Wednesday, November 26, 2008
In a city that's known for its Financial District, what do the people of San Francisco do when the economy takes a nose dive? Well, some of them seek escape in the roaring 20's at the Hendrick's Gin Party at The Ambassador.
Walking in was like entering another universe. Up-beat, swinging band music filled the air. Men in top hats and vests chatted in circles while beautiful women in corsets and feather-festooned headdresses laughed gaily at their sides. My friend, Mike, and I were immediately greeted by two . . . little people in full costume sitting on the bar. Burlesque dancers worked the crowd, contortionists worked the stage, and as we approached the bar (open bar, I might add) we passed by one of the entertainers that evening: a mustached transvestite monkey-man.
It was quite the extravaganza. Mingling with all these people, in this amazing roaring 20's setting while our own economy is going to crapper . . . it seemed so ironic. It also made me muse if this is perhaps what it was really like in the salons of 20's--laughter, gaiety, a certain degree of closeted hedonism, a noir sexiness. It was certainly a transportive experience.
Being a Hendrick's party, of course a first-rate drink menu was de rigueur. Hendrick's did not disappoint. If their objective was to recruit loyal followers, consider me their latest devotee. My favorite drinks of the evening were the White Cargo Punch (so creamy, nutmegy, and festive) and the Carte Blanche (nice and smooth and incredibly refreshing). However, in the future, I think I will be very happy with just a Hendrick's gin and tonic.
All-in-all, I had a wonderful time, and was most definitely charmed by my little foray into the 1920's.
*You can also look up the party at Nerve.com, an on-line mag that also hosted the party.