We saw the elusive green fairy Friday night, before we’d had even a sip of absinthe. Wearing a short skirt and lime green wig, she fluttered around the Gibbes courtyard handing out shots of the green liqueur, bearing a striking resemblance to Society 1858 steering committee member Claire Slover.

The Society was fashionably late in celebrating Bastille Day, which was on Wednesday, but they made up for it by pulling out all the stops. As guests arrived, they grabbed a glass of wine and wandered through the gallery on a scavenger hunt, the grand prize being a year’s worth of pommes frites.

Out in the courtyard, a giant Eiffel Tower replica towered over the central bar area, and the aroma of French cuisine — garlicky mussels, pâté, and, yes, pommes frites from Rue de Jean — hung in the sticky air. The Macaroon Boutique provided the ultimate tease — two macaroon-covered pyramids that apparently weren’t intended for consumption. Luckily they provided a selection of other delectables, and a butch-looking Marie Antoinette (steering committee member John Payne) passed around macaroons later in the evening.

As night fell and the temperature inched more toward typical French levels, the party filled with well-dressed young art lovers eager to meet the green fairy.