions, I am not even a blip on the radar if it would not be for the fact that I always seem to break the bathroom door.
Now, in Manhattan there is every imaginable shop under the sun and their cousin. In the Bronx, there is either the Prety Girl, Pay Half or Dress Barn. My options were either Church Lady or Jenny from the Block. So I stopped at a street vendor, bought the most garish tank top I could find, and became Barrio chic. It was a midnight blue affair with scary gold glitter and gold sequins and silver laminated front that proclaimed “Super Sexy” and shed glitter on all suspecting passersby. I was still picking out glitter from my skin the next two days. Fortified by bad taste and glossy drugstore makeup, I went into the party.
For a last minute, thrown together, impromptu fling, it was very nice. I managed to pacify the mahmur bartender at ULTRA (who put a stick up his heinie?) enough to give me a free beer and dove in. Funny part is that everybody there is more or less everywhere else so they all looked like cousins trying to ignore eachother and gossiping about this and that. Hot girls abounded. Wish I could say the same about guys, but hey this is New York, the hot ones are always batting for the other team. They invented “fag hag” then dropped the “fag” when describing me.
Aurela herself was splendid. I do not know what that girl does to herself but it suits her. She reminded me of a 20ies flapper, the eternal fun girl and femme fatale rolled into one. Now, maybe my imagination was running away with me, or maybe the beer was having an earlier effect but boy she looked good. So did another favorite singer of my dad Eli Fara, who looked younger than her daughter and very exotic. Me like.
Celebrity supporters included : Pellumb Kulla and Zhuljeta Kulla, Gezim Nika and wife, and some other people I see in Albanian Culture TV but I have no clue as to who they are (some community coordinator I am!), plus Mr Berisha himself with all the beautiful people in tow. They all seemed to be having a good time.
Aurela was very gracious. She took pictures with us, and signed our CD-s, had conversations and generally enjoyed her party. I think that is part of her charm, the fact that she seems to really be into whatever she is doing at the moment. And she can be a hell of an entertainer, even though most stuff goes over the “Quattro Schick” angled heads of our upstanding community members. But some of it remains and we can hear her music blasting all over Lydig Avenue, even though her album pics do not display nut cracking boobs or circus underwear.
I liked the CD as well. Nostalgia, nostalgia. It kind of dissapeared early from the table at the party, but it can still be bought through:
Fadil Berisha Studio 33West 26th Street, 4th Fl
New York, NY 10010
Tel 917-351-1213, email@example.com
(As usual, this office is a safe haven and melting pot of Albanian Artists and their egoes)
I had some single photos as well but they were screwed up because I spilled some wine on the Kodak camera (which is held together by tape and which shutters one has to jiggle open)
They were kind enough to pose for me. See beateous Fadil beaming from above.
Because of Mrs. Kulla and her famous Juliette sketch (Xhuliete Partizanin Amanet! ) I was tormented all my childhood by that merciless pest of my cousin who wears Che Guevarra T-shirts and pretends he is a Beatnik today. Ahh good times!