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Photograph: Lauren Spinelli

Here's everything new you can expect at the 2016 Jazz Age Lawn Party

Will Gleason
Written by
Will Gleason

Escaping the city the summer is easy. Escaping the present requires a bit more effort. Luckily, the semiannual Jazz Age Lawn Party is back to transport tech-addled Gothamites to the elegant world of the roaring ’20s. And there are gobs of brand-new things island-hopping time travelers can expect this go-around.

RECOMMENDED: See the full guide to Jazz Age Lawn Party

“For one, we’re offering a new drink by Julie Reiner, one of the owners of Flatiron Lounge,” says Michael Arenella, the event’s founder and conductor of the fabulous Dreamland Orchestra. “It’s called Americano de Robert, which is an homage to the founder of St-Germain, Robert Cooper, who passed away last month.” Other original cocktails include Strike Up the Band, a Collins-style cocktail with strawberries and gin, and Flapper’s Delight, a summer fizz with elderflower and juniper. 

Prefer to sip your mixed drink in a shrine of Jazz Age opulence? Those with Rockefeller-level bank accounts can make a splash in the hilariously over-the-top “St-Germain x Homepolish Bijoux VIP tent”. Complete with luxe textiles, flashy Art Deco motifs and bold gold accents, Bijoux is enviously located mid dance floor. It costs $5,000 to book, but hey, you get bottle service. For those more accustomed to workweeks than sheiks, the architectural centerpiece should at least be a fascinating object to waltz around.

And there’s no need to worry about being alone on that dance floor! In addition to Arenella and his indispensable Jazz Age orchestra, this week’s party features premiere performances from the Dreamland Follies and the Canarsie Wobblers, as well as jazz from Queen Esther and piano from Peter Mintun. “Peter Mintun is, in my opinion, the world’s finest ragtime piano player,” says Arenella. “He’s a one-man orchestra. A real gem.”

New food vendors Melt Bakery, Mom’s Cooking and An Artistic Taste offer up tasty bites, and lawngoers can shop exciting vintage merchants like Goddess Godette, which specializes in sustainable hats and dresses, and J. Press, a classic menswear brand started at Yale in 1902. Both are participating in the outdoor fest for the first time.

“The 1920s was all about cutting ties with the past and looking up to the sky,” says Arenella. “There was a lack of sentimentality—it was all about the new.” Bring on the new!

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