Wow, what a weekend!! Power-packed fun, love and celebration! New York, ya did good, ya did REAL good! Ugh I feel like the queen I am!
I was uncertain ’bout my Sat night bday/farewell soiree. I chose St. Balmain because it looked charming. I’d stopped by briefly one night on my way to Cameo and quickly one afternoon so my shopping partner could snag a latte, but I’d never had a meal or an evening there . I HIGHLY value quality time with friends, especially since this was my last NYC weekend and this establishment seemed like an appropriate choice to host such a gathering.
I didn’t want to have it some where club-esq (loud, obnoxiously packed, 20 min wait for each drink, etc.) And I’d heard one of the Hillsong leaders owned it which made St Balmain the winning choice. Keep it in the family, ya know?
Friday, I called to make sure no reservation was needed. They explained on weekend nights its just drinks and boasted of their quaint backyard. She also said there’d be a DJ and it’d be real fun. So I thought sweet, don’t have to deal with the whole group-check dinner hellscape and peepz can carefree trickle in and out throughout the night. Drinks, a DJ and a backyard – sounded PRETTY good.
My doubts assuaged, surely my party would go off without a hitch. Saturday came, I spent most the day in Central park, our church held two services there which were amazing. Hillsong United debuted a bunch of new songs off their upcoming album, it was spiritual bliss.
Afterwards I met my friend Mia for dinner at Umami Burger 3 blocks away from the party destination. Since I wasn’t completely sure if St. Balmain gets crazy crowded I didn’t wanna risk a whole night of screaming back and forth over a DJ and bar crowd. Mia has a very special place in my heart. Long story short back in 2012 when I first moved to NYC she shared her bed with me during Hurricane Sandy – before we even knew each other! (more on that in later posts).
We strolled to the party around 9:15pm, the invite instructed guests to arrive between 8p – 11p because I really didn’t want anyone showing up until 9:30p. If I’d said “come at 9:30” people woulda showed up ’round 11p. We get there at 9:20 and the place looks closed. Its dark but the door says “open” so we go in.
Chairs stacked on tables, I think “oh this is the cafe part, maybe everyone’s in the back or by the bar” We go into the next room, hear a little music, no DJ but there’s lights on, a full bar and no one, not a soul in the place. Mia and I look at each other, “hello?” I hear footsteps and see a door to the basement open. A guy comes up, I ask ” are you guys open” he confirms.
Mia and I take a seat. Four friends come in 5min later all with the same “is this place closed?” reaction but hugs ensue, birthday and California-move chatter fill the place. Three other bar patrons come in but as the night goes on the place starts to fill up with JUST my friends. No one else. And an ipod dock playin sweet indie tunes. It was delightful!
All night long we’d just go up to the bar and get our drinks. No wait, no drunk loud strangers, no crowd, no one spilling their drink down my back -it was as if a magical sugar-daddy reserved the entire place just for me. As the night went on I thought “oh it’ll start to fill up with other people” and it did – MORE OF MY FRIENDS!!
We enjoyed the backyard with cute picnic tables. As the early crowd left the late shift came – it was a revolving door of love, laughter and strange Disney group sing-alongs! We wind it down ’round 12:30am, I’m tired as are the rest of the party (most of us were previously in Central Park earlier that day) so we say our joy-filled good byes. Heart full of mirth and peace, I walk to the L train shuttle with my friend Hollie, arms full of presents, cards and flowers.
The whole night brought Ephesians 3:20 to mind:
20 With God’s power working in us, God can do much, much more than anything we can ask or imagine. (NCV)
Normally I’d read that verse and think “oh yeah God’s talkin’ bout healing the sick, raising the dead”, all VERY good things. But I would have NEVER called a Williamsburg bar/restaurant asking for the entire place to be reserved for my own personal private party yet, that’s exactly what I got!
So Sat night was my own “more than I could ask or imagine” and it was good. Ugh, so good. 🙂