On Friday night, the Alder Manor located in Yonkers, New York, just on the city’s border, converted its 72 rooms into a dark masquerade – the brainchild of creative forces MATTE Projects, You Are So Lucky, A Club Called Rhonda, and more – for the first ever Blind Man’s Ball inspired by the namesake fete originally held at Webster Hall in 1917. This legendary affair was a masquerade for the absurd at the nascence of the Dada movement and New York Bohemia, recreated one hundred years later thanks to MATTE and its team of cultural visionaries.
The Manor was a gothic Alice In Wonderland-esque adventure, with every individually themed room functioning as a rabbit hole, leading you to another room, and all of a sudden you’ve lost your friends and have no idea where you are.
We entered through the main door, into a hall with shattered chandeliers where you could hear music from the neighboring rooms including a jazz band reprising Top 40 hits and scantily clad “madams” spinning deep house. Guests were then free to roam the Manor at their leisure.
From a room with nothing but a filled bath tub to a Tarot card reading with a live tattoo artist actually buzzing into guests, or a ripped up bedroom (we don’t want to know what went down in there at 4 am) and a banquet complete with a full roast pig and whole lobsters, it goes without saying everyone was overstimulated with no clue where to turn next. The late night watering hole was called The Rhonda Room, which was a smoke-filled and red-lit basement in a separate house on the Manor’s property, with neon lights that read “Fearsome Pleasure” or “Sell Your Soul To Me” to really set the mood. It felt like Eyes Wide Shut come to life.
As the invitation noted, the blind man must see the light, and the last bus didn’t leave until dawn. In case you missed out, click through to see highlights from the ball.
[Photos courtesy MATTE Projects]