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New York City has more stores than anyone could physically tackle, but somehow we always keep returning to the usual suspects. To break out of the rut, we've asked some local shopping and fashion gurus to provide their hidden retail gems—those unique stores around our fantastic city that we might not all know about. Cue the Beatles: We're about to get a little help from our friends.
Karen Brown is the senior concept designer for Ralph Lauren Home Collection, where she's responsible for putting together mood and concept boards as a starting point for the brand's housewares. Here, she shows us her favorite spot in Greenpoint for tea, flowers, and more.
Bellocq Tea Atelier is one of the most magical shops in New York. The practically unmarked gem of a shop/showroom sits in front of a warehouse/factory space. Upon entering, you feel as though you've entered some top-secret hidden tea lab and den. Their loose, full leaf teas (and flowers and so on), gathered and sourced from around the globe, are displayed as beautifully and delicately as the teas themselves.
One of the owners, Michael Shannon, takes the time to thoroughly explain each tea, telling you tales of heights and locations, scents and flavors that you never even knew existed. Luckily for us, Michael, along with partners Heidi Johannsen Stewart and Scott Stewart, have taken the ancient craft of tea and made it something we can all enjoy.