San Francisco plays free movies on a big screen in various parks across the city. My brother, Nick, has had this activity on his “to do” list for quite some time. On top of that, one of the parks that hosts the movies is just down the street from his apartment. And on top of that, his loving girlfriend, Laura, knew about his wish list and that the movie was playing in the park down the street from him on his birthday weekend. And so she started scheming. She invited friends, organized sandwiches from one of Nick’s favorite sandwich shops, Ike’s Place (if you visit the Bay Area, go!), and organized a surprise meeting at Cerveceria and a reason for Nick to be so near the park, but not be destined for the movie. I was especially excited because, despite her far superior baking skills, she gave me and Dan free reign on a birthday cake. (Check out California Test Kitchen for details on the cake.)
Of course the day before the planned surprise, Nick found a poster that Ghostbusters was playing in the park and told Laura about his find (I suspect, because he was secretly hoping their plans might alter enough that they could go). So even though he knew about the movie, he didn’t know he was actually going to get to go to the movie…with his friends…and dinner…and dessert — all in surprise to celebrate HIM. Traffic was unfortunately kind to Laura and Nick on their way into San Francisco. Combine that with Dan and my several block adventure on foot in the wrong direction, and Nick beat us to the pre-set meeting point. Although he looked like our Unflappable Nick (“Oh? A surprise party? For me? Sure, sure.”), I read his exterior quiet as a bit of shock that this event was all about celebrating his birthday. Nick is such a provider, organizer, and taker-carer, that I think it is a twist when others are doing all that for him. So way to go, Laura!
After a drink at Ceveceria, we wound our way into the packed park, set up picnic blankets, and enjoyed sandwiches and birthday cake before the movie.
Although I have only seen Ghostbusters twice, and both in the last year, I still feel an odd nostalgia for/connection with the movie.
There was also a joy in watching a movie under the stars, with lovely friends, and snuggling with your husband to stay warm while he whispered Ghostbusters lines in your ear three seconds before the characters themselves said them. 🙂
What a beautiful evening: celebrating the best big brother a little sister could ask for!