James Edstrom With Every Season Friend Petra Brehl

I never realized I needed to know what friends I had in what season. I never knew I had seasonal friends.

Everyone knows that after 30 years of going out day and night for photo shoots, I don't really like going out anymore unless I'm getting paid the big bucks to photograph it. I have photographed everyone from Madonna to Bob Hope. I've been around a long time.

I have photographed Golden Girl Rue McClanahans Christmas day wedding and went on the Honeymoon with her to get the shots. I've photographed the Rolling Stones to the B 52's. I have met everyone and anyone just about. I partied at the Limelight and Studio 54 and I have many celebrity friends who I can call at any time of the day or night to chat. I have been on just about every TV show including 60 Minutes and my adventures were always written about on every gossip page including Page 6, The Daily News, National Enquirer, Star Magazine and so many more.

I've had run ins too with some of the celebrities too. Mel Gibson and his bodyguard attacked me outside a club where I was doing a photo shoot at a Stevie Wonder party. They threw me on a bunch of garbage bags in the street and I chased their taxi till I caught it and snapped a shot threw the window. Mels head was in his bodyguard's lap and it looked like he was giving a blow job. Story went worldwide and of course Mel denied it. I was the first to break the story that Cher's daughter was a lesbian because Cher's people stole film I took for Kathleen Turner when my camera was in the coat check in a club, and then they chased me down the street when I confronted them with their theft. We now know she was really a man. I have story after story of my adventures with the rich and famous, some good, some bad.

But now that I am so much older, I like to stay home. All my readers know I adopted a homeless kid a few years ago who has had a very abused life. I spend most of my time trying to make his life good and a huge amount of time on Times Square Gossip. I am a hermit. Unless I am paid to do a photo shoot, I do not go out. I am invited to every celebrity party and I decline. Some stars or their publicists beg me to go out and I still decline. I just do not have the energy. I have everything I need in Times Square.

Cherry Grove Fire Island


My regular readers know my second home in the warm weather is Dune Point in Cherry Grove Fire Island. I spend as much time there as I can there, the place is so magical. The joy I have with Petra Brehl and her partner Rick Dugas who own Dune Point make my life livable. The many years in this business has taken it's toll on me. Cherry Grove is the only place I am really happy anymore. When I get off the Ferry, Petra is there telling me to smell the air, breath Cherry Grove. Feel the love. Within minutes I'm a new person. Petra marches me to my room and tells me to put on my Cherry Grove uniform and relax. For those of you who do not know, my Cherry Grove uniform consists of several fancy pairs of pajamas which I wear everywhere. I feel so at home, I feel loved.

Seasonal Friend Donna From Cherry's On The Bay


I never knew till the other night that their were seasonal friends. I just never knew. When I am in Cherry Grove, the only place to party is Cherry's On The Bay, owned by Donna and Jaquie. I love these girls. I love writing about my adventures there and I think every club everywhere should be like Cherry's. The girls are gems and I miss them in the winter.

So I find out that they also have a club in New York City, The Cubby Hole. I really wanted to see my summer girls and wanted to see their NYC hotspot. They posted on my facebook wall that they were having a Christmas party on Saturday Night. As much as I do not like going out, I begged my kid to go with me. I wanted to see my girls.

Saturday night in New York City was cold. Real cold. I was in no mood to go out, but I forced myself. I kept telling myself I'll see all my friends from Cherry Grove. I told my kid that everyone he loves will be there and that convinced him to go with me. So we head out of our Times Square apartment into the cold and head down to West 12th street to the Cubby Hole.

There is a line outside to get in. I dont do lines. Every club in New York City knows who I am, and I never do lines and I am always marched to the VIP room and lavished with free drinks and anything else I need. I have to be or I just won't go to the club. I always end up taking photos and doing a story on anyplace I go and to me going out to clubs at my age is work.

So I am standing outside The Cubby Hole. I see Joe OooFaa the bartender from Cherry's. I say "Hi baby". He says hello and turns around. This is not the wild and friendly guy I know from Cherry Grove. In Cherry Grove I get kisses and a few laughs from OooFaa. Here on this cold New York City sidewalk all I got was even more cold. Then the door opens and out pops Donna from Cherry's. I say "Hey baby." She looks at me like she does not know me so I turn around again and say Donna baby there's a line. She looks sideways as if she did not want to see me and say's "I Know." Then she grabs OooFaa and a few other people and brings them into the club, bypassing the line. I'm thinking to myself what about me and my kid and I stand there for ten more minutes in the cold. Steve, The Chef from Top Of The Bay in Cherry Grove walks out the door. I give him a smile, but he looks away. The sidewalk just got even more colder.


I'm thinking to myself what a big mistake it was to force myself to go out. I kinder feel like crying, I feel rejected. I turn to my kid and said let's go home, I don't wait on lines. I'm not being a snob, I just do not do lines. I would have taken wonderful pictures of the Christmas party and wrote a great story for millions of my readers to see. I now felt worthless and wanted to head back to Times Square and I felt guilty too, because I had to talk my kid into going out. He was disappointed at not seeing his Cherry Grove friends and so was I.


As I rode back to the safety of Times Square on the Subway, I was thinking, I have seasonal friends. I realized I broke a big rule. I realized that almost everyone in Cherry Grove are seasonal friends only. Most of them are my friends for three seasons. Spring, Summer and the Fall. Winter they are not my friends. I now know this. The only full time friend from Cherry Grove is Petra from Dune Point. Shes my year round friend. I can always count on Petra's friendship. I know now that I broke a rule, that I saw these people in the wrong season and my punishment was to sit out in the cold. I should have been arrested. I deserved what I got. If I ever see anyone from Cherry Grove on the streets of New York, I now know to walk the other way. I can't break the seasonal rule ever again. I'll have to wait till our season comes and that's that.

DJ Susan Levine


It's a shame. I really wanted to see everyone. I have been wanting to go down to Lasagna Restaurant on a Monday night to see my favorite Cherry Grove DJ, Miss Susan Levine and another Cherry Grove friend Nunzio who is bartending there. I love Susan. No one spins like her. But now I'm scared after Cubby Hole. Is Susan Levine a year round friend, or is she seasonal. If I go down there will she love to see me or will she tell me I am out of season and have the chef throw Eggplant Parmesan at me. I just do not know.


I have learned. I now know the seasonal rules and I will never break them again. If I ever see anyone out of season, I will run and hide. I will not break the law again. I will wait till I am in-season again to see everyone. I just really hope when I arrive in Cherry Grove in May, that everyone isn't whispering when they see me that they heard I broke the seasonal rules this winter. I would be humiliated!

Photos By: James Edstrom


Anonymous said…
I went down there and got the same treatment. I must be a seasonal friend too. Very funny story James.