by Angeliska on February 16, 2011
Oh, hello! Do forgive the long absence from around these parts – for various reasons,
I have just found myself either too busy, otherwise preoccupied, hibernating, or utterly
confounded with archaic and sludgy-slow technology to muster up the moxie to get any
posts up lately! Sometimes it’s good to take a break, but I’m hoping my sexy new computer
machine will induce many late-nights of frenzied writing here. Winter has been all about the
breakdown for me, in lots of ways – both my cameras and both my computers have either died
or are so slow that they might as well be. Our pipes have frozen numerous times, it’s been bitter
cold – unreasonably so, really. I’ve been feeling mighty bearish and blue while it’s been so chilly,
and it’s taken every ounce of willpower not to just crawl back under miles of blankets and just
wait in my woolen and flannel cavern for spring. Every night lately, I’ve been dreaming of finding
flowers under the dead leaves, and my craving for tender green buds, for color, for warmth and life
is kind of out of control right now. This season of death needs to go, and make way for rising sap,
for honey-dippers, for flummywisters singing high in the branches of the lingering yisters, and
unbuttoning the long winter underwear of the baby flummywisters. I mean it. Winter, you’re evicted!
All the same, this winter has been full of flurries, both metaphorical and literal! I’ve had lots and lots
on my plate to pull me out of my blanket-cave: most excitingly, a bevy of events that I’ve been working
on (either organizing, collaborating, or helping out on.) These parties have been very exciting and encouraging,
and all of them have involved other ladies, which just feels extra good lately. Miss Amelia, my partner in crime
and Vintage Vivant, (our new endeavor!) has been such fun to work with. She is calm and together, yet also
enthusiastic and a go-getter! We’ve been having a ball working on this party, and have lots of ideas for the future.
Vintage Vivant is a monthly celebration of Jazz Age culture, and a special night
for glamourous anachronists to dance, drink and delight at a bevy of 1920′s and 30′s themed entertainment.
Amelia and I had been discussing our desire to do such an event for quite a while, but were always confounded
by finding a venue with the right ambiance. The owner of one of our favorite dining spots, the East Side Show Room,
opened her own bar, we knew it would be just the spot. Mickie’s a genius when it comes to aesthetics, and she’s one of
the most hands-on, can-do kinda gals we’ve ever met. She does metalwork and sculpture, and designed and made all the
chandeliers and fixtures in both venues. The Swan Dive is the dreamiest bar ever – all pearly dove grays and white, tile
and wood. Old windows, milk bottles, white-painted instruments and old radiators somehow lend themselves to elegance
better than you might think – it’s as if a classy dame opened her idea of a fabulous nightclub during the Great Depression,
and used whatever came to hand to stunning effect. It’s simple and gorgeous and the perfect home to both our new parties!
(This photo & the next by Devaki Knowles of Fun Loving Photos)
For our debut, we chose the theme PAPER MOON, since we felt it conveyed the necessary magic
and glamour to befit such a celestially auspicious evening. Mickey made us a wooden moon to
pose with in our fabulous photobooth (helmed by the delicous Devaki Knowles!) and we reenacted
our favorite vintage photographs. Isn’t it just the best thing ever? I think we must use it always!
Amelia compiled this amazing wealth of images, music and videos to get everyone in the mood:
Paper Moon Inspiration
There were so many great images from the night, that three separate posts were required just to
document all the fun – I believe there’s even more to come! People really turned it out for this one!
Everyone’s ensembles were truly great, and I’m really excited to get people inspired to dress up, and
give them a place to wear all their favorite gladrags that otherwise might not get taken out dancing.
Paper Moon I.
Paper Moon II.
Paper Moon III.
I’ve always been a devoted anachronist – always wished that everyone would commit to playing
the same big game of dress-up and pretend, and that just for one night, we could create the
illusion of living in another era, as seamlessly as possible. I went to a 1920′s themed party in
New Orleans years ago, that really inspired me to try and one day create an environment to
do just that. It was a birthday party at The Country Club (a gay bar in a gorgeous old house,
with a pool in the back – not a snooty white-people golf place) and I remember everyone
dressed to the nines, inhabiting their characters perfectly, drinking martinis and gadding
about. We all jumped in the pool at the end of the night, in our beaded gowns and tuxedos,
crazy fools that we were (must’ve been all those martinis!) A little while later, Chesley and I
started a low key evening where he would spin music from the 1920′s and 30′s, and we would
play gin-rummy and drink wine. Our chef friends would raid the pantries of the fancy restaurants
they worked at, and make incredible gourmet tidbits. It was such fun, and I’d long wanted to do
something like it again – so doing Vintage Vivant with Amelia totally satisfies that need – and then some!
Here are some snippets I dug up from those olden golden days:
✸ Playing Canasta in Cold Rooms
✸ Mumbley-peg and slithery-dee
The other project that’s been keeping me busy is Exquisite Corpse,
a dada-inspired cabaret, surrealist salon and old school goth dance
party. Imagine if David Lynch was a woman and had a nightclub, and
you’ll be close. Our first night was on one of the bitterest nights of
the year – it actually snowed! I can’t begin to describe how magical
and wondrous it was for this southern girl, who has only seen snow
a handful of times, and hardly ever so pristine and perfect as on that
night. All my frustration and glumness over the cold weather turned
to joy, watching those fat flakes blanket the city and my garden in white.
Talk about surreal! All the sweet people who braved the ice to come out
warmed my cockles right up, and made me excited for what’s to come.
It feels good to scale back a bit from the behemoth parties like Gadjo
Disko and Tranarchy, and to do something a bit more intimate. I miss
the extravagant insanity of of Cabarer Revoltaire Dada Balls in New
Orleans, but it feels right to go for something more subtle right now.
Here’s some old posts about those parties of yore:
✸ DADA AND ITS AFTERMATH
✸ CABARET REVOLTAIRE REVIVAL
Maybe one day, we’ll go for that again! They were glorious.
In the meantime, I’m excited about all that I have on my plate,
and will be posting more images soon! But now – the sun is out!