Goodbye Mr. Moon

Edited by Valeria Federici –

The journey begins on a ferry to Governor’s Island. Taking off from the art nouveau looking end of the South Ferry pier I am cruising along with the “Flaming Youth”. Am I on the right path or did I just travel through times?

If you were wondering where New Yorkers go on a mid-August Saturday afternoon make sure you checked out Governor’s Island were many of them gathered for the 7th Annual Jazz Age Lawn Party on August 18th and 19th. Dressed up in Charleston-era clothing they partied on the lawn with blankets and sunshades, creating an atmosphere somewhere in between Un dimanche après-midi à l’Ile de la Grande Jatte” and hipsterland. Suspenders, hats, cigars and pearls made the magic of a fascinating whimsical 1930s nostalgia.

The event is organized by a New-York based ensemble called Michael Arenella and the Dreamland Orchestra and draws thousands to the southern island of the New York Harbor every year offering Charleston dance classes, vintage memorabilia and a “paper moon portraits booth” which takes you right into the Smashing Pumpkins “Tonight, Tonight” video’s imaginative world.

By their own admission the Orchestra’s men are dapper dandies; hair pomaded and shoes shined. They are based in New York, which with London were the halcyon capitals of decadence. Though certainly anachronistic, the orchestra’s presence invokes the vibrations of something unmistakably timeless.

You might be able to catch the Orchestra somewhere else during the year but it is suggested not to miss their pivotal yearly event where they certainly bring back the essence of Charleston’s music and times: joy, romance, modernity, and possibility.

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