At the Museum of Jurassic Technology in Culver City, California, you could spend hours examining exhibits with titles such as “Garden of Eden on Wheels: Selected Collections from Los Angeles Area Mobile Home and Trailer Parks”, “Lives of Perfect Creatures: Dogs of the Soviet Space Program”, and “No One May Ever Have the Same Knowledge Again: Letters to Mount Wilson Observatory” and arrive at the conclusion that all objects, events, and beings – no matter how trivial and trite in your eyes – have already been examined. You could also not resist peeking behind the countless velvet curtains in the multi-story structure and imagining yourself a character in a gothic tale. When you reach the Tula Tea Room at the upper level, however, the aura completely changes as the space is filled with sunlight and fresh bouquets of flowers.
The first thing I asked the tea room manager and artist, Nana, about was the “preserved” dog on the bench in the dark corridor leading to the tea room. Nana was clearly shocked by my question, explaining that the dog – a Borzoi also named Tula – was alive and well. I then asked about the interior design of the tea room; Nana indicated that the decor was, to some extent, modeled after the State Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia. The complimentary tea served was Georgian black tea prepared by Nana using a traditional samovar, one of many in her collection. Tula, Russia, an important armament production city, is known to be the birthplace of the first factory-manufactured samovar in the eighteen century.
I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to the museum and my conversation with Nana. The next time you visit the museum, look for my favorite display – “Miniature Moon”. I simply could not stop staring at it.