Tortoise Strolls

Archive for May 2011

433 Broome St. “Harney & Sons”

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I was walking around Soho and found this jewel of a tea shop on Broome off of Broadway.  Located in an old loft building, the decor was hip, almost too sleek for a place selling just tea.  I immediately had a flashback to a tea shop I used to visit constantly when I was in college called “Symphathy for the kettle” on 109 St. Mark’s Place. It was my all-time favorite place to order a pot of tea and cram for finals. You could stay for hours nursing a single pot. Unfortunately it closed down a little while ago and I sure do miss it. I’m rarely in the East Village anymore, but when I do make it downtown, I feel I need to find something to take its place. The only similarity between the two tea shops are the tin cans that are used to store the loose teas. Sympathy for the Kettle was just such an intimate unique place, a little dingy, like an old pair of jeans with holes in all the right places. I worry I’ll never find another like it 😦  In the mean time, Harney & Sons sells very reasonably priced teas and has a little cafe in the back, perfect for trying out some exotic flavors before you commit to buying. I suppose this will be my new favorite tea shop, unless Sympathy for the Kettle decides to reopen.


Written by agnesbstanton

May 11, 2011 at 10:40 pm

Posted in Attractions, Soho

Literary Walk in Central Park

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“The man that hath no music in himself,

Nor is not mov’d with concord of sweet sounds,

Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils.”

The Merchant of  Venice 

A statue of William Shakespeare along with three other writers; Sir Walter Scott, Robert Burnes, and Fitz-Greene Halleck, can be found in Central Park’s “Literary Walk” which is the southern portion of “The Mall” or as some call it the “Promenade”. There is also a statue of Christopher Columbus who is known as the fifth man out since he was not a writer like the rest. Besides these five statues, Literary Walk contains the Olmsted Flower bed, which is the park’s only tribute to its creator. In the 1800’s it became a popular pastime to have your carriage drop you off at Literary walk, and later pick you up at the Bethesda Fountain steps, after your leisurely stroll through the Mall. This was one of the few places in New York were people of all economic and social backgrounds mixed freely.

        William Shakespeare                                   Sir Walter Scott


               Robert Burns                                        Fitz-Greene Halleck


       Christopher Columbus

                                                                                                                                                                                                             The Mall

Literary walk also contains granite paving stones for the people who have endowed a tree in the park. The stones are too easy to miss as you casually stroll over them so when you stop to look down, all of a sudden everyone else is copying you and doing the same thing. There are not as many of these stones as I would imagine there being, less than 200 would be my guess. This pales in comparison to the 9,000 or so benches in the park that carry plaques. For a $5,000 donation you can get your very own stone for endowing a tree. In order to have your very own plaque on a bench, your donation would need to be $7,500, but then at least you’d always have a special place to sit as you meet a friend. All funds make their way to the Central Park Conservancy, a wonderful organization, whose Halloween benefit I once crashed. To make up for my bad behavior, I would very much like to endow a tree one day. Below are some of the more recognizable names.



Written by agnesbstanton

May 6, 2011 at 10:07 am

Posted in Upper East Side