Last night, I had a going away/birthday party at Pi right down the street from here in my hood. I had my party at Pi for the following reasons:
1.It is the most kick ass community centered bar and restaurant in the Twin Cities.
2.Pi was literally built by the community. The owner is from the neighborhood. The staff is often seen running about the neighborhood. The artists selected to make the inside purty are from the neighborhood. This bar does this the way a local business should.
3.My friends like to drink and eat. I would much rather than dollars go to a place that takes care of the community and its workers than a corporate establishment.
4.All of the bartenders and servers are like the most amazingly beautiful women (and one man) I have ever seen collected in one place.
More than 30 people showed up last night to wish me well and celebrate my birthday with me. On top of the money they spent on eating and drinking (and getting me drunk beyond belief), they also collectively donated more than 200 dollars to the Headwaters Foundation for Justice. How friggin' amazing are these people.
My friends brought their children, all of whom I have watched grow up either literally from birth or from close enough to it that I have had the honor of knowing them for most of their lives (even if I don't see some of them often enough). Mary, Farheen's daughter, actually made a painting for me of Ralph the Caterpillar. Original art from a super cool young woman!
On top of that...folks sang...and sang...and sang. Now, most folks who know me know that music is central to my relationship to God. So, last night when not one but four people got up and dedicated songs to me, I was seriously near tears. One of my newest friends, Mike, got up and sang “Ain't No Sunshine.” I danced with his amazing fiancee, and again, we had such an amazing time.
At one point, Charlotte noticed that folks had bought so many drinks that they were lined up on the bar. And she did what a good friend does and cut me off. And that, I deeply appreciated (even if I wasn't able to express it last night). From Pam Olson my high school Citywide Student Government advisor who, one on days notice, drove me from Minneapolis to Asheville, NC to Denisse and Mike...the folks last night ran the gamut of my life. I felt so amazingly loved last night (including by the staff of Pi who were super amazing), that even with the hangover that I deserved today, I woke up knowing that no matter where I move or where life takes me, I have a home. I may have a second home in California, but I know that my first home is here and always will be. I love you all. I appreciate you all...whether it is celebrating with me or calling me to hand me a smack down that I deserved (that's for you Pookie)...you are my family!