San Francisco's annual Edwardian Ball is a fete of a different caliber. The beaux-arts architecture of the Regency Ballroom brimming with a sea of aesthetes approximating Edwardian realness set quite the surreal scene. Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the ball that boasts an unbridled love of Edward Gorey featured a headlining performance by Rosin Coven where women became water fountains as the band played, and dancers wound their way across the stage. The croquet court downstairs made an apt setting for the fantastic spread of goods available from vendors from all over, and the absinthe cocktails, particularly the Gashlycrumb Tiny with a splash of cranberry, increased the illusory gloss on the evening.
I said hellos to Decimal (like the point) and burlesque performer/DJ Miz Margo (whom you can often find spinning at Wierd these days) while surveying the critical mass of finery on display. And although I was assured by an insider that the only reason this event reaches such aesthetic heights is due to its yearly occurrence, I still found it hard to believe anything like this could happen in today's New York. There are wonderful parties in town, of course, but nothing I've yet seen to match the grand scale of this ball. The pagan performance artist types that stalked the rooms, either miming or displaying crystal ball acrobatics, are not a fixture on the East Coast, and neither are those hybrid Turn-of-the-Century meets desert debauchery devotees that make up part of the Burning Man crowd. These guests imbued the event with a historical magick that's in keeping with San Francisco's peace and love past. It's a distinctly California experience, and, if you're not too entrenched in the bleak reality of NYC, yet another reason to visit SF more than once a year.