Yesterday was my birthday. I spent gloriously long days celebrating with my dear ones, playing music, getting snowed in, having big candlelit dinners with Sweetheart’s homemade pasta, exploring the snowy woods and hiking upupup into the gusting mists off of breathtaking icy waterfalls, having surprise cakes baked for me, champagne delivered to me, fielding multiple phone calls from people singing to me, playing games, reading books, baking bread, having breakfast in bed, receiving small parcels of mulling spices, special ancient bottles of wine with Cyrillic labels, feather birds, and talking poetry and unicorns into the wee hours, and and and…like always, I almost can’t believe my good fortune to have these bold and brave, gentle and kind folk surrounding me. Another sweet year passed honestly and kindly, and celebrated well. And that takes guts.
This mysterious envelope arrived for me the day before my birthday, looking vaguely official with its blue and white IRS ticking, while also looking a little Groucho-Marx-glasses-disguise-suspicious with its multiple various stamps, inclusion of my middle name, and slight lumpiness. Upon opening it, I removed a perforated parcel of purple construction paper sealed with a warning:
A SCAVENGER HUNT! After following included instructions to consult Sweetheart as to the correct time to begin, I broke the seal and was told to go north out of my apartment- after that, each paper-clipped-flap revealed further instruction on my journey to find my birthday surprise. I sang a song at the Roberson Theater, stopped in the Cuyler Gore playground, was led to Jessy’s Unisex Salon, instructed to pass by Cake Man Raven, made it to “U Kiss” Chinese all the way down to… Saffron Brooklyn! Upon arrival, I was instructed to go inside to see what Kana had waiting for me. Oh the suspense! The tiny shop smelled of spice and leather and fresh flowers…True to the construction paper oracle, Kana was expecting me- with this beautiful rose hip and juniper bouquet and an impossibly tiny envelope containing a card worth 100 smackers to get anything I wanted! YES YES MARVELOUS! This adorable shop has been here for a few years (the shop and I arrived in the neighborhood around the same time) and is basically the perfect little store for yours truly: they have worn-in classic barware and weird ephemera (a lamp made of a nautilus caught my eye), an amazing selection of vintage bags and coats, and gorgeous, gorgeous flowers- more camellia than carnation, more dahlia than daisy. Read: danger for this bird. Danger UNLESS- you have an amazing birthday scavenger hunt for presents concocted and executed by the best Mama around*.Go visit them yourselves: Start by going left…..
31 Hanson Place (Between Saint Felix & Fort Greene Place) Brooklyn, NY 11217
*This is Mama who wants it to say on her tombstone:
“She Never Did Anything Half-Assed”