The Holiday Season may be long gone, but The Season is in full swing. If you do not live in South Florida, you may be confused by the vagueness of its residents as we speak of The Season on The Island. What’s next? Talking about The Guy at The Place?
If you’re reading from a zip code that does not start with “334…” I am here to help.
The Season, is the glorious winter of South Florida in which the elite flock down predominantly from the Northeast and party in their palatial estates along the barrier island of Palm Beach. This time of year, it takes 20 minutes to drive a quarter-mile, the line at Lilly Pulitzer is sprawling with personal shoppers, and flights delayed because Air Force One is parked at PBI.
To give insight on The Inside, I highly suggest reading Charity Bashed by Sharon Geltner. It’s a cheeky peak into the inner workings of Palm Beach society. Geltner, a former fundraiser for the Island’s finest philanthropists, wrote this satire on Island life. The plot is about a non-profit organizer becoming engulfed in the murder of a high dollar donor, depicting the charity scene as a façade for a popularity contest.
Geltner’s style and humor falls in line with Florida Fiction favorites like Tim Dorsey, Carl Hiassen and Dave Barry. Charity Bashed perfectly encapsulates the false reality of Palm Beach, describing standard Island hygiene as teeth whitening and Botox. With gentle mentions alluding to true Palm Beachers, you may find yourself jumping to Google to figure out who is being painted in the pages. I laughed at the book’s account of a widow embalming her husband for 40 days waiting for The Season to be over. I was surprised after a light search on The Palm Beach Post, it was a true story!
I met Geltner at The Palm Beach Antique and Art Show. We drank glasses of champagne, rubbed elbows with some ostentatious ensembles and gazed at six figure geodes. After the read and an evening in the social scene, I had to check out The Island’s social media scene.
I found several Palm Beach bloggers that had similar Instagram inspiration: a light lunch at Sant Ambroeus, polished poses in front of pastel buildings, and stylish shoots on Worth Avenue. All events were perfectly captured by a professional photographer. I am always baffled by lifestyle bloggers, they are the only people who have a life of a daily brunch photoshoot. However, on The Island I find it believable.
I decided to immerse myself in the experience, found my only Lily Pulitzer dress, called my cousin/photographer Brittany and said, “Let’s spend a day together! Just you, me and the bourgeoisie!” Geltner captured Palm Beach satire in words, I wanted to express it in visual context.
Enjoy my unrealistic representation of my SoFlo life in this Basic [Palm] Beach photoshoot as I try to emulate my favorite Palmbassadors. The reality was a lot of sweating in stylish frocks and a $60 parking ticket. I will leave the Palm Beach Princess role to the pros and live brunch vicariously through their InstaFeed. The Island life is fabulous, but I prefer to pursue it as a local beach bum.
To take a mental trip to the Home of the Winter Whitehouse: grab some macaroons, throw on your tiara and read Charity Bashed. Or you can enjoy it like I did, on the beach in a bikini. Either way, it’s Worth the read.
Read happy, my friends! And as always, live global and stay local.
Much credit due:
To my songbird cousin Brittany Vinciguerra for being my photographer. She’s technically my boyfriend’s cousin but like many of his t-shirts, I claim her as my own. Follow her on Instagram: @iambrittanyv