28 September 2012

Tea Gallery: The Cup of Tea


More Cassatt, more Met.  I love this one because it's such a cozy, relaxed pose, especially for the Victorian era.  And the tea-taker looks happy.  That's what tea's all about!
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27 September 2012

New Feature: Tea Gallery

Tea and the customs associated with it has inspires countless artists.  So I've decided to start yet another recurring feature, combining the arts and tea.  Today we have Mary Cassatt's Lady at Tea, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where I'll probably get a large portion of this feature.
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26 September 2012


I apologize for this rather blurry picture - I'm still struggling with evening mode.
Pineapples are a traditional sign of hospitality.

About a year ago, I had one of the worst restaurant experiences of my life.  Teany was going down the drain, and I didn't think I"d ever return.  In fact, I thought the place would close down for good.  Really, for good, because it was bad, so bad.

Still, I couldn't help being curious as to Teany's fate, so from time to time I'd check reviews on Yelp or other blogs.  For a while the negativity centered around those carrying online coupons.  Teany had new management, and they didn't see fit to honor these coupons.  But as time wore on, the negativity faded and I'd even read the occasional glowing review.  Wow, I thought.  Could Teany be on the mend? 

Then I got sick in July and switched to a mainly vegetarian diet.  Nowadays restaurants are pretty sensitive to people with dietary issues, so I could still visit most of my usual favorite places.  Teany kept popping into my mind, though, since I knew they were altogether meat-free, and quite a few items on their menu were vegan.  So one evening after work I thought, hey, let's give it one more try.

Well, I'm glad I did.  When I first got to Teany I noticed the new sign, which calls the place 'Teanyssimo'.  I was a little wary, since I don't equate tea with Italian food, but it's an exuberant expression and wouldn't deter me from pressing onward.  There were a number of patrons sitting outside, and when I got there I had the pick of seats inside, since nobody else was there.    I felt like I was at home - seriously, I did, because there's a bit of upholstery issues with some of the furniture, though not cat-related, and not enough to be a turnoff.   So I settled in. The girl working there was perfectly friendly and helpful, without being fussy.  That was already an improvement.

I gave Teany my ultimate test: I ordered Afternoon Tea.  Last time I'd tried that I was disappointed (they'd stopped serving it for the day although it was supposed to be an all-day thing.)  Now, however, not only did they have it, but at least two other patrons ordered it as well - including a party of about four who came inside.

Afternoon Tea was served thus: first I got the tea (iced rooibos, which was re-iced later on,) and a coconut almond scone.  The scone was warm and delicious, and served with cream that was close to butter and marmalade.  Already we're on the right track.  The sandwiches were next, presented in a three tiered tray with greens in the middle tier.  I had 'turkey' apple brie on a roll-type bread (not too hard) and a 'ham' and melted cheese that was superb.  They weren't dainty, but not awkward either.  The dessert was amazing - it was a vegan chocolate peanut butter cake.  I couldn't finish it, but that's only because I can't seem to finish anything rich these days.  And then the best part: the bill: it's still one of the lowest prices afternoon teas in New York! 
As for ambiance, the inside was cooled by fan which was fine for the weather.  The music was just okay - it sounded like they were playing 'elevator music' on Pandora.  I prefer this to loud and obnoxious, though.

It was all in all a good experience, so I think I shall return.  One more time should seal the deal.  If it's just as good or better I'll give it my full blessing.  If this time was nice but a fluke I'll forget about it.  I think that's fair.
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12 September 2012

Head in the Clouds

There's certain places that for me take on a shorthand of sorts.  When I say I'm going to The Park, it's Central Park.  The Brats are my kitties, The Afternoon Tea is Tea and Sympathy, and The Doctor is a Time Lord.  You can substitute "My" for "The", I suppose.  Well, "The" "My" Museum is the Met, or the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  It's my first museum and it's the one I've been to the most.  I believe I've covered every square inch of the place, with the exception of Staff-only rooms and Men's rooms.  Yet in all the years since my very first visit (almost 30, which is scary) I'd never been to the roof.  This had to be rectified.

On a recent Friday I got out of work early and took a walk through The Park, ending up at the Met around 4:30 I guess.  To get to the roof, I went through the Greek and Roman section, then right through the creepy 'Americas' area, to the designated elevator.  It was my third try: one week they were closing up, the next time it was a rainy day; but this time it was nice out. 

Though not everyone was dressed up, I felt like I was entering a party.  Drinks are served on the roof, at ridiculous cost of course, and people gather to relax over excellent views of the Park and the City (another 'The': referring to Manhattan).  There's a special interactive exhibit called 'Cloud City' that's on til' November.  It's free, but tickets are limited, so mine were for entrance in another two hours.  I didn't mind waiting: I got to see the new American Wing, which was worth it, and then I had a cup of tea in the cafeteria to pass the time.  It was Tazo Calm, in case you were wondering.

When it was my time to go inside the exhibit, I had to put my things away in provided lockers, so I didn't have my camera.  It was okay, certainly more good views, but I was a bit nervous because once you climb up to the top, the floors are see-through and I was wearing a skirt.  Yipes!

If you feel like waiting, it's not bad, but you're fine just going to the rooftop itself.

Looks kind of like bug-eyes.  See what I mean about wearing a skirt?
That's me on the far right with a purple top, taking a pic while I still could.
The Park

04 September 2012

The Cats are All Right

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Just thought I'd update you on my little guys, since I haven't done so in a while.  Can't believe they're both "mature" cats:  Zenobia is 7 and Moofer is 11.  Crazy how time flies, isn't it? I'm glad to say they are still quite active; neither have yet to lose their playfulness.  Zenobia should get another haircut, if only so that I can post ridiculous shaved pictures of her. 

I've been dragging a bit on my posting.  I feel like I've been dragging my feet in every avenue of my life right now, but I'm prepared to blame the summer.  With the bracing breezes of autumn fast approaching, I hope to get back on track.  There's a number of reviews in the works: museums, tea spots, books, etc.  I also just saw the newest episode of Doctor Who: "Asylum of the Daleks", but I'll leave that to someone else.  For some reason it's not in my nature to review television shows.  I just post nerdy pics of The Doctor on Pinterest and have done with it.  Also, I have a trip to London booked, and I'm beyond excited about that.  I'm also beyond broke, but when am I not?  I won't say exactly when I'm going, but you'll know when shots of Pre-Raphaelite paintings litter this site..(there's a big exhibition in the Tate)

In the meantime, here's one from the Met:
Burne-Jones, Le Chant d'Amour (excuse my French)

no tan for me!!