simple is beautiful
New York Daily Photo: teany
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Wednesday, 7 November 2007


It's always a pleasant surprise to do research for an article not knowing what to expect and find that there is a really interesting story behind something that on first glance appeared to be relatively ordinary. You could argue that one can find something of interest in everything and that a great writer can make perspiration riveting, but I think ordinary mortals would agree that some things are just inherently more interesting than others. Like teany. Teany is a beverage company - many who live in the NYC area are probably familiar with their tea/juice products, as they are widely distributed in the New York, New Jersey area. Teany is also a small tea house and restaurant, shown in the photo, at 90 Rivington Street on the Lower East Side. The company was started in 2002 by Kelly Tisdale and the musician Moby (they were boyfriend/girlfriend at the time). The shop offers 98 varieties of loose tea and vegan food (Kelly is vegetarian, Moby is vegan). Moby, who started his recording career as a techno artist, has a certain mystique and cultish following. It reminds me of the aura around David Bowie, who, coincidentally, lived across the street from Moby in Little Italy for a decade. Moby (Richard Melville Hall) was born in Harlem and brought up in Darien, CT - a startling contrast, with Darien and the neighboring communities of Connecticut being some of the wealthiest in the country. Never surprising when a life of privilege leads to rebellion - Moby was in a hardcore punk band in the early 1980s called the Vatican Commandos. Read Moby's bio on his website here. His name, btw, was a nickname given to him by his parents, referencing the novel Moby Dick, written by Herman Melville, his great-great-great-great uncle. Rumors of the closing of the tea shop in 2006 turned out to be untrue. There was, however a business change with a focus more on teas and less on food and Kelly taking full ownership of the company ...

Note about the company name: The company proclaims that "you can pronounce it however you like. tea-knee. tee-nee. tea-enn-why," and that Moby and Kelly themselves pronounce it "teenie," because they are "small," both in stature and in status.


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