Art Deco’s Grandest Weekend

Vintage revelers party on the Queen Mary, one of the great deco landmarks.

Queen Mary

DECO-LICIOUS: The fact is we may never get to crouch atop the famous deco gargoyles of the famously deco Chrysler Building like so many movie characters and video music stars get to do -- we're looking at you, "Men in Black" and just about every superhero out there -- but we can commune with one of the deco-iest of the Art Deco landmarks right here in California. It's the Queen Mary, a grand ocean liner permanently moored in Long Beach, and its vintage sunbursts and polished walnuts and yummy, 1930s-era curves are about as Art Deco as a fan of the style would want. And, each year over the first part of Labor Day Weekend, architecture fans and design buffs and people who simply like to put on suits and gowns and cha-cha to the music of the era. It's the Queen Mary Art Deco Festival, and it is set to twirl on the dance floor from Friday, Aug. 31 through Sunday, Sept. 2.

PAJAMA PARTY TO LECTURES: While there are several retro-sweet activities during the three-day run, the Pajama Party makes us swoon, if only because we have so few places to wear those fancy mules covered in fake pink feathers. (Okay, we have to purchase a pair first, but we've been meaning to.) Live music, dancing, cocktails, and Art Deco bazaar and marketplace round out the weekend. Can't make it? The Queen Mary is a year-round hotel, meaning if you just want to go to see some of its remaining deco design, that's a possibility any time.

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