Monday, January 12, 2009

Heavy Snoring in Palm Beach

One of the things I keep telling people in Palm Beach is that the energy and excitement in the county is moving north. The most innovative restaurants and the most interesting new developments are all in the north end of Palm Beach County. There are people up there of wealth and privilege who could give a damn about Palm Beach. There are a couple of luxury malls that have almost everything one finds on Worth Avenue. There is no need to come to the island any longer. It is yet another reason why Palm Beach is an unrecognized crisis.

I had a personal look at this last night when my psychiatrist friend and virtual brother Dr. Frank Vaccaro and I drove north a half hour to Jupiter to attend an extravagant party put on by Patrick Park. Now Patrick is one of the most celebrated public figures in Palm Beach, his face on the cover of the society magazines and constantly in the Palm Beach Daily News,but he no longer even lives here.

We drove along Donald Ross Road in the pitch blackness, passing little but scruffy shrubbery looking for Bears Club Drive. When we finally found it and were issued into the development, it was astounding. I’ve never seen a development with so many gigantic homes. It’s a trailer park for the mega wealthy. Patrick’s is listed at a mere 9,972 on 1.1408 acres, but that’s got to be only the living area. It’s enormous, doubly so since the ceilings are high enough that planes could fly through. It's actually over 20,000 square feet as I learned subsequently.

I had brought a gift of a copy of my soon-to-be published book, Madness Under the Royal Palms. Poor Patrick is featured hosting last year’s Cancer Ball is which because of the drinking at the end “some of the men were so disheveled that their cummerbunds popped up around their midsections and became so twisted that they looked like tourniquets. It was Animal House meets Cocoon.” Thank God Patrick is a good sport or I wouldn’t have been invited.

I went up to Patrick and introduced Frank, who with his wife Terry was visiting from New York. “Frank is my psychiatrist and he’s got to be with me twenty-four hours a day now,” I told Patrick. “I’m having these wild mood swings and if I have one here I might slash my wrists or jump up on the table naked.”

Patrick wouldn’t have minded the latter but he just had his carpets done. He got the joke, but several people who overheard this thought I was telling the truth. And all during the evening people were coming up to Dr. Frank asking about his patient. He’s a lousy doctor since he spent much of the evening off on his own, not watching out for his patient.

There were well over two hundred people at the party and they were almost all from Palm Beach. It doesn’t bode well for Palm Beach unless the leaders wake up. And all I hear is heavy snoring.


Ben Dronsick said...

Mall buzz, tourists, and restaurant crowds moving north county: how exactly is this a problem? Laurence, I'm disappointed. Or, perhaps, you are.

Elsa said...

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Richard C. Lambert said...

It is yet another reason why Palm Beach is an unrecognized crisis.