Fads: The New Side of Paradise

In the jazz age, when "it was always teatime or late at night," no night seemed complete without Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald's taking a midnight swim in one of Manhattan's fountains to the musical accompaniment of police whistles. "I wanted to enjoy, to be prodigal and openhearted, to miss nothing," explained Novelist Fitzgerald. Today's younger generation—often accused of being not openhearted but stuffy, not lost but found—all on its own has rediscovered the Fitzgerald dip.

In the '20s, the Pulitzer fountain in front of the Plaza Hotel attracted Fitzgerald and most of the soaking sophomores. Today's youths, after their black-tie dances,...

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