Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Kitchen

MTR guises under a variety of names—The speakeasy, At 21, The Tea Room, Salon, The Mandarin's—and just about everything else bestowed upon this magnetic space form the series of creative guests that rotate through our door.

The radical metamorphosis of MTR before my eyes finally inspired me to take some time for extreme reflection, thus causing a mini-hiatus from posting. Firstt and foremost, it made me so thankful for all of your kind support. This gave me the confidence to step back and analyze the ethos of our community. What I saw was all of your ardent belief in what we do, and finding—even though I am already smitten—that the magic and power of tea and its practice continues to grow in power and might.

The Mandarin's Tea Room was set up with one idea, which I harvested from the depths of history. In old Western Culture, an idea of artistic ‘residency’ is well known. Drawn to the nucleus—a special place—creative minds congregate, open to equally inspire and be inspired. The same arrangements exist in Asia, too. We call them ‘resident artist.’ Deliberate to MTR’s name, the Mandarin people exemplified this, where their trailblazing society vastly improved culture, art, and life style by believing in inclusive collaboration. The importance of this idea not only beamed from the host, but the resident’s energy breading new light into any space. We function with this at our core. When our community opens its arms to visitors, inspiration from these meeting creates dialog and breeds fresh ideas—both humble and uplifting.

Tea is our constant, always lubricating the elevating conversation. The achievement to a higher practice in tea mirrors the creativity, friendship, and artistic acumen of everyone involved
Thus, I am proud to share the confluence of these factors in MTR’s newest work of art: The Kitchen, Urban Grow Lab, by J.J. Kitchen. True to our values, it is the culmination of creativity, a strengthening friendship, and manifestation of everything that we love.

As tea has taught us, connoisseurship is a lonely place. We seek the nuance, beauty, and quality in everything we drink. No one would pretend to understand tea and have only ever tasted cheap tea bags. Well, the same specificity of excellence can be applied to studying the wonderful details present in many facets of our life.

The same scholarship can be applied to cannabis. Throw away everything you may have smelled in the way of street weed, urban blunts, or any of the other unappetizing aromas and lifestyles associated to this herb. This is no better than Lipton’s connoisseurship to tea. Similarly, I always hated marijuana’s smell—stinging, intruding, reminiscent of old dirty sneaker, you name it—which assaulted my nostrils in various forms of bad.

These degrading examples reminded me of the many bad tea choices that are available on the market. I remember trying low quality red teas that were always uninteresting, bland, and had now lively verve. They lacked exciting stamina that I now understand in great tea.

What I have learned is connoisseurship is a continuing quest to understanding perfection. I took what I have learned from identifying what makes certain tea cultivars normal or exceptional, and have learned to apply the same scope to cannabis.

In essence, please excuse my absence. However, understand that MTR’s creative wheels are always turning; due in huge part to The MTR’s tightknit community where like-minded individuals aspire to true connoisseurship.

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