Custom-made balloons blow up
They say candy is dandy and liquor is quicker, but our favorite new way to get a party started is by arriving with a giant orb from Geronimo Balloon-Troopers.
Artist Jihan Zencirli has made balloons for everything from birthdays to sobriety celebrations since setting up shop in downtown Los Angeles three months ago. She festoons 36-inch, biodegradable balloons with silk ribbon, vintage millinery supplies and hand-cut paper tassels.
Before delivery or pickup, Zencirli asks for a description of the recipient so the balloon for "pink-loving girly girl's birthday" won't ever look like the one for "beautiful beige-wearing wife whose birthday was forgotten."
Models range from the Junior Balloon Trooper ($55) with two feet of paper frills to the Ambassador Balloon Trooper ($125) with six feet of paper and metallic frills and a choice of an accordion-tissue orb or fine, silk ribbon. All styles fit in most cars' back seats and float for about two weeks, which promises to keep a celebrant's spirits pumped up longer than a bouquet.