Last night we indulged ourselves a bit and headed into Philly to ring in the New Year with the Philly area steampunks at Dorian’s Parlor. We seem to be spending an inordinate amount of time downtown on Broad Street–just before Christmas we were at the Academy of Music to see the Philadelphia Ballet perform the Nutcracker, last night at the Doubletree for Dorian’s, and Friday night we’ll be back at the Academy of Music for the touring company of Hair.

map of Broad Street area in Philly

Dorian’s was a little different this time around. Different for us, because Dark Quest Books wasn’t there promoting a book launch. And the event was a bit different this go ’round, because New Year’s Eve featured two hours of open bar, a champagne toast at midnight, and a full dinner buffet instead of the usual snacks and two drinks included with the cost of admission. Of course, the price of admission was a bit higher . . . but we weren’t scrambling to eat dinner before we heading into Philly for the evening. And the dinner buffet was tasty!

The evening was MC’d by G.D. (Geoff) Faulkson, and the entertainment was lovely, although a bit sparse. It started with Mike Lunapiena, The Wandering Cellist. Mike plays everything from movie/TV themes to hard rock (Stairway to Heaven!) to traditional tunes. He’s exceptionally entertaining, and a nice fellow to boot. His music is available online, and he has some fun videos up on youtube to give you some idea of how interesting a cellist can be if he puts his mind to it.

Most of the rest of the night was occupied by the musical offerings of DJ Dave Ghoul, spinning tunes while we ate, drank and made merry. At midnight, everyone joined in a champagne toast, courtesy of Hugh Casey, photographer extraordinaire.

Just after midnight, we began 2012 with the highlight of the evening’s entertainment: Professor Elemental. The professor is a hip-hop artist from the UK–a steampunk rapper. He’s very engaging, spontaneous and a tremendous amount of fun. His performance was high energy, unique, and funny. He is just splendid!

We also had a successful evening’s shopping and browsing at the wonderful vendors. I am the proud owner of my first underbust corset (which I ended up wearing most of the evening), courtesy of Thomas Willeford of Brute Force Leather. There was beautiful jewelry and gemstones to gawk at from Kirsten Houseknecht at the Fabric Dragon, while Nikki Cohen was there showing off (and selling!) the beautiful corsets and garments of Mayfair Moon, Hugh Casey was taking beautifully posed pictures in front of an absolutely awesome library backdrop, and both of the musical guests for the evening (The Wandering Cellist and Professor Elemental)were selling CDs.

We’ve been struggling to find something to do for New Year’s since we relocated. For many years, we just invited a crowd of twelve to twenty folks over for an Indian-themed buffet dinner (that took three or so days to cook), followed by a “bad” film or two. We got to share My Best Friend is a Vampire, Phantom of the Paradise, Terminator 2, and other better or lesser known gems with a group of friends, hesitating briefly at midnight for a champagne toast. But the usual crowd gradually moved away, had children, and eventually we shifted to a select group going out to dinner at our favorite restaurant (Lemon Grass) in Syracuse, who did a special New Year’s Eve menu.

Perhaps we’ve finally found someplace we can be happy ringing in the new year here in Delaware . . . .