The Art of Scented Tea

It’s said that Cleopatra drenched her ship’s sails in jasmine to announce her arrival in Rome and seduce Mark Antony. Imagine the extravagance of it: today, average estimates suggest that it can take as many as 10,000 jasmine flowers to make one gram of absolute; a pound of that would sell for $1000 or more. […]

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A Chekovian Fourth of July

I love the mood in New York just before Independence Day–half the city has fled but the streets are still brimming with people ready to relax and have fun. We have some great parks in Greenpoint and Williamsburg with lots of sprinklers and fountains turned on in summer (water balloons are a big thing with […]

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Memorial Day

When I arrived at Ms. Ezersky’s apartment mid-Sunday morning, she announced that she’d barely slept the night before. She had spent six months preparing a tribute for a Russian actor and friend and presented it on Saturday in Brighton Beach. The first words out of her mouth were: “He was like Spencer Tracy or Laurence […]

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