No, I'm not hungover today from my birthday party last night. I didn't need to get drunk to be high on the vibe that we created last night, me and about 40 of my friends and family (and I don't mean blood-family, necessarily, I mean REAL family). I was blessed with a beautiful birthday celebration last night organized in part by a few close friends--Ayoka and Ntanya (thank you for the decorations and everything else!), Minda (always got my back girl), Brandon (on the 1's and 2's), Agustin (muchisimas gracias, amigo) and Henry.
We danced, drank and ate scrumptious Cuban-fusion food at La Taza de Cafe, a relatively new spot on Grand Avenue near Safeway in Oakland (up the street from the Grand Lake Theater). The vibe was great, the room was beautiful, and the sangria was just right. Some folks also enjoyed the Cuban rum and other goodies downstairs (mojitos or cigars, anyone?). It's a sweet spot for brunch, dinner and drinks, and the owner, Daniel, and his staff were the most gracious of hosts. And the parking is really convenient to boot.
In my 35 years of life I've worked to create a community of friends who are fierce, kind, compassionate and eclectic souls. I looked around the room a few times last night and realized that my efforts have been well-rewarded: queer and straight folks, folks of all colors and creeds, beautiful and grounded in themselves surrounded me with love and support. My friend D. said it best I think, when he loooked around and said, in his inimitably opinionated way, 'Wow, this is really diverse." I am truly blessed to have these people in my life, and I pat myself on the back too, for going the extra mile to build a loving family who has my back. Sometimes I forget about this fact, when I'm down or feeling frustrated by the challenges of life. Last night reminded me in a huge way that I am not alone and that I am loved.
You can see some pics of folks gettin' down here (dancing is mandatory at my parties, even for the most boogie-shy of folks) and chillin'. I didn't get a pic of my dress and shoes but they were CUTE, trust me (imagine ruby-red peep-toe patent leather pumps with my halter dress). This was also a fundraiser for me to take my first-ever trip to the Philippines this year, and folks blessed me with a signficant part of my travel fund. Thank you to everyone who attended and made my birthday so special.