“One of the things that I and my family noticed while I was waiting for the heart was who visited, and who didn’t; who wrote letters and sent email, and who didn’t,” he recalls. “[The experience] made me truly realize how important these social communities are.”
“I realized OK, I need to spend more time with these communities where people help each other,” he says. “What’s important to me is not just doing events from when I load in and when I load out but create a community around the event of people that really care about each other,” he says.
He smiles. “We’ve had a lot of good friendships and even some romantic relationships come out of it.”
Romance, perhaps—but not cheap thrills, like at some other parties.
Gina is one of many partygoers who says that for her, the friendly vibe of Dorian’s Parlor is just as important as the opportunity to play dress up.
“[Dorian’s Parlor] doesn’t come with quite the meat-market atmosphere you might find at places on Delaware Ave. or Rittenhouse Square,” she says. “It doesn’t have the air of exclusivity or the air of pretension.”
As the party is in full throttle, a young woman who goes by the name Grave and her friend, Angelina, take a rest in the hallway.
Grave, with bright red bangs trimmed into a sharp point, is a costume designer specializing in video-game character costumes. Angelina is a Ren Faire baby with a penchant for dressing and speaking Victorian. She’s sporting serious red-and-black heeled boots that stops a guy in a top hat walking to the bathroom in his well-heeled tracks.
“Ooh, where did you get those?” he asks. Angelina cocks her head coquettishly. “My lovah gave them to me,” she says, slowly lifting the hem of her dress, clearly relishing the compliment.
“Where did he get them?”
She smiles and cocks her eyebrow.
“I believe … he purchased them on the Internet.”
Sat., April 16. Doubletree Hotel. 237 S. Broad St. doriansparlor.com
First Person Arts Podcast: Proud Mom