Walking in the footseteps of The Mob

Whay HO!

As our Cuban Pete's Havana Club Valentines Dance draws ever near we though that maybe we should give you an explanation of why we picked such a theme.

Meyer Lansky  as you may or may not know was the first New York Mobster to see the opportunities that Cuba’s closeness in miles to Florida could offered to the Mob.   

Lansky relised that with a friendly government in Cuba, there was no telling what the Mob could accomplish."

Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista was only too happy to turn a blind eye to the mafia's activities as long as he got a cut of the profits.    

And so he himself invested in Cuba and encouraged other mobsters to also invest in Cuba.

In Cuba's "business friendly" environment Lansky eventually owned or had financial interest in at least three casinos:                 

 

The hotel Rivera which Lansky had built

 

Rivera Havana Cuba.

the Habana,

The Hotel Nacional de Cuba

and the Hotel Nacional de Cuba.   

 

The Hotel Nacional which is Havana’s oldest Hotel opened in 1930, when Cuba was a prime travel destination for Americans long before the United States embargo against Cuba. In its 80+ years of existence, the hotel has had many important guests.

Among its first illustrious guests were artists, actors, athletes and writers such as Frank Sinatra, Ava Gardner, Mickey Mantle, Johnny Weissmuller, Buster Keaton, Jorge Negrete, Agustín Lara, Rocky Marciano, Tyrone Power, Alberto Simões, Rómulo Gallegos, Errol Flynn, John Wayne, Marlene Dietrich, Gary Cooper, Marlon Brando, Ernest Hemingway.

The hotel's reputation is backed by patrons such as Winston Churchill,

Winston Churchill at play.

the Duke and Duchess of Windsor,

The beautiful Duchess  & her Duke.


The Hotel Nacional de Cuba was where we stayed our self for our time in Havana during out stay in the spring of 2016.

Havana, Cuba had long been on our list of “places we must visit” and so before the ink was even dry on the agreement that The American Consulate was  to reopening in Havana we had booked our flights and stay at The Hotel Nacional de Cuba.

As we board the plan for the 9hr 27 min flight covering 4550 miles we had no doubt that we would be walking in the foot steps of the Mob.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Witch Queen of New Oreleans...... Mama Voodoo.....

Witch Queen of New Orleans.

What Ho Chaps & Chapettes,

So Who do Voodoo, You do Voodoo, Hopefully at Our  Saturday April 8th Themed Dance,

Sugar Ray’s Voodoo Lounge.

Marie, Marie, La, Voo-doo Yeady
She’ll put a spell on you
Marie, Marie, La, Voo-doo Yeady
She’ll put a spell on you
Marie, Marie, La, Voo-doo Yeady
She’s the witch queen oh, of New Orleans
Of New Orleans

So who was The Witch Queen of New Orleans that……. Redbone.

Sang so enthusiastically about in their 1971 chart topping song?

“The Witch Queen of New Orleans” was Marie Laveau a 19th-century practitioner of voodoo

Marie Laveau was a Creole Voodoo Queen who was famous for the great power that she exercised in and over her community and her enthusiastic leading of the numerous ceremonial meetings and ritual dances.

Marie Laveau was beautifully portrayed by Angela Bassett in the TV show American Horror Story “Go to Hell” 2014.

Our kind of  Voodoo is founded more in 1930s Pre Code America when the 1932  Pre-Code horror film   White Zombie starring Béla Lugosi    

was considered most risqué as it portrayed Voodoo as exotically dark and moody.

White Zombie is also considered to be the first feature length zombie film.

Because of this film many popular songs of the time had names that included “Voodoo” 

such as The foxtrot “Voodoo “and “Voodoo Moon”.

And so we look forward to seeing you  in April

when all your favourites from the 1930’s & 1940’s will be the order of the night at  Sugar Ray’s Voodoo Lounge

We look forward to seeing old friends and meeting new ones…….

Rosie Lea xx


A Broad Abroad.

As it is International Woman's Day today I thought I would introduce you one of my favorite Ladies.

ca. 1945 --- Wallis, Duchess of Windsor in a short-sleeved Vionnet dress and belt, holding a hip-length jacket. --- Image by © CondÈ Nast Archive/CORBIS

Wallis Simpson Love her or Hate her it can not be deny that she had an amazing sense of style which is why her wardrobe continues to fascinate us.

wallis 1

Wallis was said to be a realist and possibly a little bit if an exhibitionist, she certainly had a penchant for wearing the most current fashions of the time.

1937  saw Wallis wearing an Elsa Schiaparelli Lobster gown designed in collaboration with Salvador Dali, it shows that Wallis was determined to make a statement.

Wallis was willing to showcase the most accomplished designers and painters of her generation, she wore this cutting edge gown for her shoot by Cecil Beaton for Vogue.

wallis 2                                                          wallis 6

The Leaf motif was a recurring design through out Wallis's life.

wallis 3

1940's  saw Wallis in a white wool skirt suit with red embroidery Wallis was of the opinion that she may not be the most beautiful woman in the world, but she could make up for it by being the best dressed and in my opinion she was.

wallis 4

Wallis is seen here  in a blue printed dress and red belt outside Government House in Nassau, the Bahamas in 1942 some say that Wallis worn  fashion as a kind of amour, who could blame her, to me the more notorious she became the more sophisticated her sense of style became.

wallis 9

1950 The Duchess of Windsor never lost her penchant for wearing the most current fashions of the time 1950 saw Wallis in Dior's Flûte Enchantée dress from his Autumn/Winter collection.

wallis 7                                                                   wallis 5         

In Portofino with their dog Thalmet.                                                           Relaxing with the Duke.

Wallis along with being credit as being one of the most beautifully dressed woman of her time was also a guinius for coning aphorisms.

She came up with....

"You can never be too rich or too thin".

"Never explain, Never complain".

but Wallis's

" Dress Better" was a Mantra by which she lived.

wallis 14                            wallis 15

wallis 16                                     wallis 17

If you would like to read more about this amazing beautiful some times tragic but always better dressed than everyone else then I can personally recommend all of the above books.

Enjoy International Woman's day

 

Rosie Lea xx