For years I've been throwing Full Moon Tea Parties. These usually consist of me, a cup of tea, and the always fashionably late moon. But every now and then I have an actual guest, and then I pull out all the stops--candles, flowers, and a feast fit for twenty.
Undaunted by this lack of fellow night revelers, I have ventured into visions of hostessing a Chai Palace: my quiet island cabin transformed once a month into an underground creativity salon, a mecca for artists, writers, musicians, and slanted thinkers, where anything goes and everyone who wants to can be someone else for the night. Eventually, of course, Creative Types will be coming by at all hours, and I'll be forced into the role of full-time Salon Muse. So goes the dream.
Well, I recently happened into a real-life manifestation of this dream: the Zen Dog Studio's Tea House Gallery in Seattle. It's a tea shop, an art gallery, and a framing service, but, best of all, it's a serene meditative space where you're welcome to sit all night while tea master Larry Murphy pours you cup after cup of delicious, intoxicating green tea. And teaches you how to appreciate it, too. I brought some of his Golden Needle with me to France to sip while I paint, for energy and inspiration.
Pu-er. In the meantime, if you need a wormhole out of Planet Starbucks, look for the beckoning red lanterns.