A secret teahouse in a public park fulfills a dream we never knew we had
Guys, something totally magical has occurred in Griffith Park, Los Angeles. An 80-square-foot teahouse appeared overnight. Yes, seriously. The Japanese-style house, constructed by an anonymous group of artists without permission from the city, suddenly appeared this past Monday night. Oh, and it overlooks a gorgeous view of the San Fernando Valley from the edge of a mountain. Yep, it is absolutely perfect.
But it’s not just a cute little house, as reporters from the Los Angeles Times discovered when they were sent a simple invitation to the teahouse: an inscription reading, “June 30, 2015. Please join us for tea and wishes overlooking the city. Sunrise, Griffith Park.” (Did you just get chills? Because we totally did.)
The mysterious invitation led to a sunrise tea ceremony: three people at a time were invited into the teahouse, where they were served green tea and almond cookies with an opera singer performing in the background.
“It’s just lovely,” Ghassan Sarkis, a math professor at Pomona College, told the LATimes. “It jolts you out of the grooves of daily life.” But what’s this about “wishes”? The teahouse has another little inscription: “Write a wish for the city. Maybe a love letter. Or a memory, an observation, a constructive criticism. Ring the bell to seal your wish.” Surrounding the inscription: little wooden panels where you can write your wish and hang it inside the teahouse.
In just the span of a few short days, the teahouse now has various wooden panels adorning the inner walls. Some are wishes, while others are warm, beautiful sentiments, such as one caught by ABC7 that says, “You are exactly where you need to be.”
“This is unbelievable,” North Hollywood resident Kimo Easterwood told ABC7. “Just looking at the craftsmanship is pretty amazing.”
We totally agree. It’s breathtaking.
Though the artists remain anonymous, they spoke to the LATimes about their inspiration for the teahouse. “I saw it about six years ago,” the group’s “ringleader,” who works in the film industry during the day, told the paper. “I come to the park to run a lot — and I would just see it and I kept thinking we could do something with it.”
The project is made out of reclaimed wood from the catastrophic 2007 Griffith Park fire. “The entire design came from the amount of wood we had,” a member of the group who is a woodworking apprentice explained. “Decisions were entirely based on the availability of the materials.”
“We didn’t cut anything down,” the ringleader told LATimes. “We only took what was already dead and on the ground.”
The the artists have created a Twitter account called GriffithParkTeaHouse, where they have been tweeting pictures of their creation, the sunrise tea ceremony, and a petition to keep the teahouse standing. Yes, that’s right: city officials have been eyeing the teahouse, and it’s possible that it won’t be allowed to remain standing.
“Part of the experiment is seeing how the park and the public reacts,” one of the anonymous artists, a young woman who has worked on installation design at various Southern California museums, told the LATimes. “There’s something interesting about observing what will happen.”
We genuinely hope such a beautiful work of art will stay standing. It’s rare to find something that so many people collectively find to be peaceful, beautiful, and wholesome. To help keep it standing, sign the petition here, and follow GriffithParkTeaHouse for more information.