Saturday, February 28, 2009
Friday, February 20, 2009
337B West Broadway
New York, NY 10013
Despite being described by the New York Observer as catering to a “more disheveled crowd” (more disheveled than the average Four Seasons customer presumably), a recent visit to Sanctuary T revealed very little dishevelment. Tending more towards tucked in shirts and square glasses, the crowd lacked the clouds of dirt and patchwork clothing of a good dishevelment. The patrons blend in so well with the blonde wood and wicker chairs in fact that it is not uncommon to mistake the place for one of the many similar looking dimly lit SOHO apartments nearby.
As the name suggests, tea is the name of the game at 337B West Broadway. The menu includes a wide selection of tea blends and tea infused cocktails alongside short explanations to dispel any confusion. The Midnight Flower, for instance, is “A string of Jasmine flowers with a lily blossom wrapped in black tea” ($5) while the Rise and Shine cocktail is a mixture of “pear, green tea, vodka, lemon” ($12). Each table features a color coordinated cube with sand timers (available for $18) to ensure proper brewing (an explanation of which can be found on the wall opposite the bathroom). Hot tea is served with a stick of rock candy and at least one hot water refill per cup can be expected.
I went with the Pineapple Sencha cup ($4) which proved light and pleasant however without as much pineapple flavor as I expected. The Cava de Cama ($12) which combines elderflower, chamomile tea, and cava in a wine glass was sweet though hardly distinguishable from any other fruity, bubbly concoction on the market. A dining companion who was feeling under the weather asked our waiter for a recommendation. His advice was the Dragon Well ($4) for its promotion of “general well being”. Did he know what he was talking about, or did he just suggest it because it had Well in the name?
I asked her afterward if she was feeling any better. She said while her condition had not changed immediately, she was confident things were improving.
Friday, February 13, 2009
If you haven't already experienced the FM3 Buddha Machine this review from popmatters.com sums it up:
The Buddha Machine, then, is a little plastic box that plays music. Specifically, FM3 constructed nine drones, varying from two seconds to 42 seconds, which repeat endlessly in the listener's ear until the "track" is switched to the next drone (or the two AA batteries run out). The machine has its own built-in speaker, in case one would like to fill a room with the drones, but there is also a headphone jack for more personal meditative experiences. There's a switch on the side that allows for traversal of the tracks, and a DC jack (though an adapter is not included) for those who would like the Buddha Machine experience be truly endless. In a way, it's like the cheapest pre-loaded IPod you'll ever be able to buy. It even comes in a number of different colors, for the fashion-conscious experimental music aficionado.
If you're like me and this sounds awesome but you're unlikely to actually buy it, check out the Zendesk Buddha Machine Wall. I turn this thing on at work whenever public radio starts talking about musicals and serenity soon follows. It's great with tea.
There's also an iphone app.
Thursday, February 5, 2009
I came across this ad on the NYC Craigslist:
TEA TEA TEA (QUEENS)
I HAVE A LOT OF TEA, 9 DIFFERENT PACKAGES,7 ARE 20-24 TEA BAGS EACH, AND 2 ARE LOOSE TEAS, AND I DON'T DRINK TEA. THE BRANDS ARE: AHMAD TEA LONDON, BAYCE, EXOTIC TEAS CHELSEA, BIGELOW, SELECT, STASH, UNCLE LEE'S TEA. WOULD LIKE TO TRADE FOR WII GAMES, CARTOONS DVDS, COIN SORTER, NEW BARBIES, OR ANYTHING INTERESTING. THANKS
It really raises more questions than it answers. Where did they get all that tea? Why do they want new barbies?
See the original here.
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Sunday, February 1, 2009
McNulty's Tea and Coffee Co. ($5.50, 1/4 lb.)
Assuming you can make it past the raunchy sex shops and equally raunchy NYU students that populate the area around McNulty’s, you can get to a really great tea shop (a full review of which is coming soon). McNulty’s not only has a lot of teas, they have a lot of teas available for seeing and smelling (I’ve never asked about tasting). Based purely on the merits of sight and smell I decided to give their Elderberry Blend a try.
If looking at this stuff doesn’t make you want to drink it maybe you should stick to rain water or gasoline or whatever it is that has ruined your good sense. There is no hiding the enticement of those dried elderberries and hibiscus flowers. They look more like additions to a high level granola mix than the beginnings of a relaxing drink. If you can bring yourself to pour hot water over these delectable elements, things get even better.
Brewing to a highly fragrant, deep purplish-red this blend is not fooling around. Deep on berry flavor, the smell makes you feel as though you might be head first in a sambucus nigra bush and the taste that follows only emphasizes the notion.
Simply put, the berry flavor is strong. With a slightly bitter twinge at the end this, as far as I can tell, is a real elderberry experience. One often comes across teas in this world that smell great only to find their flavor a muted disappointment. This is not one of them.