The big old brick building stands along the train tracks, about half a mile from the Memorial Art Gallery. The Hungerford, the building’s name, is painted large across the top. The sign - a memory of this town’s past glory - is faded now.
Inside a surprise awaits. Numerous studios for local artists and offices for businesses. A creative energy churns here. There are artists living here as well. One of them, “Bear” tells me of an “energy vortex” here. The kindness of the people has touched me, and I am happily sucked in.
Invited by Cody Kroll a ceramic artist and educator, I had my first tea show on First Friday. Every first Friday of the month galleries throw open their doors to the public. And a concourse of local art lovers flow through the Hungerford, besides other galleries in town, enjoying the inspired creations.
Cody and I are a natural match. Cody has been making japanese teaware and sushi dishes. His work is both bold and elegant. I am honored my teas found a place alongside his works to be displayed. This First Friday he was a guest artist at Crocus Clay Works, another large studio at The Hungerford. CCW was generous to let me have a table too, and use their own handcrafted ceramic cups for sampling.
Sampling for me was exciting. It is fun to see faces light up as they sip their tea. I was gladly surprised people were willing to wait patiently as I brewed the tea. Many were surprised to hear that Darjeeling was actually a place, and more so when they learnt that I was from there!
Rochester, my new home, continues to overwhelm me and my family with its generous hospitality. Cody and his friends at The Hungerford have been added to our long list of benefactors in this warm and hospitable place. A special thanks to Jennifer Rampe for sharing her talents to make signage for Happy Earth Tea for the occasion.
Stay Healthy! Stay Happy!