International Friendship Day was listed this year as August 2, 2015. In attempting to research the historical beginnings of this day of recognition, as usual, it was not without controversy.
Was it July 30th? a date established in 1958 as World Friendship Day by World Friendship Crusade or August 2nd a date designated by Hallmark Cards in 1930? Or do we go back further to the day celebrated in Latin American countries?
Well this holds very little importance to this post and if you would like to investigate further you can check what Wikipedia has to say.
I found it quite coincidental that two of my dear friends and I had planned to meet for a tea filled day on Aug 1st not having any idea about the friendship day recognition.
Our day was centered around the A Celebration of the Life of Geoffrey Holder at the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center.
The scheduled day would begin with a 1:00pm panel discussion: The Life Work Of Geoffrey Holder, featuring Carmen and Geoffrey filmmakers Nick Doob and Linda Atkinson, moderated by Leo Holder, son of Geoffrey Holder and Carmen de Lavallade
Next on the agenda would be a documentary screening at 2:00pm Carmen and Geoffrey documentary, followed by screening of rare archival film footage.
I had the honor of meeting Mr. Holder on several occasions. At the first meeting at his artist loft/home he invited me to sit in a chair he had sculpted, I believe it was called “The Eye Of GOD”. Yes, I was quite nervous as I felt sitting in this chair all my inner thoughts would be revealed. Note, all went well, as Mr. Holder had the wonderful way, with his larger than life personality and marvelous storytelling of making one feel entirely comfortable.
As life would have it, make plans… When we arrived an extensive line with capacity reached long before we got there thwarted plans.
So what do tea friends do when faced with disappointment?
Go and grab a cup of tea!
We made our way across the street to American Cafe a lovely establishment that we knew served Marcus Samuelsson’s, Ambessa Line that was created by Harney & Sons Teas.
The soothing cup of Earl Of Harlem helped me to refocus and us to sort out what the day would look like.
After filling ourselves with wonderful conversation, food and leafy brew we decided to visit Theresa at the T-Shop in SoHo and cover as many tea establishments as we could, returning uptown for the evening dance performance and tribute to Geoffrey which would be performed by the Garth Fagan Dance Company.
As I have mentioned many times before, T-Shop is one of my go to tea establishments when I want to leave the world outside. The calming environment and welcoming of the host always prepares me for the challenges of the day.
We sat as Theresa prepared Yu Shan Oolong and provided us with information about the tea.
With much reluctance to leave (I could sit at T-Shop an entire day) we headed out to explore.
This day they were having a special offering for signing up to their loyalty program. We were given the opportunity to create a tea blend and a free tin of the tea to take with us. Stephen, our blender, was so fun to work with as we put together our gifts and treats.
On to Harney & Sons to do more tastings and fill up with additional tea items missing from our collections. It is always such a pleasure to see Emeric, as the store/cafe is always hopping a few words exchanged is all one expects.
We were informed that they are now serving an afternoon tea that I will soon check out.
Next stop the Maison Ladurée and macrons, again not having enough time to sit for a tea experience we made our purchases and quickly caught a cab back uptown.
Again, at Damrosch Park Bandshell, a long line had already been established, though we knew we would make the cut-off.
The show was spectacular and dance magnificent.
I could not think of a better way to celebrate International Friendship Day than with my dear friends like minded in the love of tea.
To all my friends, those who I communicate with via this blog, those who I interact with on social media, those who I haven’t interacted with in a while (and you know who you are), and those who I have yet to meet, I value our friendship and communication on Friendship Day and every other day of the year.