Last night was my workplace Summer party and Cinderella made it to the ball(room) with the aid of:
- A pre-party nap
- A new outfit
- A husband who bravely and single-handed, took on the challenge of both kiddos during the 'witching hour' (something he's been subjected to far too frequently lately)
It was a Miami themed event at The Palais Royale and I 'd been looking forward to it for weeks. After 8 months on maternity leave it was such a nice chance to dress up, catch-up and, eat-up. And it was so cool to revisit the Palais; I hadn't been there since the summer of 1992 (oh my gosh - how has is been 16 years??!!??).
Back then, this 1920's dance hall was pretty weathered. There was lots of history in it's foundations but very little interest ($$$) in keeping this beauty looking her best. I remember lots of old wood planking, peeling paint, creaking floorboards and a very rickety old deck where we would all crowd outside for a brief escape from the crowd inside. And of course I thought it was totally fabulous. In fact, I think about those summer nights and smile each and every time we drive by that particular stretch of the Lakeshore.
But lets fast-forward to 2008 after a battle for ownership, several changing of hands, a small fire and a massive renovation. The Palais Royale has been restored to a state of absolute splendour and has once again became a major hotspot. It's a beautiful balance of Toronto heritage preservation and elegant commercial purpose (having become a huge draw for social and corporate events). I love looking at the old pictures and thinking about all of the changing eras this building has survived. I love seeing the Palais preserved and knowing that in a growing landscape of condos along the waterfront, there are a few treasured spots that manage to stand their ground. And I love being reminded of the timeless and pure joy of dancing on a summer night.