Anyone who has visited New York knows it's a city that pulses with energy and opportunity, ideas and aspirations. (Though naysayers claim that it's all moved to Brooklyn.) For buyers like us trying to cram as much as possible into the work day that means starting early and ending late, getting too little sleep and running on adrenaline.
This particular trip also required time spent trying to dodge all the hoopla and security in place for the bigwigs in town to attend the in-session United Nations.
Consider the scenario: you have a one o'clock appointment at a building conveniently situated in the middle of the block. You arrive a little early and reach the nearest intersection only to find police and barricades blocking all entry, so you go around the block and try to approach from the other side. No luck there either.
Questioning other equally frustrated passers-by you find out that some president- maybe ours, maybe theirs, maybe popular, maybe not- is stopping in the area for a photo op, so a generous perimeter has been cordoned off for the occasion by city, state, national and international security forces who will only say, " Come back later."
You whip out your cellphone, call your waiting appointment and begin to apologize.
"That's okay," you are told." The designer you want to see went out to pick up lunch an hour ago and can't get back here either. Can you come tomorrow instead?" So much for your carefully planned schedule.
A rather roundabout way, I'm afraid, to explain why we are always looking for an oasis in this city, a place to sit down, calm down, take a deep breath and regroup. But during this hectic week I discovered just such a place, a lovely, light and airy Chinese tearoom, Radiance Tea House and Books. This is the perfect place to order a simple pot of tea (from an enormous menu of choices) as an afternoon pick-me-up or as an accompaniment to a light lunch, dinner or snack.
The staff is friendly and helpful. If you know nothing about tea or Chinese food, don't hesitate to throw yourself on their mercy. They will advise you well and thank you for visiting their haven.
Radiance Tea House and Books
158 West 55th Street
Open everyday from 11 AM