New York City is known for its ability to move forward, rarely remaining in the past. But once a year, a city can break all its rules, right?
The Jazz Age Lawn Party allows people to remember a time that they likely weren't alive for: the Roaring Twenties.
The Jazz Age Lawn Party is no half-hearted costume party: it's a full-on glimpse to a time of flappers and cake-eaters (that's what they called "a lady's man" in 1920s slang).
Wear white and sit on a car. Because you can. — Photo courtesy of BFA/ Jazz Age Lawn Party
But, of course, you still want to look the part. The 1920s marked the first time clothing began to resemble what we wear today. Women embraced the trend of short skirts and short haircuts. Men broke away from wearing highly formal clothing and began to have a little fun with fashion.
All of your club dancing won't help you out here — Photo courtesy of Lev Radin / Jazz Age Lawn Party
Michael Arenella is not only the originator of this two-weekend summer event, but also the namesake of Michael Arenella & His Dreamland Orchestra.
The music he has built his career around might sound sweet to today's ears, but don't be fooled: big band music was the punk rock of its day, a rebellious sound that shocked the older generation.
The lawn party sets the prohibition tone not only with sound but also with movement. The delightfully named Roddy Caravella & The Canarsie Wobblers' fun-loving dance routines are choreographed to corral the least old-fashioned guests.
The performers are definitely the cat's meow — Photo courtesy of Jane Kratochvil / Jazz Age Lawn Party
Arenella's jazz-age passion is year-round and merely increases every August with this passionate project dedicated to bringing people outside in the name of fun and revelry. His first Golden Age gathering was in 2005 with 50 people, and it quickly grew to welcome the now 20,000 interested patrons who attend every year.
2015 marks the 10th anniversary of the Jazz Age Lawn Party, with more food, more dance and more specialty cocktails. Guests will be invited to celebrate in a variety of ways, from dance lessons to vintage portraits to the bathing beauties and beaus promenade.
There will also be a pie contest for those not yet ready to parade around in their wooly finest.
Guys in bow ties may find themselves surrounded by bathing beauties. Or not. — Photo courtesy of Jan Kratochvil / Jazz Age Lawn Party
It wouldn't be a proper New York festival without a food truck or two, and this year is set to deliver with gourmet food at every corner.
Signature cocktails for the anniversary include "Flappers' Delight" (elderflower liquor meets Juniper and mint) and "Strike Up the Band" (a Collins-style cocktail). Or you can splash out on a bottle of Prosecco as Hemingway might have done.
The event will be cash only, so make sure to bring your singles, which in the 1920s would have bought one heck of a meal.
Getting dolled up is part of the experience — Photo courtesy of Filip Wolak / Jazz Age Lawn Party
The Jazz Age Lawn Party is an opportunity to dance and be romanced. It's an opportunity to see your friends (and your great-grandparents) in a different light. You can go back to the modern age of Instagram updates and friends that prefer to text rather than Charleston tomorrow.
Don your best seersucker outfit, and get yourself to Governor's Island for the 2015 Jazz Age Lawn Party, set for Aug. 15 and 16. We can predict that it will be the bee's knees.
Old New York, meet new New York — Photo courtesy of Filip Wolak / Jazz Age Lawn Party