16 June 2009

Another good reason to get up in the morning.

Ha! Not really. There's no good reason to get out of bed in the morning. There's just necessities of life which impel one to haul our carcasses out of the comforts of home and into our office/errands/school/whatever. Really, for me even the prospect of going somewhere I've been wanting to go to doesn't help - though it doesn't hurt, either.

Still, we do what we have to do, and it is helpful when something brings a smile to our faces on the way. That's what happened to me after another hectic commute to Grand Central Terminal. Greeting me in the Lexington Passive was the brand new shop, Tea & Honey.

I'd seen this place for a few weeks "Opening Spring 2009", but didn't want to get excited. What if it wasn't a tea shop? What if it was children's clothing? Or another card store? Nearby was another new store called Cursive, which is really cute with all sorts of gift items, but it's kind of pricey. They have a shop in ABC Carpet, so that made sense, but it doesn't help my wallet any.

Tea and Honey is a tea shop for real. It sells a decent variety of teas from companies like Tavalon and a Parisian company Le Palais des Teas. I saw Kusmi as well. The featured tea was a tisane called Crimson Punch from Tavalon, which is a fruit infusion. I happened to have bought this one at the Tea & Coffee Festival, and it's a hit. It went over well at a tea party I had at my apartment recently (it was supposed to be a picnic in the park but June 2009 is the rainiest month ever!) So I knew this shop had something going on.

The lady that worked in the shop (will I ever remember to get names?) was friendly and knew what she was talking about, which helps. She also said they'd be getting even more items soon...I have something to look forward to! At my first visit I picked up Rose de Chine from Le Palais des Teas. It's a rose flavored black tea and a definite favorite of mine.

True to its name, there's plenty of honey on offer, but I obviously didn't focus on that. Another time, perhaps. I'll also need more time to check out all the teapots and strainers and paraphernalia I already have too much of at home but never get enough of. The same applies to the tea books.

Thank goodness, something pleasant to focus on instead of the crush of people and my tendency to fall down subway stairs.

15 June 2009


I love tea. I love mojitos. Put them together...


Alice's Tea Cup, Chapter II, has a tea cocktail menu, which has something for everyone. There are Mar-tea-nis, of course, and Bathy, back from North Carolina, had a lovely rose tea and vodka mix that was really nice. But Alice's Tea-Jito is the ultimate poison for me. It's made mainly with Moroccan Mint Tea, rum and what tasted like honey. I've always said Moroccan Mint is the Mojito of the tea world, and it seems they have the same idea. Plus, this seems to be a generally healthy mix, which helps since cocktails tend to be high on calories.

I figure this is now a great place to recommend to ladies who'd like to go out for drinks but don't want to be hit on. There are always men in Alice's, but they're usually with their wives, their kids, or they're gay. This is just a generalization; I'm sure there's exceptions. Anyway, at $10 a drink it's not cheap, but not as crazy as some places in the City. In the evening there won't be a whole lot of families either, so they might have a little niche carved out in the girls' night out market.

However, there is something called 'the man's drink', which is made with lapsang souchong and black label. And haven't I always said lapsang souchong is the whiskey (especially Scotch) of the tea world? Yes, that's what I said.

05 June 2009


I try to come up with something new every time I post here, though at times I fall back on nostalgia. In recent weeks there have been a few decent changes, so I'll briefly run through them.

As most people who know me well know very well, I am not a fan of changes. I don't mind so much trying new things - especially when it comes to food. I had my first macaron recently, which was amazing. From what I've heard, New York's macaron offerings are not nearly as good as the ones in Paris. This blows my mind. I finally want to return to Paris. Anyone want to buy me a ticket?

But trying a new cookie-type treat (which go well with Earl Grey, by the way) is not really a change. Neither is visiting the new branch of the NY Public Library. That is a good thing as it's very close to my job, so it'll be easy to drop off due books. It's not a large branch, especially compared to the Mid-Manhattan Library. It's just a small branch which so far contains pristine, brand new library books. I almost took a book out that I own already, it was so new looking. The only problem I can see is that one of the women at the checkout is pretty rude. Both times I went there with my sister she was snappy with her for not stepping up to the table at lightning speed. It's not like the line is clearly marked, either. I just hope the woman is going through some stuff and will be pleasant in the future.

I have a new ipod nano as well. It was a Thank You gift. How do I thank the givers for the thank you gift? Well, thank you!

All these things are simply new, but not massive changes for me. I knew I needed something different in my life, but again, I don't do well with change. Surprisingly, the one I made this week was easier than I thought. I got my hair dyed red.

For a few years I've toyed with the idea. I tried on a red wig once, and thought it looked rather flattering. Still, I didn't like the idea of dyeing my hair. I've had a sort of pride thing going about keeping it natural. It's like Queen's albums in the 1970's. The liner notes made a point of saying "No Synthesizers!" on every album. Then the 80s rolled around, and suddenly not only were they using synthesizers, but detailing which ones. It's like they just decided "why not?", and Freddie grew a mustache on top of it all.

So my personal mantra had been "real hair color!", and I figured the only way I would dye my hair is if I went entirely grey. Well, that hasn't happened yet, aside from the occasional strand of horror. But recently I did let Marie color the underside of my hair auburn, which basically showed only as a little peek unless I put my hair up. Still, I couldn't stop holding up the darker bits to my face, and quite liking it. After over a month's deliberation, I made an appointment with a hair stylist, who Daphne recommended enthusiastically. I thought her hair always turned out great, so I wasn't afraid. When the time came, I was much calmer than I thought. Of course whenever someone touches my hair I get relaxed.

The results were stunning. It was the exact color I'd wanted, and I liked it better than my natural color. Ha, they say blondes can't stop looking in mirrors - you should have seen me this week!

The only thing that took getting used to was everyone's reaction. It was almost universally complimented, but I couldn't believe just how excited everyone was. Everyone, from coworkers to friends, to people I barely talk to normally on the street. Some people didn't recognize me, or thought I was my sister Pam. (I also kind of look like my mom when she was younger, but she was pretty enough back then so I'm okay with that.) I've also been compared to comic book heroines/villains and a sea dwelling Disney princess. Now I'm satiated with the attention, but I suppose it's better than a meh reaction or none at all.

My favorite thing about the hair? It kind of looks like tea. Black tea, I mean. As long as my skin doesn't resemble a scone.

So I guess change can be good. I won't be getting tattoos anytime soon, though. That was a JOKE, guys! I'm never gonna do it!