Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Great Gatsby Inspires a Summer Party

Recently Paul and I both re-read the classic, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. If you haven't read this beautifully written novel about the Jazz Age, you should read it as soon as you can get your hands on a copy. Especially after an article in last weeks Chicago Tribune called this "the Year of Gatsby" and before the latest film version is released later this year starring Leonardo DiCaprio as Gatsby.

As we were reading the book over the winter, a particular section in chapter 3 sparked the idea for a summer party, "There was music from my neighbor's house through the summer nights. In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars."

So we started planning a party. Paul created an amazing invitation, we rented a roulette table, hired 3 college kids to work as dealers for roulette, poker, blackjack and video horse racing, bought some vintage clothes and before we knew it, we were hosting a 1920's inspired lawn party in the afternoon and a speakeasy in the evening. The party was a huge success and all but one of our 40 or so guests dressed in 20's attire, some guests even wore 2 outfits, an afternoon and evening costume. There were gangsters, flappers, bootleggers, gin, jazz, gambling, croquet and lots of laughs, it really was a party to remember. (The image above was taken after we changed from our garden party clothes into our formal wear for the speakeasy party. My vintage fringe flapper dress was found on eBay, my feather hat is also vintage and was bought at an antique mall.)

Now we have to figure out a way to top this party, we've already started planning...

If you've read Gatsby or you're going to read it for the first time, here are a few of my favorite passages from the novel:

"I've been drunk for about a week now, and I thought it might sober me up to sit in a library."

"The bar is in full swing, and floating rounds of cocktails permeate the garden outside, until the air is alive with chatter and laughter, and casual innuendo and introductions forgotten on the spot, and enthusiastic meetings between women who never knew each other's names."

"And as I sat there brooding on the old, unknown world, I thought of Gatsby's wonder when he first picked out the green light at the end of Daisy's dock. He had come a long way to this blue lawn, and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it.  He did now know that it was already behind him, somewhere back in that vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night. Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us...So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back carelessly into the past."-The Great Gatsby, written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1925.

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