Friday, September 4, 2009

Tea & Sympathy (or All Things British)

Googling tea shops in New York City can lead to interesting discoveries. I did just that a couple of days ago and settled on Tea & Sympathy. ( Located on Greenwich Avenue in Greenwich Village, it's a little bit of Britain right here in NYC. It's a tiny little restaurant where they won't seat you until your entire party is there. Once seated you might as well make friends with the people next to you 'cause you're pretty much touching them. My friend Mandy and I decided to hang out today and Mandy invited our friend Colette. We all like tea shops so this seemed like a good choice for all involved. As Mandy and I had never been, this continued my quest for new things in NYC.

I was gung ho to try all things British. I started by ordering English Breakfast Tea. Such a nice tea to enjoy with a bit of milk and sugar. I asked questions about things on the menu that I was unaware of and made the most intelligent choice I could - Shepard's Pie with Lamb. I can't tell you the last time I had Shepard's Pie. I think I remember my mom making it once, but I could be making that up. Ground lamb with carrots, covered in mashed potatoes, topped with melted cheddar - it was so good. It was served in it's own small baking dish with a side of peas. As a child I used to mix my peas and mashed potatoes together so as soon as I'd eaten enough to create some space I added the peas to my Pie. So good. I'm going to have to go back and try their Bangers 'n Mash and their quiche. That's two more reasons to go back. Not that I really needed one. So many tea choices also. How many days off in a year do I have? As I was trying all things British I decided to have Treacle Pudding for desert. Treacle Pudding is steamed sponge cake with golden syrup baked on top. Mine was covered with and sitting in hot custard. Okay, how much weight did you just put on thinking about this desert? Wipe the drool off of your chin it's unattractive. Let's just say I wanted to lick the bowl and leave it at that. Damn!!

Colette said there was a chocolate store nearby that she had been to once so we set out to find it. Her sense of direction was fantastic because even though she wasn't sure where it was, she led us right to it. Li-Lac Chocolates ( I gained 5 pounds just by inhaling after we walked in. A person could go wild and spend a fortune in this store. Everything looks amazing and is sold by the pound. Be careful, big eyes lead to empty wallets. I walked out of the store with one chunk of white chocolate and a chocolate covered marzipan acorn which was a gift from Mandy. Good and good!

After stuffing our faces and filling our bellies with British goodness and chocolate decadence we headed to a couple of small parks in the area to just sit and enjoy the day and each others conversation. Oh and did I forget to mention that we stopped by Perry Street, home of Carrie Bradshaw's apartment exterior, to watch just a second of filming on the second Sex and the City film? Well, we did!

This was a full day and there are still two more stops to go. Mandy had never been to The Highline and we were so close that we took a jaunt over and walked around and looked at the beauty that the City of New York created out of something ugly. Such a good use of space and resources. Can't wait to visit again in the fall. A nice crisp breeze with a jean jacket and a chaise lounge sounds like a little piece of heaven. Give me a good book and save me a seat.

Last but not least, I headed to New World Stages to support many of my co-workers who are putting on a show this week. The producer, director, and most of the actors work in some capacity at New World Stages. It felt so good to support them in their endeavor and to support people who want to make art and found a way to do it. It reminded me of the excitement I had in college when it was time to perform a show that I'd been rehearsing for several weeks. There's something energizing and renewing about watching people who are not jaded, performing in a work that is fully realized because of their passion for it.

NYC is a little crowded with tourists this weekend, but none of them took away from the fabulous experience of this day.