This year was the first time I attended the Governors Island Jazz Age Lawn Party. I have always loved the 1920’s, so this was quite a surreal experience watching throngs of people right out of Boardwalk Empire walk up the gangway to the free ferry between Manhattan’s southern tip and Governors Island. Everyone was dressed in period style attire from ropes of pearls and hats full of feathers, to beaded dresses and vintage slips. It was a sartorial feast, to say the least.
Once we arrived at the island, everyone made their way to the grassy picnic spot and spread out their blankets and wicker baskets. The summertime weather was perfect and we nibbled on crackers and brie as the orchestra warmed up in the background. The day turned into a whirl of music, dance performances, vintage car viewings, and delicious St. Germain cocktails. Once everyone, down to the wallflowers, were coaxed onto the dance floor to take a spin with a seasoned dancer, the sun slowly began to set. We made our way back to the ferry to shuttle us home, and slowly stepped back into the 21st century.
After spending so much time traveling through Europe, SouthEast Asia, the Middle East, and South America, I realized that something was missing. Along my travels I would meet people who would inevitably ask me about life in New York, and in America in general. While growing up I did take the typical family road trips to Tennessee, Florida, and the Grand Canyon; overall I realized that I really don’t know that much about the country that I am from.
So I have made a decision to get to know America a bit better.
To start that decision off I went back to my midwest roots and flew for a quick weekend to Chicago, in honor of their annual music festival, Lollapalooza. The weekend was a blur of music, wristbands, flowing fabrics (and alcohol!) and the joys of spending your days and nights in the warm outdoors. Most music festivals are in the middle of nowhere, so I was glad to have a chance to wander through Chicago’s downtown on my few breaks from the festival. When the weekend wrapped and I flew back to New York, I knew that my journey through my country had only just begun.