I had breakfast with David today at and we drove through the warehouse district after we finished up at Little Barnaby's. It had been a while since we met up at LB's, so it was really good to see everyone again.
As we were driving near downtown, I noticed the top of a building that looked like it could either be a temple or a Chinese restaurant. We doubled back and were amazed at the gorgeous Taoist temple we found. You could smell the incense as we approached the door.
The temple is painted in rich reds and gold and there are statues throughout the temple and the grounds. The door was open so we entered and were awestruck at how much there was to take in. Because the doors were open, it was actually colder inside the temple than it was outside, and it was a frigid morning.
Dieties by Finijo
I have never seen so many deities featured in a temple before. They were grouped all around the temple and it was clear that they were set up in meaningful vignettes, but I don't know enough about Taoism to understand the meaning behind the scenes depicted.
We chatted a bit with the caretaker who sat bundled up behind a desk reading a Chinese newspaper. He said his English was not very good, but he allowed me to choose a stick from a wooden cup. I chose # 41, which corresponded to a box in cubicle and a piece of paper that held my fortune. He tried to translate, but it was difficult. He said something about a moon and having "very good fortune." It was interesting, because I never knew that particular ritual existed.
The ceiling was covered with huge coils of incense. We didn't recognize what they at first, thinking they were just decorative, but in the frigid air, we could see the smoky perfume they emitted. Stumbling upon the Tien Tao Temple was a wonderful surprise find on a cold and beautiful morning.