The resurgence of the post WWI era is evident in a variety of ways in the last decade. With the release of movies like Midnight in Paris, The Great Gatsby, and television shows like Downton Abbey, nostalgia for the roaring twenties and the Lost Generation are in full swing. My daughter’s school is doing a Gatsby themed prom.
When I travel, I love to mix it with history and literature. Imagining yourself back in time in a scene of good book, or imagining others lives a century ago has an allure. When I was in Paris, I visited the Shakespeare & Co. and walked the same streets as Hemingway and Fitzgerald. My husband pointed out the steps near the Pantheon that Owen Wilson sat on just before being whisked back into time. The twenties were wild, romantic, but also weighed down by a post world war cynicism.
Lately I have been on a Lost Generation reading kick. I recently finished The Paris Wife, a fictional account from the point of view of Hemingway’s first wife, Hadley. So the obvious next choice was to read The Sun Also Rises. While I picked up a copy of it, I also grabbed this book. It’s a fictional account told from Zelda Fitzgerald’s point of view. Reading these books and immersing yourself not only in a place but another time is great way to be inspired to travel. I am sure Midnight in Paris caused quite a few purchases of Paris vacations. Even if you can’t go to Paris, you can still travel back in time here in California.
In Southern California, The Los Angeles Art Deco Society has a calendar of events to take you back in time here in Southern California. Their mission is to celebrate and preserve the architecture, design, arts, music, dance, fashion and elegance of Art Deco. Events like Cocktails at the Purple Orchid or the Avalon Ball on Catalina Island in May. The Art Deco Society of California has frequent events in Northern California celebrating all thing Art Deco as well.
Dine, Dance, or & Watch
You can eat at Traxx, inside historic Union Station featuring American Cuisine surrounded by Art deco decor. Head to Del Monte Speakeasy, established in 1915 in Venice. Or dance at the Cicada club inside the historic Oviatt Building. See a silent film on the first Saturday of the month at The Cinefamily Silent Movie Theater for only $12.
Stay at the historic Hotel Shangri-La in Santa Monica. This Art Deco hotel boasts ocean views from every room.
The Sunset Tower Hotel is in Hollywood. It was designed in 1929 and features the Tower Bar which is housed in Bugsy Siegel’s old apartment.
The Roosevelt Hotel combine history and contemporary style in the heart of Hollywood. The Tower rooms are the original from 1927 and is the birthplace of the Academy Awards in 1929. Have drinks at 25 Degrees or the Library bar.