For countless hours of innumerable days of many months over nearly ten years I had a sanctuary, a home-away-from home In Los Angeles. It went by the name of Elixir, and it lived on a quiet section of Melrose Avenue near the soon-to-be extinct Bodhi Tree Bookstore.
The lush bamboo garden at Elixir witnessed more turning points in my life than many of the people who know me best. Just about the only thing I haven't done at Elixir was have sex (although I have it first hand that more than a few relationships were consecrated there under a full Moon in the late night hours after the doors were shuttered for the day).
Everything seems to have a time and a season, and apparently the space that hosted Elixir may have traveled its lifespan as a gracious tea garden, creative crucible, writer's haven, and go-to spot for a proliferation of first dates.
The garden is still flourishing to this day, albeit unappreciated by anyone who'd be uplifted by it. The property sits empty, likely awaiting a wrecking ball for some high-end retail outfit that can afford the $35,000 a month in rent (note: Rent was at around $16,000 a month before a former sports agent went around Elixir offering the landlords double rent if he could use the spot to establish his own turnkey empire. His business barely lasted there two years.)
And now I sit on a plush red chair amidst bamboo tables in a light airy space flooded with the intoxication of California Sunshine at nearly any point of the day. While caffeine abounds, there's no rush to get in and get out here.
I'm in a very different neighborhood on a busier section of Melrose savoring Miriam Novalle's latest ouvre, T Salon LA (the original flourishes in New York City's hip Chelsea Market). Feng Shui'd without sacrificing design, T Salon brings a cool elegance with a flair for the lost art of welcoming. Novalle is the consummate host, shuttling between the tables of both coasts to ensure her commitment to service and style is fully delivered.
Healing is one branch on the burgeoning tree that is my life. I am intrinsically and irrevocably an artist; an artist who's creativity is injected with rocket fuel through inspired environment (music, light, scent, and design).
Once again, I am at home. I feel the rush of excitement urging me to make no plans this afternoon other than choosing a tea, a table, and letting the surge of energy bubble into creation. I foresee many hours of writing in my new perch.
Without fail I'll spread the word of this haven everywhere I go. You see, I've learned that I must fertilize and nurture anything and everything that gives to me.
In my new economy, it's not enough to merely pay my money at the register and let that be the end of a transaction. Straightening a chair, tidying a restroom when I'm finished, and promoting a conscious business are simple ways for me to give back and ensure all my favorite things not only survive but also thrive.
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